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I scream you scream....

maggiepie Aug 10, 2009 09:36 AM

We're always trying to find a good ice cream spot. My husband and I were so dispointed when we went all the way to cambridge (!) :) to try Christina's Ice Cream. The service was rude, the ice cream forgettable. I had chocolate and all I could taste was the fat. Barely any flavor at all. My husband got the fresh mint (which was pretty good) and a scoop of dark chocolate (okay). Not sure why people like this place...

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  1. n
    Northshoregirl RE: maggiepie Aug 10, 2009 11:22 AM

    I have a deep love for the burnt sugar ice cream at Toscanini's, practically next door to Christina's. Also, I haven't been for quite a while, but I'm a big fan of Herrell's in Harvard Square. Interesting flavors, cool mix ins, and they used have (hope they still do) really fabulous chocolate whipped cream.


    2 Replies
    1. re: Northshoregirl
      jgleeche RE: Northshoregirl Aug 10, 2009 08:07 PM

      I also love the burnt sugar ice crema at Toscanini's (imho a much better ice cream place than Christina's). I tried the burnt sugar ice cream at a Christina's stand at the Farmer's Market at Kendall last week and I thought it was only OK. The ice cream quality was fine, but the flavor was mild, missing the deep rich burnt sugar flavor that I find in the Tosci's version.


      1. re: jgleeche
        beetlebug RE: jgleeche Aug 11, 2009 06:24 AM

        I'm pretty sure Tosci's has burnt Caramel which gives it a more intense flavor. The burnt caramel and mexican chocolate flavors, together, is one of the best combos ever.

    2. t
      treb RE: maggiepie Aug 10, 2009 11:29 AM

      Head a little north to White Farm in Ispwich, I can't wait for Pumpkin ice cream there. Also, Benson's in Boxford for some truly awesome seasonal native fruit flavor ice creams ot frozen yogurt.

      6 Replies
      1. re: treb
        owen_meany RE: treb Aug 11, 2009 06:00 AM

        Totally agree with the White Farms recommendation. I also really like Richardson's ice cream.

        1. re: owen_meany
          StriperGuy RE: owen_meany Aug 11, 2009 07:12 AM

          Richardson's rocks, lots of places on the N. Shore carry it, and so does the Somerville Theater.

          1. re: StriperGuy
            Chris VR RE: StriperGuy Aug 11, 2009 12:49 PM

            True but I have found that it really is worth the effort to go to either Middleton or Reading to get it from an actual Richardson's outlet... at least for one of my favorite flavors, Toll House Cookie. Perhaps those locations have higher turnover, or store it better, but when I've gotten that flavor at those locations, the cookie still had a bit of crunch, whereas when I've gotten it in other ice cream stores that offer Richardson's, it's all mushy.

            1. re: Chris VR
              StriperGuy RE: Chris VR Aug 11, 2009 04:36 PM

              My favorites are their Maple Walnut (absolute best I've ever had) or any of the blackberry or raspberry based flavors.

              1. re: Chris VR
                owen_meany RE: Chris VR Aug 12, 2009 06:37 AM

                I agree with this. We actually live a stone's throw from the Reading location so we don't have to venture far but I also think that the Middleton ice cream surpasses the Reading outlet by a smidge, too. AND I can only get my favorite, German Chocolate Cake, at Middleton.

          2. re: treb
            failingwannabevegan RE: treb Aug 12, 2009 06:48 PM

            Pumpkin ice cream at White Farms... like my favorite thing in the world! In a hot fudge sundae....so good. Can't wait for fall.

          3. opinionatedchef RE: maggiepie Aug 10, 2009 12:46 PM

            As i am completely addicted to Christina's extraordinary Kulfi (cardamom) ice cream, you may find my recs invalid. (Definitely agree about the staff's rude ' could care less' attitude.)
            JPLicks, in my book, has excellent ice cream . However, I would counsel you that with all ice cream places giving you free tastes of anything you'd like, you really have nothing to complain about. . Take responsibility for your own happiness.Wherever you go, be confident; don't let them intimidate you; request samples until you find one you like.

            3 Replies
            1. re: opinionatedchef
              pollystyrene RE: opinionatedchef Aug 10, 2009 08:37 PM

              ...unless there are people waiting in line behind you.

              1. re: opinionatedchef
                catsmeow RE: opinionatedchef Aug 11, 2009 12:32 AM

                Have you had the Kulfi at Rancatore's? I have and it's my fav. right now. I'm wondering how it campares to Christina's/

                1. re: catsmeow
                  opinionatedchef RE: catsmeow Aug 11, 2009 04:04 PM

                  that's interesting to hear. i have not tried r's kulfi; had no idea they had it , and will try it now. however, r's is a much less heavy product that Ch's so I'm guessing that means less butterfat.

              2. rlh RE: maggiepie Aug 11, 2009 07:01 AM

                I hadn't been to Toscanini's Central Square for quite a while and stopped in last night (following lackluster dinner and oversweet cocktails at Cuchi Cuchi - won't be back there for a while at least...) for dessert - and wow - they are really back at the top of their game IMHO - the sugar plum sherry and bourbon vienna finger flavors I had were spectacular, as was the standby nocciola and new to me orange butter flake and buttermilk flavors my friends had - I love Herrells and Christina's as well, but Tosci's is my go to for now (the garlic flavor was interesting but needs some kind of pairing to work for me).

