I think the cookbook publishing world is conspiring against me and all the other broke-as-a-joke sweets enthusiasts out there. Why else would they tempt us with the back-to-back releases of recipe books from two of San Francisco’s best ice creameries?
Once upon a time, Dr. J and I lived in Palo Alto, about 40 minutes south of San Francisco, and summers inevitably meant afternoon jaunts to the city for a scoop of ice cream. I know, I know–you’re thinking, Damn, is Palo Alto that hard up for a decent ice cream shop? Why would you drive 30 miles just for a scoop?
Well, if you’ve never had ice cream in San Francisco, well, you’ve never truly lived, my friend. San Francisco has a reputation for its world-class food culture for a reason–everything is not only fresh, but innovative, and those qualities shine through especially well in its ice cream.
You’ll always find lines out the door at Bi-Rite Creamery and Humphry Solcombe, so it was only a matter of time before both of them came out with their own recipe books. I haven’t personally seen any advance copies yet, but I can imagine what will be in store for each.
Both creameries are located in the Mission District, but both have very different reputations. Bi-Rite Creamery, for example, has a family-friendly feel, and uses organic milk from Straus Family Creamery, the only certified organic dairy west of the Mississippi, and flavors include Earl Grey, meyer lemon, orange cardamom, roasted banana, honey lavender, ginger and the bestselling salted caramel. I’ve had the latter two, and let me tell you–they are ahhh-mazing.
But if Bi-Rite Creamery is Sesame Street, Humphry Slocombe definitely skews toward Avenue Q–it’s an ice cream playground for adults with such sophisticated combinations as green tea and black sesame, Blue Bottle Vietnamese coffee, pink grapefruit tarragon and Andante chevre and strawberry jam. And let’s not forget the really fun, boozy flavors, including butter beer, Russian Imperial stout, Guinness gingerbread, Luna Blanca ale, and my personal favorite, Secret Breakfast, which is bourbon with cornflakes. I wonder whether it’s possible for someone to get a nice buzz from ice cream?
I guess I’ll have to wait until April to find out, when Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book and Bi-Rite’s Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones are finally released. Until then, I’ll start socking away some cash to spend on these books and to buy ingredients to follow the fabulous recipes I’m sure they contain!