Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Slow news day? Not over at the Dining section.

So, apparently most of the oil in the Gulf of Mexico is magically gone (maybe all those small marine creatures whose bodies are bearing traces of oil and dispersants could explain how that worked), and Proposition 8 was overturned today, but MY inbox was filled with news of...wait for it...because it's a surprise...ok, here you go: ice cream.
Ryan Collerd for the New York Times
The New York Times ran several great articles on ice cream today, including one by Julia Moskin on a topic I've been pondering since I had my first $5.25 tablespoonful of Grom gelato: When did ice cream get so friggin' expensive, and can these overblown prices be justified?  The answer is, um, sort of.  In her article, "You Scream, I the Price of Ice Cream,"after several ice cream makers vainly attempt to validate their prices, one ice cream artisan gives it to her straight:

“I just don’t think $5 is a fair price for a scoop of ice cream,” said Patricia Samson, an owner of Delicieuse, a scoop shop in Redondo Beach, Calif., where the flavors include oak sap, beer sorbet and lavender. Ms. Samson makes all of the ice cream served at Delicieuse, starting from raw milk: she pasteurizes, ripens and flavors the ice cream on site. She uses local fruit in season, opens only on weekends to keep wages to a minimum, and still manages to sell her ice cream for the relative bargain price of $2.95 a small. (Grom, it should be noted, will soon open its first United States store outside New York near her.) “Milk and sugar are cheap,” she said.

I'm going to have to go ahead and agree with that.  Organic milk and organic sugar are a little more expensive, but - neighbor, please - not $5.25 expensive.  Moskin forgot one of the most egregious offenders, though.  Mr. Batali at Otto kick-started the inflation with his $12 pints, which, to be fair, they did deliver as far as my house.  But I stopped in there with a friend the other day to get two cups to go, and they had the nerve to bring me a bill for $15 plus tax, and a space to leave a tip.  By the time I heaved my jaw off the floor, did the math and got my card back, the gelato was all melted and I had somehow misplaced $19.  The woman in the NYT story who paid $10 for two small servings made off like a bandit.

There were also stories on egg-free ice cream (more on this later) and recipes for maple spice, bittersweet chocolate, roasted hazelnut vanilla and summer berry ice cream.


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