I was telling my massage therapist that I had heard that New Englanders eat more ice cream year round than any other part of the United States. As a New England ex-pat, I consider it my duty to continue certain traditions. After getting my massage, I wandered over to Red Mango to get my winter’s ice cream requirement.
I got the mix of peanut butter and hazelnut yogurt, topped with vanilla yogurt, strawberries, chocolate chips, and one rainbow cookie (missing from the picture because it was quickly eaten). Yum! I do love Red Mango’s frozen yogurt. It’s not ultra sweet.
However, it’s not quite the saaaaame as ice cream. It’s what I can get around here year round. I do have a Hershey’s ice cream store that is part of a local car wash (no, seriously – get your car washed and eat ice cream while you wait. Brilliant!).
To me, the best ice cream in the world comes from Toscanini’s Ice Cream Shop in Cambridge, MA. How I miss it!! Don’t bother visiting Harvard University – go get ice cream from Toscanini’s. I’m telling you. You won’t regret it.
How do I know? Well, let me tell you about Toscanini’s. Did I mention it was the best ice cream store in the world? First, they make all their own ice cream from scratch using fresh ingredients. That to me is key. However, the staff often experiment with flavors. The kitchen is viewable from the street, so you can see what’s going on. I rather like being able to see the food as its prepared. It makes me feel like the establishment is helping ensure purity through transparency.
I would not be doing my bloggerly job if I did not tell you that one huge delight is the extensive menu. It’s not unusual to see 25 different kinds of ice cream on the list. Best of all, the flavor varieties change week to week, all year round. I was on a sweet cream kick for a while. My two all-time favorites, in order, were the strawberry ice cream and, one of many ingenious concoctions, bourbon vienna finger cookie ice cream. I’ve also tried lemon espresso, honey lavender, cherry, coffee heathbar, and many, many others. I dare you to get bored eating their ice cream. Not possible.
If you’re anything like me and you like to shop at locally-owned establishments, then going to Toscanini’s for a pint of ice cream instead of buying a pint of Ben & Jerry’s or one of the other containers in a supermarket is for you! I like that the owner of Tosci’s, Gus, often works in his own store, serving customers, helping with supplying the front, or working in the back with the ice cream. Whatever he needs to do, he does. Gus is an active and beloved member of the Cambridge, MA community, and he makes the best ice cream in the whole world.
When I moved back to New York, I moved over 200 miles away from this little place of heaven. I dream about it, talk about it, and yearn to get my next ice cream from Gus. In the meantime, Red Mango or the Hershey’s at the car wash will get my business.
Til next we eat, Tosci’s!