Memories are always tricky. They suddenly pop up in your head and remind you of your experiences – good or bad. As I devoured the last bite of Mango ice cream, it took me through a journey of my love affair with ice cream.
Here are few of my memories:
Summer Vibes, Orange Bar, and Mama:
During childhood, I used to spend every summer vacation in Bhopal. It’s still one of my favorite memories where all cousins used to get together and have a blast. We used to go to Zoo, lake, and play silly games.
One day, in the middle of the night, we started craving for Orange Bar. There was none at home, so we told Mama (mom’s brother) who always fulfilled our wishes.
He drove around the city for an hour and got us orange bar. We were delighted and jumped out of our bed and started eating the orange bar. After all, happiness is found in small things such as enjoying an orange bar in the middle of the night.
As an adult, I reflect and wonder “How did he find an ice cream shop at 1 am?”
On a side note, Mami makes delicious homemade ice cream.
Empty Freezer, Vanilla Brick, and Family Joke:
During summer, Mom used to bring ice cream brick, and store in the freezer for dessert. When everyone was asleep, I would wake up and finish the entire brick on my own. Also, leave the wrapper in the freezer.
My sister always used to complain the next morning that she never got a chance to eat it while mom would blame either me or Papa (another sweet tooth in the family).
This cycle continued for years until I left the house for college.
My family still jokes “Why did you leave behind ice cream wrapper in the fridge?”
Favorite ice cream spot in every city that I have lived:
Udaipur: During childhood, I used to frequently visit Sukhadia Circle to eat the Royal Falooda ice cream after tuition.
Bangalore: While pursuing engineering, I was a broke college student, yet I would save money for months to eat death by chocolate ice cream at the corner house. Finishing death by chocolate in a single sitting is a real challenge.
Pune: At least twice a week, I ate coconut flavor ice cream at Naturals. It became an after-work Friday night ritual.
Baltimore: Although I didn’t explore a lot of shops since I was a broke grad student. Occasionally, I used to visit the Cold Stone ice cream shop near the campus. I liked their Candy flavor.
Atlanta: Every time, we went to Patel store, a popular Indian store, we used to stop at Jenny’s ice cream. If you haven’t eaten there, then you haven’t lived in Atlanta.
NYC: Every once in a while, I bike ride to Lower East Side to visit Morgenstern’s Finest ice cream. I love their burnt honey vanilla and black coconut.
Travel stories and ice cream adventures:
Whenever I travel to a new city, I always google “The best ice cream shop in….”
There isn’t much to share except I am enjoying delicious ice cream in XYZ shop. Although, few stories stand out:
Yafa, Israel: Sometimes you find a hidden gem when you’re lost. We were walking cobbled streets of Yafa on a hot humid day. Suddenly, we found a tiny ice cream shop. The server looked at me and said “Namaste, Kaise Ho (How are you)?”. Sometimes, it’s good to hear your native language in a foreign country. She shared her 3 months backpacking experience in India and said “People in India barely make ends meet, but their chai is strong, their food is delicious and their hearts big“.
Florence, Italy: I got lost trying to find a famous gelato shop. I blame it on my poor navigation skills. The 20 mins wait was worth the pain.
Nara, Japan: After a hectic day, we sat under a tree and admired the wild deer in the park. Suddenly, I saw an ice cream truck where I bought Matcha ice cream. Within a few minutes, I was recharged and ready to visit more sights. Since then, whenever I am tired, my friend ‘Arthi’ used to point to the ice cream shop and tell “go eat Matcha ice cream to recharge your energy.”.
- Vanilla is my favorite flavor and secret sauce to my happiness.
- Vanilla Test: Whenever I visit an ice cream shop, I try a sample of Vanilla to check the quality. If you can’t get the basics right, then you can’t make a good ice cream.