Too Much of a Good Thing

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michaelcarraher
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  • Location: Berwyn, PA
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2010/05/08 06:46:46 (permalink)

Too Much of a Good Thing

Babe Paley said, "You can't be too thin and too rich."
Maybe ice cream can be too rich.

Last weekend I visited the vaunted Penn State University Creamery for the first time.  It was the richest ice cream I've ever had; very low over-run (solid, heavy, almost no air in it) and very high butterfat.  I had the Peachy Paterno.  It was good but the heaviness and the butterfat taste was a bit overwhelming of the vanilla and peach flavors. 

Pennsylvania, especially the Philly area, is big on super-premium ice cream.  Bassett's, a local favorite, operates an ice cream counter in the Reading Terminal Market in Center City Philadelphia (and also sells packaged ice cream to a limited number of shops and "dipping parlors").  Penn State's ice cream is even heavier and richer than Bassett's.  I notice with Bassett's I tend to go for stronger flavors (peanut butter swirl and butterscotch vanilla) which can stand up to the richness of the ice cream. 

The best balance of richness and flavors I've found is Handel's, a franchise outfit with each store making its own ice cream, largely using ingredients (local milk, cream and fruits).  Not quite as rich, not quite as heavy and the flavors, especially fresh fruit flavors really come through.  For example, in my neighborhood, they only sell peach ice cream when the guy can get fresh peaches.  A real treat.


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