Sunday, June 24, 2012

I Scream, You Scream...

... We all scream for ice cream.

LEMON, WATERMELON, FRESH FIG (AS OPPOSED TO DRIED), PASSION FRUIT...

The Dowager Duchess would love it here in Sevilla because her favorite food group is well-represented. It's called helado, but The Duchess knows it better as ice cream. (I remember The Duchess dieting when I was a kid. If she did well in the morning, she'd reward herself at noon with a bowl of ice cream. Fortunately, she never really needed to diet.) 

Sevilla has "artesan" ice cream makers all over town. They make the ice cream fresh and the flavors are exotic, unusual, and surprising. I've been to some exceptional artesan ice cream shops here, but my favorite is also the first one we found. Villar, on the street named Puerta de la Carne (or Santa Maria la Blanca), is the place we went almost every night after dinner while we were living in the hotel last year. We were always greeted with huge smiles, offered tastes of new flavors and little dollops of specialties topping what we ordered. We walked back to the hotel every night, murmuring over our treasures and imagining what we were going to have next time. Some nights, I would be told to try the flavor that had just come out from the back. Some nights, the flavor sounded god-awful. Cheese and dried figs? Even if it could possibly taste okay, who ever heard of cheese and figs refreshing the palette? Well, when made by magicians, cheese and figs blended together make a delicious ice cream.

MELON AND MANGO. THE ONE ON THE LEFT IS CALLED SANTA BARBARA.
I DON'T KNOW ALL THAT'S IN IT, BUT IT WAS AMAZING.

My cousin Al is in town for a break from his business travels around Europe. He heads off on a cruise ship late next week where he'll give some lectures on contemporary art and then, I hope, relax and enjoy the trip. He had been traveling and working non-stop for the previous 11 days. He arrived in town late Friday night and, knowing how tired he must be, I dragged him out Saturday morning for about six hours of sight-seeing. Truthfully, there was no dragging involved. He could have gone for another six hours.

REFLECTIONS OF YOURS-TRULY AND COUSIN AL IN THE FAR-RIGHT WINDOW.

We shopped, we strolled the Cathedral, we climbed the Giralda, we walked, we had tapas, we had ice cream, and we toured some more as we walked home. I had a great day. The highlight was spending time with Al. Coming in second was the ice cream. Well, let's just say the highlight was having ice cream with Al. Al had two scoops of two different flavors in a cone. I had three different flavors in a cup. I love the taste of cones and I especially love the chocolate-dipped cones. But I don't like the potential mess. I made a mess with my cup just the same since it was piled so high. I had cheese and dried fig, Santa Barbara (candied fruits in a tangy base), and melon. I don't remember what Al had because I was too absorbed in my own. I know he had a flavor made with goat cheese that sounded awful to me. He said it was exceptionally good.

SOMETHING TO PUT IT IN. ALL DELICIOUS, BUT I PREFER A CUP.

Today after breakfast, Al and I went to the Center for Contemporary Arts of Andalcucía. We had a great time, but no ice cream. Tomorrow, I think we'll end up in the charming old Jewish Quarter called the Barrio Santa Crúz. And, as long as we'll be in the neighborhood (Villar is on the street that borders Santa Cruz to the north), it wouldn't be polite to not stop by to say "hola." And, well, as long as we're there, we might want to sample some of the remaining 20-or-so flavors we didn't try yesterday. As I said, just to be polite. Besides, it's supposed to be 108 degrees tomorrow (42C). The ice cream will be required for our survival. (The Dowager Duchess would say it always is.)

THE OWNERS OF VILLAR, AS SWEET AS WHAT THEY SERVE.
(PICK A LANGUAGE, SHE'LL HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH YOU.)

33 comments:

  1. Oh, what fun trying all the ice creams! I'm with you - some of them sound really awful, but I would try a small spoonful just to be sure I don't miss anything good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jo:
      And, of all the awful-sounding flavors I've tried there, every single one has been delicious. Next time I'm there I'm getting one that has fruit, nuts, squash, and pepper!

      Delete
  2. You haven't lived until you've had soursop ice cream...guanábana as it is called in the Caribbean tropics. I don't know if any of it ever gets to Spain or if they have it in Canarias.
    But you owe it to yourself...and it is said to have untold medicinal qualities...from cancer prevention to libido enhancement...lol as if you needed that?
    saludos,
    raulito

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rualito:
      I just check out soursop. It sounds delicious and supposedly filled with antioxidants (while having "white pulp, with tones of fruit candy and smooth cream"). I'll have to see if they ever have it.

      Delete
  3. 42? We got up to 23 today. I'm in shorts and a tee-shirt. I would melt at 42.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Walt the Fourth:
      San Geraldo melts. He goes out for breakfast and then, if he can make it happen, stays in the house until dinner. Fortunately, my cousin Al and I like and tolerate the heat. At 23C, I'd definitely be wearing long pants.

