OK, I finally found my local ice cream connection. It’s the Penny Ice Creamery at 913 Cedar St. in Santa Cruz. I’d been satisfying my ice cream need at Ici whenever I was in Berkeley for the last year or so. Then I heard that there was a new artisanal ice cream spot nearer to me in Santa Cruz, so I decided to check it out a couple weeks ago to celebrate my Ph.D. (yay!)
I had, of all things, a scoop of parsnip-nutmeg ice cream in a cup. Sounds strange, probably, but I tell you: it’s wonderful. The subtle graininess of the parsnips complemented its earthy sweetness. It reminded me a little bit of Filipino purple ube ice cream. (Ube–pronounced ooo-bee–is a root vegetable common to the Philippines). A week later, I stopped in again, and had their rum raisin in a waffle cone. The ice cream was smooth and rich, and I could swear that the crisp cone was a touch warm, as if just off the iron. All of the ingredients at the Penny Ice Creamery are from local sources, sustainably grown, and the dairy, eggs, and sugar they use is organic.
Next time I go to the Penny Ice Creamery, I may try the Meadowsweet, which, according to the person at the counter, tastes “like flowers.” Maybe that, and the “Bitter Caramel…”
Update: Recently, the owners of the Penny Ice Creamery were invited to Washington D.C. for President Obama’s State of the Nation Address. I don’t have a television, but managed to see most of the address on my computer, and caught a fleeting glimpse of Kendra Baker and [a person I assume was] Zachary Davis, sitting in the audience!