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Cool Off with Something Sweet, Salty and Icy

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While the thermometer is displaying far too much red these days, it’s nice to float away on something cool and refreshing. For me, that most often means ice cream.

mcconnell'sI’m not just talking about any ice cream here. I’m writing about McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams from Santa Barbara, California. They’ve been on the scene since 1949, but they are only now available in San Antonio at Central Market.

So, as we are continuing to move forward despite our Blue Bell withdrawals, let’s cool off with what McConnell’s has to offer, which is labeled organic with no stabilizers, no fillers, no additives. It also has a milk fat percentage of 18.5 percent, which means it’s voluptuous on the tongue.

How it feels on the tongue not quite as important, for most of us, as how it tastes, so let’s get down to the flavors: Churros con Leche, Salted Caramel Chip, Double Peanut Butter Chip and Sea Salt Cream & Cookies.

You see the word salt there. It’s front and center, as anyone who has ever made ice cream at home knows to be a key ingredient. There’s something magical about a bright burst of salty flavor mixed in with cream and the likes of chocolate, peanut butter and caramel. (Or with fresh peaches, strawberries or your favorite fruit when you’re whipping up a batch.)

McConnell's1So, know beforehand that the all-important salt will coax a smile with most every bite. Mix that with chocolate and peanut butter together, and you have something joyous on your spoon.

Bits of churros floating in a frozen sea of dulce de leche was certainly the most welcome surprise of the flavors, a combination of comfort and tongue-tingling surprise with its cinnamon and caramel flavors coalescing into a comforting whole.

I have to single out the Sea Salt Cream & Cookies as my favorite, thought all were almost equally fine. There was something about the way the folks at McConnell’s took this most tired of flavors, made all too often elsewhere with substandard ingredients, and suddenly made it fresh again with a boldness that too it to a whole new level. To quote Molly Bloom (or, more accurately, James Joyce), “… yes I said yes I will Yes.”

At $7.50 a pint, McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams are expensive. But one taste should convince you that it’s money well spent.


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