Irresistible ice cream, my dietary downfall, blissful treat. Like Mae West said about sex, "Even when it's bad, it's good."
Nine notable choices in this City of Creams:
1. Cheap thrill:
St. Clair Farms, a no-frills factory outlet on the east side, sells cones the size of a kid's head for two bucks. You would think no one could handle a double, but all kinds of people walk out trying to manage a top-heavy pint in a bursting cone. Flavour: Maple Walnut
2. Local hero:
Ed's Real Scoop, in the neighbourhood next to mine, makes high end product in tiny storefront teeming with strollers. Flavour: Sweet Cream
3. Downtown guy:
Greg's was the first boutique ice cream store and his Green Tea is one of the abiding pleasures of life. Others are crazy for his Roasted Marshmallow, which tastes exactly like sitting around a campfire.
4. Tiny perfect cones:
Solerfino serves golfball sized scoops of dense gelato for a steep $4 a scoop, which somewhat controls indulgence. Belgian Chocolate with Bitter Orange is an intense, decadent exemplar.
5. Dove bar:
La Paloma in the Italian neighbourhood is a vast gelateria with offbeat flavours like Pear Parmesan and a rare Pure Pistachio. We buy a three-flavour tray to bring to dinner parties and watch friends dip in for thirds.
6. Dutch Dreams:
The name of a kitschy, sticky parlour in a Jamacian/italian part of Toronto that cabbies call "Rasta-Pasta". Towering sundaes with zeppelins of real whipped cream and every garnish going. A week-long meal replacement in one dish. My pick: Coffee ice cream with hot fudge.
7. Do You Want Ice Cream with that DVD?
The local art movie rental stocks a freezer case stocked with eight tubs of straight-ahead fresh flavours. I'll have a cup of Almond Pistachio to go.
8. Excursion Treat:
I grew up loving frozen custard, which is to Dairy Queen what Barneys is to Sears. Sinking ecstatically into the real deal means a drive across the border to upstate New York, but thank god I can't get the eggy, unctuous richness locally. Distance controls me a bit.
9. Right Here Right Now:
The corner store stocks Drumsticks, caramel or chocolate variety, with that little last-bite nugget at the bottom... killer.