      Delete
  4. How I envy your cousin Al! I love to combine travel and visiting relatives because they always know the best places. The little ice cream shop is so clean and appealing--as if the draw of ice cream isn't enough!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      The ice cream place is immaculate. Definitely adds to the enjoyment.

      Delete
  5. I think I would have to have a "small" scoop of every flavor...I don't think I would ever eat anything else....fabulous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Monkey Man:
      It seems to me it would be a really balanced diet. Their ice creams have just about every kind of ingredient. My mother would love the idea of living solely on ice cream.

      Delete
  6. Tell your mum Monkey thinks she is brilliant :) I hope you check out my new IMPROVED blog :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Monkey Man:
      Just visited. Had checked earlier but you hadn't post yet. I'm looking forward to following your progress, which means I guess you won't REALLY be living on ice cream.

      Delete
    2. Only in my dreams Mr. B ;)

      Delete
  7. I agree, ice cream for every meal sounds like a fabulous idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carole:
      I can't wait for tomorrow. I can meet my fruit, vegetable, and dairy needs. If they could just make one with soy beans, I'd have protein covered, too.

      Delete
  8. I may add: La Gran Dama Eloi seems to think that ice cream is a main course and often bypasses dinner for it. Trouble is she will only eat Bryer's and that is for rich folks.

    saludos,
    raulito

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raulito:
      La Gran Dama and The Duchess have their priorities. The Duchess takes her ice cream very seriously. She would always buy individual pints of Haagen Dazs. She put our names on them before putting them in the freezer. If we finished ours, we were out of luck. She wasn't about to share hers!

      Delete
  9. I just read your blog to Bill.... he's an ice cream fanatic... needs his fix before he heads for bed each night. Maybe we'll spend our 3 months in Sevilla this coming winter just so he can try them all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Odd Essay:
      That's a good a reason as any for coming to Sevilla.

      Delete
  10. How ironic that I was eating ice cream when I clicked on your post. Nothing as amazing as mango, but I did put a scoop of vanilla ontop of an oatmeal cream pie and added sprinkles. It was probably 500 calories but oh so freaking good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. kisatrtle:
      But they're not empty calories. They were filled with Vitamin D and calcium and... happiness!

      Delete
  11. I love the exotics -- all the Chinese and Japanese flavors and I've also had garlic Ice cream that was surprisingly wonderful.

    I shuddered at your 108 degrees tomorrow. We've just gotten over three days in the high 90s and that was bad enough!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will:
      The ice creams with exotic spices surprise me and I won't hesitate trying anything now. Today we decided to do churros and chocolate (in wonderful air-conditiioning). Tomorrow will be ice cream again. They're now forecasting 111 for tomorrow! It's only 97 right now.

      Delete
  12. I am like your mother the DD, I could happily live on icecream three times a day. I am passionate about it! (Which may possibly be why I have to diet now and then.) I would be in heaven in Sevilla.Though I don't know about goats cheese icecream ... I would give it a taste, though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judith:
      I didn't taste the goat's cheese ice cream, but Al said it was great. I'll ask for a taste tomorrow and will let you know what I think.

      Delete
  13. Ooooh
    I can not remember when I last had real proper ice cream. Perhaps in July I will allow myself a treat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ur-spo:
      Jerry and I hadn't had proper ice cream for years (all that diet stuff) and then we went to Norway and bough a couple of cones from a vendor in Bergen. Our arteries closed up on the spot, but we would have died with smiles on our faces! Now, we enjoy it when we like.

      Delete
  14. Just remind me when we're near! On a cold October day ice-cream is still okay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter:
      You'll be in Sevilla. I doubt there'll be a cold October day! We may have to suffer with ice cream on a warm October day instead.

      Delete
  15. What a wonderful post! So full of 'good stuff'! Your cousin, ice-cream, art, great ice-cream makers, colour, chocolate, ice-cream....get the picture?
    Sounded like you really had a good visit with Al.
    There is a place in Halifax where they make 'gelato' with many different ingredients too.....some sound pretty 'out there' as well. Nothing better to cool off on a hot (yes we do get hot here, in late August for about a week! lol) sunny day.
    Have a great week Mitch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim:
      Al is here until Wednesday. So, today was churros and chocolate, which he had never had. Tomorrow will be ice cream again. The sacrifices I make for my family!

      Hot in August? Does it stop snowing?

      Delete
  16. Looks absolutely yummy. You must know, however, the Romans invented GELATO (HELADO).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frank:
      Yep. Those Romans were good for quite a bit, weren't they?!?

      Delete

Tell me what you're thinking...
Dime tus pensamientos...