My brother’s birthday is the 4th of July, and we used to have epic family picnics complete with hot dogs, softball, kites, fireworks, and an American flag sheet cake with sparklers in lieu of candles. Living out in the boonies, we were surrounded by distant firework displays, and at the end of the night, we’d all climb up onto the split-rail fence and watch an Imax-esque show. I suspect Norman Rockwell may have been hiding in the bushes conducting research.
But the very best part was the homemade peach ice cream that was churning away in a rock salt ice cream maker in the garage. I’m pretty sure it was electric because I don’t remember being enslaved as ice cream-churning child labor. I do distinctly remember crouching next to the humming contraption and peeking over my tube sock-capped knees into the bowl to check the painfully slow progress.
I come from a long lineage of ice cream eaters – we Winners take our ice cream pretty seriously. I’ve had a lot of ice cream since, but I’m not sure that any of it stacks up to that homemade peach. You just can’t go wrong freezing uber-fresh peaches dripping with sticky sweet nectar and raw whole milk that came straight from the cow that afternoon. But thanks to a vibrant ice cream-loving clique in Seattle, we have some pretty legit choices. And one of them just parked outside my doorstep.
Parfait is a roving ice cream truck that scoops up handmade ice cream made in small batches from local, organic ingredients. Their weekly schedule recently added a Sunday afternoon stop in Old Ballard, and SM and I are cashing in on this opportunity to get our ice cream fix.
SM went straight for a 2-scoop cone. He settled with the Fresh Mint Stracciatella. One lick and you suddenly know what mint chocolate chip is supposed to taste like. It smells like freshly rubbed mint leaves instead of like mint toothpaste; it’s an aroma that’s strangely intoxicating and soothing at the same time. Dark chocolate flakes pepper the ice cream, rich and complex, and they melt right on your tongue. It is heavenly.
I am a little more of an ice cream purist; I’d forego the cone and enjoy the ice cream on its own. (Though Parfait’s cones are downright delicious and taste just like a freshly baked Christmas Pizzelle cookie.) I got a scoop of the Madagascar Vanilla Bean and a scoop of the Dagoba Chocolate. (Dagoba is a NW chocolatier.) I love tasting vanilla ice creams because when they’re done right, vanilla is far from a plain. This vanilla tasted exotic and dark. Parfait melts chocolate right into the custard, and when you take a spoonful, it tastes like a dark chocolate bar sitting right on your tongue. Being the devout choc-aholic that I am, this is right up my alley. Despite these intense flavors, all the ice cream we tasted had a wonderfully light texture. It was almost like you could feel the tiny pockets of frozen air popping on your tongue.
Only one word to describe it: Mmm!
It’s actually challenging to eat copious amounts of Parfait’s ice cream because the flavors are so fierce that they almost overwhelm taste buds dulled by a lifetime of boring Breyer’s ice cream. But don’t worry, I finished my 2 scoops. And maybe licked the bowl.
Thursdays: Queen Anne Farmers Market 3:00 – 7:00 PM (W. Crocket Street at Queen Anne Avenue N)
Fridays: Queen Anne 3:00 – 7:00 PM. In front of Caffè Fiorè on the corner of W. Galer and 3rd Avenue W.
Saturdays: Sunset Hill 1:00 – 5:00 PM. In front of Caffè Fiorè on the corner of NW 85th Street and 32nd Avenue NW.
Sundays: Old Ballard 1:00 – 5:00 PM. In front of Caffè Fiorè 5405 Leary Avenue NW.
Tagged: > Recipe Blog, Ballard restaurants, dessert, food blog, ice cream, local food, organic food, restaurant review, restaurants, seattle food, Seattle food blog, seattle foodie, seattle restaurant review