It’s April 17th and today is The Day. What is ‘The Day’?, you’re probably asking yourself. It’s what I call the very first day of the spring season that is truly warm and summery. The forecast calls for sunshine and temperatures of 20 degrees Celsius (68 F). The birds are chirping madly with spring excitement and people are flocking outdoors to walk around and enjoy drinks and a bite to eat on patios across the city. Twenty degrees isn’t exactly hot but consider that this was the scene in my garden last week:
So what better way to celebrate this break in the weather than with an ice cream cone? When I was a kid, ice cream was my favourite sweet treat. My grandparents always kept a container in their freezer (usually rum-raisin or pistachio) and no Sunday drive in the country was complete without stopping for a cone. I still love ice cream and it’s Italian cousin gelato and usually have a couple of containers in the freezer for an easy dessert. I tend to be partial to rich chocolate or creamy vanilla (boring, I know!) but I also enjoy seasonal flavours such as pumpkin, strawberry and even Guinness and coffee.
So if the weather is nice in your area, head out for a walk and a get a cone! I’m working on developing some homemade ice cream and gelato recipes for the summer but in the meantime, you can check out some interesting ice cream recipes such as avocado gelato in addition to more mainstream flavours:
If you happen to live in Toronto, here are a few of my favourite places for gelato and ice cream:
Ed’s Real Scoop
- Beaches – 2224 Queen Street East, Toronto
- Leslieville – 920 Queen Street East, Toronto
There are now two locations of this well loved ice cream shop – one in the Beach and a new one in Leslieville. Ed serves up a variety of flavours including their popular pumpkin ice cream. Unfortunately it’s only available seasonally so you’ll have to wait until fall to enjoy it but there are plenty of delicious flavours to enjoy throughout the spring and summer.
Greg’s Ice Cream
- 750 Spadina Avenue (corner Bloor and Spadina)
Greg’s most famous flavour is the fantastic roasted marshmallow, which many fans claim is in a league of its own. Visit their website at www.gregsicecream.com
Il Gelatiere Artigianale
- 647 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto
This gelato shop will make you feel like you’re taking a short vacation to Italy. They offer a variety of flavours so go with a friend and order a couple of scoops each so you can sample as much as possible!
If you can’t get to an ice cream shop, some of my favourite packaged ice creams/gelati include:
Mapleton’s Organics – I particularly enjoy their vanilla – it’s not too sweet and has a creamy, clean vanilla flavour.
Gelato Fresco – With a wide range of flavours ranging from pumpkin (seasonal) to devil’s chocolate, Gelato Fresco makes some of the best ‘packaged’ gelato around. Their fruit flavours are very refreshing in the summer.
All of this discussion of ice cream has me craving a cone so I’m heading out to get one and enjoy the nice weather!
Bon Appéit and Enjoy!