                1 Reply
                1. re: rlh
                  opinionatedchef RE: rlh Aug 11, 2009 04:05 PM

                  rlh, plse do tell us about Orange Butter flake. what IS it?? thanks.

                2. j
                  jillso RE: maggiepie Aug 11, 2009 06:14 PM

                  Oreo at Meletharb's, yum! I also love Cravings in Wakefield, Schoolhouse in Burlington, Carter's in Haverhill, Ron's in Dedham, Kimball Farms in Carlisle....Massachusetts has more good ice cream per square foot than any other place in the WORLD!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jillso
                    StriperGuy RE: jillso Aug 11, 2009 06:29 PM

                    Seriously, statistically speaking MA supposedly has the highest per capita ice cream consumption.

                  2. f
                    fishmanator RE: maggiepie Aug 11, 2009 07:17 PM

                    I would like to know where I can find good ice cream as well. By this I mean top quality ingredients, proper technique/production and absolutely no stabilizers. So far I have had no luck.

                    If I can make it at home with a $30 machine, some store in or around Boston should be able to do it better...

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: fishmanator
                      BobB RE: fishmanator Aug 12, 2009 01:21 PM

                      Fishman, you've posted this complaint on quite a few threads now - what evidence do you have that the better shops like Toscanini's and Christina's use stabilizers? I find no mention of that on their Web sites, or anywhere else.

                      But even if they do, what's the big deal when the stuff tastes good?

                      1. re: BobB
                        itaunas RE: BobB Aug 12, 2009 02:40 PM

                        He is correct. Most of the local ice cream shops use Hood Ice Cream base, the one possible exception being Richardson who is said to make their own base (do they?). Hood ice cream base has guar gum, maybe carrageenan and sorbate 80, it also has high fructose corn syrup. The ice cream shops vary butterfat levels, regular or uht base (probably much less common because its more expensive), but to make ice cream at the scale of these manufacturers means buying mix and mix is going to have stabilizers. I use the mix myself for convenience and its pretty lousy tasting stuff out of the bag, but infuse a small amount of good quality flavorings it makes a nice ice cream. From an ice cream shop fishmanator is going to get stabilizers around here, a restaurant making their own on a smaller scale or playing around with a pacojet might be the exception.

                        1. re: itaunas
                          jillso RE: itaunas Aug 12, 2009 02:56 PM

                          Actually lots more ice cream places in Mass use a base from Bliss Brothers, Blake's or Richardson's than Hood's. And wny? Because foodservice industry base is properly pasteurized and processed for them....an ice cream parlor mixing it's own cream and egg yolks etc would subject itself to terrible lawsuits should anyone get sick.

                          1. re: jillso
                            fishmanator RE: jillso Aug 12, 2009 06:19 PM

                            I would bet money that they are using mixes due to laziness and not fear of litigation. Lots of ice cream is sold every day in America by people who make their own mixes.

                            1. re: fishmanator
                              jillso RE: fishmanator Aug 13, 2009 10:48 AM

                              Name three successful places . And I'm not talking about high-end restaurants where they make their own and sell seven $8 scoops per night. I'm talking plenty of flavors and lines out the door, like you see at roadside ice cream stands.

                          2. re: itaunas
                            fishmanator RE: itaunas Aug 12, 2009 06:23 PM

                            I am surprised that you use the crappy mix when it isn't that hard to make yourself.

                            Perhaps I am setting the bar too high? Maybe expecting Bay State Berthillon is too big a goal.

                            but if Hagen-daaz can do it....

                            1. re: fishmanator
                              BobB RE: fishmanator Aug 13, 2009 06:45 AM

                              Interesting take on this from a thread three years ago: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3087...

                      2. d
                        digieclipse RE: maggiepie Aug 12, 2009 08:20 AM

                        Toscanini's seems to have less butterfat than Christina's, so the flavors are much more pure. I agree with the recommendations for Bourbon Vienna Finger, Burnt Caramel, and Mexican Chocolate, they're all amazing. Once when I was there they had Chocolate Whiskey flavor which I still haven't forgotten, probably a year later. And another time, Burnt Caramel-Cardamom, which was a combination of two of my favorite things ever. I could go on and on. I've only ever been disappointed by the coconut ice cream, which was surprisingly bland. Also, a Mango-Khulfee seemed to have too much going on.


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: digieclipse
                          Prav RE: digieclipse Aug 12, 2009 07:51 PM

                          God, Toscanini's bananas foster ice cream tastes like it was blessed by 1,000 fairies of the banana king.... sooooooo good

                        2. Bob Dobalina RE: maggiepie Aug 13, 2009 09:17 AM

                          Maybe I am just a real friendly guy, but I have never had rude service at Christina's. Maybe not smiley, but never rude.

                          I don't know their chocolate, but what sets them apart for me is their seasonal herbal/frutal/spice/floral flavors. Second the kulfi, their sorbets and anything non-chocolate based.

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