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July is National Ice cream month (7/15/07 - National Ice Cream day)

Don't forget to celebrate.

What's new this year? What are your current favorites?

The newly opened Cici Gelato in Mill Valley is fabulous

There are currently uphill reports on Ici

Bi-Rite Creamery opened to strong applause

Snicker if you will, but Carvel came out with a nice Italian ice

National Ice Cream month and day 2006

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  1. I revisited Ici. I've change my mind. Definately worth it. I highly recommend the Santa Rosa Plum sorbet and the cardemon orange ice cream. It is not ice cream, but don't miss the coconut macaroons ... probably the best I've ever had.

    1. I stopped by Bovolo in downtown Healdsburg this evening for a gelato fix. The apricot sorbetto is sublime, brimming with soft, squishy, ripe fruit pulp. The ginger gelato has quite a kick to it.

      1. Had my first visit to Ici in Elmwood this afternoon. Sampled the chicory-chocolate chip ice cream and it didn't do much for me. Liked the burnt caramel, takes it right up to the smoky edge of charred but without the bitter, and with rich buttery flavors. Liked the Santa Rosa plum ice cream even more (yes, ice cream and not sorbet) but not as fruit-packed as Downtown's seasonal fruit ice creams. Loved the cones, very tasty and cookie-like texture, and the pleasant surprise of gooey chocolate in the bottom (was expecting a hard coating).

        Ici Ice Cream
        2948 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

        Downtown Bakery & Creamery
        308 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

        106 Matheson St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

        1. I finally tried Three Twins Ice Cream because they carry it at Bobby G's Pizza. I loved it! The cookies and cream and mint chip flavors were nostalgic and satisfying; like a gourmet version of the ice cream I ate as a kid. I think they do a much better version of the "upscale Ben & Jerry's" than Bi-Rite, which I found to be obscenely sweet and rather boring. Now that Three Twins is selling at the Tuesday Berkeley market, I imagine I will pick up a pint on occasion.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Morton the Mousse

            Don't know if you noticed, but Three Twins was selling homemade ice cream sandwiches last week at the Tuesday market. I didn't have dinner yet, or I definitely would've tried one... they looked good. I think the flavors were chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream and oatmeal cookie with, oh I can't remember, chocolate ice cream. Either way, check them out and report back.

            1. re: chemchef

              Links for the Three Twins shop and Sebastopol Berry Farm:

              Sebastopol Berry Farm
              9201 Ross Station Rd, Sebastopol, CA 95472

              Three Twins Ice Cream
              641 Del Ganado Rd, San Rafael, CA 94903

          2. Had my annual blueberry ice cream fix from Sebastopol Berry Farm this morning, $3 per scoop. Won't last much longer.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              You reall gotta ... gotta try Cici when traveling down that road ... not much of a detour and so worth it.

              1. re: rworange

                Slid into Cici tonight at 9:45pm, and it was doing a good amount of business at that time. i tasted the hazelnut (too sweet), peaches and cream (nice but too faint for me), and then strawberry and cream and toasted almond which I picked as my two flavors for a piccolo size ($4.50). Generous serving size here heaped over the top. Eased back on the sugar, clean and pure flavors although I had to stretch to find them somewhat. Serving temperature is too cold, making the gelato too stiff and numbing the tongue excessively. I was in a hurry tonight and didn't take the time to sample much. I'll return to try more some time.

                Cici Gelateria
                17 E Blithedale Ave, Mill Valley, CA 94941

            2. Don't forget about Screamin' Mimi's! July ain't over yet, and I think they still have their famous lavender ice cream available. Heavenly! http://www.screaminmimisicecream.com/

              Screamin' Mimi's
              6902 Sebastopol Ave, Sebastopol, CA 95472

              1. My plans for blackberry ice cream from Downtown Bakery & Creamery in Healdsburg got derailed today. So disappointing. But my mood changed when our dinner hostess announced that dessert would be warm blueberry cobbler and homemade blackberry ice cream!

                She foraged the blackberries from a patch along Kinley Drive near Alderbrook winery in Healdsburg on friday. A couple tips I got from other dinner guests: 1) collect the blackberries into a container no larger than a coffee tin so they don't squash down, and 2) bring a 5' ladder, as the low-hanging fruit will have been harvested by passers-by.

                1. My last entry for National Ice Cream Month 2007 - stopped at Rick's Ice Cream in Palo Alto this afternoon hoping to find seasonal flavor, blueberry. It's been at least three years since I've managed to be there at the right time. It's in the case now, but, it left me flat, all fluff and way too sweet. Has it changed or have I since experiencing Sebastopol Berry Farm's version? However, the kulfi was as great as ever and I also really liked the coffee molasses chip, very strong coffee-flavor with slightly salty crackly candy. A single mini scoop for $2.25 or a double-mini with two flavors at $3.50 makes Rick's one of the local ice cream world's best values.

                  How did others celebrate today?

                  Last fall's visit to Rick's,

                  Rick's Ice Cream
                  3946 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    I had to pick July as my eating on $3 a day month ... no ice cream for me.

                    However, coming home tonight it looks like there might be a new gelateria opening near the Grand Lake Theatre ... Gelateria Firenze.

                    Anyone have any info about it? It is across the street from where the farmers market is located.

                    1. re: rworange

                      Oh no, ice cream deprived! I've been waiting to hear about your whipping up a batch of freezer ice cream from bruised bargain fruit and marked-down sweetened condensed milk from Grocery Outlet or making kulfi with powdered milk. Now I'm sorry I wasn't more forthright in suggesting it.

                      Also, no tasting reports on the new gelato stand on Broadway in SF Chinatown.

                    2. re: Melanie Wong

                      I've got to plug Tucker's in Alameda. Mostly straightforward, traditional flavors, but done very well. But, once a year they do a Rosenblum Zinfandel ice cream with raspberry and chocolate chip - it's incredible!

                      1. re: David Carlson

                        I'm a fan of Tucker's too, and yes, the Rosenblum zin ice cream is fab! There've been some special editions using JC Cellars wine too, no?

                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          I haven't seen them, but I don't get in very often and it's always busy when I do, so I haven't had much chance to talk to the owners.
                          I've been trying to convince them to do a Scotch ice cream...

                          1. re: David Carlson

                            Great idea! I'll ask the owner there (Kate) and also suggest it to Hanger One: I think they should do St. George Scotch with walnuts (and maybe a little caramel - or is that too much?); it would be a local-item cross-promote like the Rosenblum.

                            1. re: foodeye

                              David would be the easier half to convince, as he's a Scotch fan himself.
                              I'm not sure St. George's whiskey is the best for an ice cream, though. I'd try a Macallan first - if that worked well then maybe try a more complex Scotch.
                              Of course, for parties they will do custom flavors in 5 gallon batches on site...

                              1. re: David Carlson

                                It takes some skill to get a wine-flavored ice cream to churn and freeze properly. But with its experience, I'd imagine that if anyone could make a whiskey ice cream, Tucker's can.

                                1. re: Melanie Wong

                                  Arcadia in San Jose (a Michael Mina restaurant) used to make a Jack Daniels whiskey ice cream with one of their desserts. It was amazing. Especially when they made a rootbeer float with it and sarsaparilla sorbet.

                                  1. re: Luthien

                                    Ooh, that does sound good. I had some stout gelato today, to round out our alcoholic ice cream selection!