We All Scream for Ice Cream: Ice Cream Grows Up

From Foie Gras to Yellowfin Tuna, Pear & Bleu Cheese to Rosemary Honey Goat's Milk, ice cream isn'ts just kid's stuff anymore...

Taos Cow Ice Cream scooped at Cocopelli Chocolatier.

“The Only Emperor is the Emperor of Ice Cream”
~ Wallace Stevens

Ice cream season is here, so let's take a look at the latest trends in one of the world's most popular desserts. On the national front, Ben & Jerry's has just announced that in honor of Saturday Night Live's 40th anniversary this year, it's releasing four new ice cream flavors, including  Gilly’s Catastrophic Crunch, inspired by the zany schoolgirl character created by Kristen Wiig, and Lazy Sunday, named for the music video sketch with the same title, featuring Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell eating cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery and buying food to smuggle into a Sunday matinee of “The Chronicles of Narnia.”

Gilly's flavor offers a decadent blend of chocolate and sweet cream with fudge-covered almonds, caramel clusters and marshmallow swirl, while Lazy Sunday features cake batter ice cream studded with chocolate and yellow cupcake fragments and chocolate frosting swirl. The other two flavors will be announced later this year. Sadly, you'll only find these SNL sketch-inspired flavors at Ben & Jerry's scoop shops, which aren't anywhere nearby by, but perhaps there will be one where you spend your summer vacation.

Here's the scoop on other flavors introduced this year, according to an urbanfood.com blog. I'd definitely try the Mascarpone Chile Blackberry from Denver's Sweet Action Ice Cream as well as Rosemary Honey Goat's Milk from Philadelphia's Capogrio Gelateria. Not sure, though, about Yellowfin Tuna Cones from Sobu in New Orleans or Foie Gras from San Francisco's Humphrey Slocombe. And Pear with Bleu Cheese from Portland's Salt & Straw might work better as an appetizer instead of dessert.

One of my longtime favorite flavors, Moosetracks, is a brilliant blend of vanilla ice cream with mini chocolate peanut butter cups and a chocolate liquid swirl, which I savor at least once every summer at Emack & Bolio's ice cream stand in Orleans on Cape Cod.  And I still recall the perfect flavor of pumpkin ice cream that I ate as a kid at a New Hope, Pa. ice cream parlor, which displayed a replica of the famous painting of Gen. George Washington in a boat crossing the Delaware during the Revolutionary War. Every man in the rowboat held an ice cream cone. The painting made perfect sense when I later learned  that ice cream became popular in the U.S. following the Revolutionary War, after Thomas Jefferson had tasted it in France and become a fan, and that as president, Washington spent $200 on the sweet treat during a heat wave in the summer of 1790.

You'll find more flavors of the frozen sweet treat in Santa Fe than you will at any Baskin & Robbins ice cream parlor.  Cocopelli Chocolatiers, located at 3482 Zafarano across from the Capitol Grill in, offers Taos Cow ice cream in creative flavors such as Mexican Hot Chocolate, Piñon Caramel Vanilla; Cherry Ristra, with white and dark chocolate chunks and piñon nuts; Lavender; and Holstein Sunset, with strawberries and white and dark chocolate chunks.

At the Taos Cow scoop shop, located at 485 Highway 50 in Arroyo Seco—outside of Taos—you'll find more flavors, including Buffalo Chip, vanilla ice cream with dark chocolate-covered coffee beans; Cafe Ole, coffee ice cream with cinnamon and dark chocolate chunks; Chocolate Rio Grande, chocolate ice cream with piñon nuts,
pecans and dark chocolate soft chunks; and Pistachio White Chocolate, pistachio ice cream with pistachios from Alamogordo with white chocolate soft chunks. Taos Cow, founded in 1993, makes all natural ice cream that is rGBH-free and contains as many local and organic ingredients as possible.

Cocopelli also offers award-winning handcrafted all natural, rGBH-free gelato and sorbet from  Van Rixel Bros. Gelato & Sorbet . Gelato flavors include Tuscan Hazelnut and Crème Brìûlée Vanilla and sorbet options include Mayan Spiced Chocolate, Thai Coconut and Strawberry Pomegranate. You'll find more flavors at Van Rixel Bros. Gelato & Sorbet in Albuquerque, located at 315 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE, including Smoked Sea Salt & Honey Caramel as well as Tiramisu gelato and Strawberry Pomegranate and Blood Orange sorbet.

Kakawa Chocolate House, at 1050 Paseo de Peralta, offers a rotating selection of homemade ice cream in flavors that include spicy Aztec chocolate with a cinnamon and red chile blend;  sea salt caramel, lavender mint and blueberry basil.

Ecco Gelato and Espresso, located at 105 E. Marcy St., offers a constantly changing selection of gelato and sorbet in exotic flavors, from Strawberry Habanero, Fig & Walnut, and Plum Sake to Chocolate Cabernet, Apple Pie, Cantaloupe, Persimmon, Balsamic Strawberry and Amaretto Peach.You'll also find an array of stracciatella,  an Italian milk-based gelato typically filled with fine bits of chocolate that crunch with every bite. Offerings here include raspberry, cherry and coconut.

With two Santa Fe locations—downtown at 325 W. San Francisco St. and across from the Regal Cinema at 3466 Zafarano Dr.—Ellie's Yoberri Park offers a rotating selection of 67 flavors of homemade frozen yogurt from the company's own recipes, made with less sugar than other frozen yogurt makers, and 25 different toppings. Flavors include Chocolate Ginger, Mexican Chocolate, Green Tea, Pumpkin, Italian Biscotti, Pomegranate, Passionfruit, Sangria and Banana Agave.

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