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saffron rosewater ice cream

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  • Thi N. May 15, 2002 10:28 PM
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And, because Samo mentioned it and no-one picked up on it - why the hell has nobody talked about Mashti Malone's on this board? Is it such common knowledge that one feels embarrassed to bring it up?

Anyway - for anyone who has not been - Mashti Malone's is a little - er, Persian? - ice cream place on La Brea right above Sunset. Best things there that I've had: saffron rosewater pistachio ice cream (confusingly referred to alternately as the saffron ice cream or the pistachio ice cream, but it's the same thing), ginger rosewater ice cream, creamy rosewater ice cream.

Absolutely pure, happy flavors. None of the muddiness/oversugaredness that I associate with bad ice cream around here. The saffron pistachio ice cream tastes very much of saffron, which is, in the quantities here, surprisingly warm, like a roasty vanilla - which rides happily hand-in-hand with the pistachios.

Favorite is the creamy rosewater, though - this flavor I truly cannot describe, except to say it is very good rosewater, and it is balanced with the right amount of sugar, and it is quite creamy, though not too fatty in the fashion of bad imitation-Vermont ice cream. (Ice cream around here is either too airy/whipped for my tastes, a la supermarket Breyer's, or feels like sucking on a ball of cold lard. This is right.)

This is the first time since my Boston Herrell's/Toscanini's/Christina's days that I have found happy ice cream.

I think, perhaps, too often the flavor loaded onto the ice cream doesn't really take advantage of its existence as ice cream. The chocolate is too intensely chocolate, and doesn't coexist comfortably with the coldness and creaminess of the ice cream. All the rosewater flavors, in their lightness and aroma, are very comfortable being ice cream.

Er, there are non-rosewater flavors too - there's some New Times cut-out posted in the restaurant about the wonder of the pecan pralines - but honestly, I couldn't speak about them, because I've never been able to tear myself away from it.

And Samo took me there for the first time, so I have to send him undying gratitude for that one.

Final question: does anyone know if this stuff is standard-fusion-fare, a la green tea ice cream, or if Mashti's is the world center for it?

-thi

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  1. I get my Mashti Malone fix from Tehran Market on Wilshire Blvd. around 12th St. in Santa Monica. They only have 2 flavors, Pistachio Saffron, and Rosewater, I believe. I could never tear myself from the Pistachio to try anything else. The Dates, dried and fresh are the best and the biggest I have ever had at Tehran too. They also have quite an assortment of canned stuffed things. Stuffed Bell Pepper, Stuffed Grape Leaves, Stuffed Eggplant, and Stuffed Cabbage. Not as good as homemade but lots of fun for a different dinner, add some Hummous, a few Falafel Balls, a Lavash Bread and a container of Mashti's Pistachio and you are set. I get my Taramasalata there too.

    1. I mentioned Mashti Malone's as a side comment in my review of Nippon Ramen. I've seen Mashti Malone's ice-cream in every Persian Market I've walked into from San Diego to San Francisco--it all has the La Brea address on the label, so I consider myself lucky for living so close.

      First heard about it from Persian med students I met in San Diego, but nothing is like going to the shop on La Brea and having it freshly handmade in front of you.

      1. Thi, Mashti's was discussed last September. Check the link.

        Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

        1. It seems none of the postings have mentioned Mashti's faludeh (or is that already a given there?) This is something that you must at least sample,(if you haven't already) or you can get it along side your usual. The "noodles" mixed into this sorbet of potent rosewater(maybe too potent for some) give it an interesting consistency and crunchiness that doesn't leave you feeling heavy like ice cream, leaving more room for dinner of course. You also have the option of adding a strong, sweet lemon syrup that has the flavor of lemon curd, which I like or, a stong cherry syrup, which is too sweet for me.
          His rendition of faludeh(as opposed to a shake of the same name that I had at an Indian snack place in Artesia, that tasted like something only an 8 year old could ingest) might just top my list of refreshing deserts. I found many different renditions of this depending on region, etc. on google. This one beats out boba, che, and halo-halo concoctions (most of the time) on my list of cravings.
          Try it, you'll become a faludeh fiend!

          4 Replies
          1. re: Erin

            I've never had mashti malone's faludeh (living in chicago) but kulfi faludeh is one of my favorite food memories of visiting india when i was 10 years old. The description of mashti malones is quite similar to what i remember in india. There it is pistachio or saffron kulfi lightly topped with rose water and icy cold vermicelli. On a hot night, it is the best vendor food imaginable.

            In term's of one of thi's original questions (is mashti malone's the world center for this type of ice cream: saffron and rosewater are common kulfi flavorings - so if you can find a place that makes homemade kulfi you might get a competing version. Don't get the stuff in the pink containers in the freezer - it ain't up to snuff)

            1. re: zim

              Ooohh, that sounds good! I've tried homemade pistachio kulfi from only one indian restaurant so far(I usually have NO room for dessert after Indian food), but it was w/o the rosewater and vermicelli. I didn't realize I had missed out on so much, I'll have to pace myself next time. Thanks for the info!

              1. re: Erin

                Mashti Malone's is good, but personally I like the homemade saffron/rosewater ice cream called "Golo Bol Bol" they make at a great little Persian market on Westwood Blvd. (between Santa Monica and Olympic) called Rose Market. The owner is VERY proud of his ice cream and faloodeh, and has recently started to make other flavors that are interesting -- cucumber, rose, etc. -- though that saffron/rosewater/pistachio/cheese ice cream mentioned above is the greatest.

                1. re: Erin

                  Mashti Malone's is good, but personally I like the homemade saffron/rosewater ice cream called "Golo Bol Bol" they make at a great little Persian market on Westwood Blvd. (between Santa Monica and Olympic) called Rose Market. The owner is VERY proud of his ice cream and faloodeh, and has recently started to make other flavors that are interesting -- cucumber, rose, etc. -- though that saffron/rosewater/pistachio/cheese ice cream mentioned above is the greatest.

            2. Gotta mention the frozen chunks of cream.

              Here's a link to my post on the packaged stuff we can get up here. Some day I hope to visit the mother ship.

              Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

              1. "Final question: does anyone know if this stuff is standard-fusion-fare, a la green tea ice cream, or if Mashti's is the world center for it?"

                Neither.

                Persian ice cream is a traditional Persian dessert.

                My Persian friends assure me that while Mashti Malone's is very good - the best "bastani" in the world is still found in Iran.

                They tell me that your favourite - the creamy rosewater or "bastani akbar-mashti" - is one of the favourites with Persians in Iran - like chocolate here.

                But there's still a heated ongoing debate - as is common amongst Persians - as to the best bastani source - of course in Iran.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Louisa Chu

                  Claudia Roden included an interesting digression on Egyptian ice cream in her updated classic. I wonder whether Persian ice cream, like the Egyptian stuff now impossible to find (according to Roden), traditionally included mastic and other thrillingly exotic ingredients.

                  1. re: Samo

                    Impossible to find food? That gets my blood racing.

                    I don't know but I have an Egyptian friend I'll ask. And one could always make it. Though personally I don't think I'd use mastic given its common side effects.