Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ice Cream Dreams

I vaguely remember a time when Memorial Day signified the start of summer. But after three consecutive days of wind and rain and no sign of the sun it was up to me to prove to my visiting friend from steamy NYC that Seattle still has some summer treats to offer. After feasting on brunch at Portage Bay Cafe, it was time to pull out the big guns and off we went to Molly Moon's.

I remember the first time I drove past Molly Moon's - it had reminded me of the first time I walked past Magnolia Bakery in the West Village. With a line wrapping around the block, anticipation seemed to be an important part of the experience. This time there was still an impressive line given that it was gray and rainy. Waiting subjected us to the smell of freshly baked waffle cones, oppressive to my gluten-free gut. Undecided between two flavors, my friend settled on a split scoop sundae while I spied a vegan flavor on the menu and, despite no intent to purchase anything, requested a taste that was so unexpectedly delicious I walked out with a pint to store in my freezer for a sweet fix.

For most of my life I would have said that my favorite food was ice cream. As a kid my school bus dropped me off at Baskin Robbins every day and I had a single scoop cone every afternoon as I walked the three blocks to my apartment. I was also introduced to homemade ice cream at Eddie's Sweet Shop in Queens, where I was rewarded after my weekly soccer game. Looking back it seems I was conditioned to enjoy ice cream after just about anything -school, games, the beach. During college I made a daily trip to Max and Mina's for creative and bizarre ice cream creations. Now that I'm dairy and soy-free my ice cream fancy is less frequently tickled but Molly Moon's certainly hit the spot. So when I came across this piece today about a Brooklyn-based ice cream shop opening a location in Rwanda, I had to share. The shop will provide economic opportunities to Rwandan women and will source its ingredients locally, all of which sounds like a noble enough cause. But while I love ice cream and certainly believe in aiding with economic growth in Africa, is this really the best small business model they could come up with? There's a part of me that is somewhat cynical about this venture - ice cream, really? And then there's the part of me that remembers how much ice cream has been a part of celebration in my life and hopes it can bring some joy to parts of the world who have never sampled its sweetness.


  1. You got me in the mood for Eddie's home made ice cream and freshly whipped cream on top! I'll celebrate something!

  2. yay portage bay and yay molly moon! love it - now i want to go there

  3. Was it the Theo coconut? That stuff is amazing!!!

  4. It was Vivace Coconut! Do they have Theo Coconut too? I'll have to go back!