What's my travel motto? I Scream for Ice Cream!
Ah, ice cream. The most beautiful food in the world! Like all self-respecting children, I grew up loving ice cream and now, as a super important grownup, I still make time for ice cream in all my travels.
For reasons unknown, my early childhood years were dominated by maple walnut, as repulsive a flavor ever I tried. Did everyone else have parents are cruel as mine?
Things perked up considerably with the arrival of the Ice Cream Barn.
The Nova Scotia Ice Cream Barn Phenomenon
While Ice Cream Barns dominate the rural Nova Scotia landscape, they seem to be an unknown phenomenon elsewhere in the country. Consisting of a humble red or white baby barn that has been rigged with enough electricity to support several chest freezers well stocked with Scotsburn Dairy ice cream, an Ice Cream Barn is always a welcome site when I go home to Nova Scotia.
(To find my favourite, be sure to drive from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia along Highway 366, as opposed to the main highway. Along the way, you will encounter the tiny community of Tidnish, whose lone general store boasts an “inside ice cream bar” that has a dirt cheap “happy hour”!)
Amazing Ice Cream Around The World
While it’s nothing short of criminal that the Ice Cream Barn phenomenon hasn't spread around the world, this doesn't stop me from seeking out great ice cream when I travel. From plain vanilla (and suspect refrigeration) at the Mangochi Ice Cream Den in Malawi, to decadent little scopes of pamplemousse at Paris’ Bertillon, to strawberry goat’s milk ice cream from Cape Clear Island’s Cleire Goat – I’m always game to try a scoop!
I love to seek out fancy homemade ice cream in small communities, from popular brands such as Cow’s Homemade PEI ice cream (in the fancy decorated cones!) and Roselani’s in Hawaii to scoops of roasted marshmallow and a scoop of rhubarb ginger on Ontario's Wolfe Island. I’m not too snobby to go for popular franchises – Laura Secord, Ben & Jerry’s, and Baskin Robbins are old friends of mine. I've even toured the Ben & Jerry’s factor in Vermont and can highly recommend the experience!
No Ice Cream? No Problem!
When ice cream isn't available, I made sure to seek out equally delicious alternatives. Hawaiian shave ice was an eye opening discovery! While delicious no matter how it’s prepared, I fell head over heels in love with Ululani’s Haleakala flavor (coconut, leche, and sweet cream). In Las Vegas – an ice cream worthy destination if ever I saw one – I sought out frozen custard from Luv-It’s. The lemon flavor was a great choice, but required fast action to catch all the drips! Ironically, I’ve never had gelato in Italy, but I’ve found some great sources much closer to home. I love the fruit flavors at Picton’s Bean Counter Café and Ottawa’s Pure Gelato (chocolate-orange-Toblerone please!)
Life is too short to diet on vacation! Do you have any secret ice cream places around the world?
My favourite ice cream barn flavors: Tiger, Cherry Vanilla, Cotton Candy, Orange Pineapple, Bubble Gum, and my absolute favourite flavor in the world: Moon Mist! An “out of this world” combination of banana, grape, and bubble gum. Please, I beg of you to try it out! I also beg Scotsburn to bring back their peppermint ice cream!
As always, I welcome and encourage your comments. What's the strangest ice cream flavor you've ever tried?
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