Sunday, September 19, 2010

Professional Foray #11, Emack and Bolio's, Houston Street, New York

Zagat's, the Scoop on Cones, and my friend Oscar all think this is some of the best ice cream in New York City.  Is it?  They definitely have ground-breaking flavors, and for someone whose benchmark is Cookies and Cream, I was delighted to hear from the proprietor that E & B were the first company to put Oreos into ice cream, in 1975.  "That's why it's called 'The Original Oreo,'" she explained.  

Since 1975, the instinct to throw Oreos into ice cream has gone unrestrained, resulting in such triumphs as peanut butter Oreo, and my favorite, Grasshopper Pie: mint chip ice cream - WITH OREOS.  I am so, so grateful to this company for replacing the "or" (as in "mint chip or mint Oreo?") and replacing it with that vastly preferable conjunction, "and."  The chocolate is very rich and tasty, as is the Cosmic Crunch - vanilla ice cream, caramel swirl, chocolate chips, walnuts, and cookies.  The "Deep Purple" black raspberry flavor is also divine - much more flavorful than the wan, rather artificial stuff I'm used to seeing.

You may have noticed I'm dodging the aforementioned question.  It may very well be the best ice cream in New York, and I appreciate that they were using non-hormonally-charged milk way before anyone else, but my book, it's slightly too rich.  It is super-premium ice cream, meaning it has a butterfat content of, most likely, above 14% (the International Dairy Foods Association doesn't have specific guidelines on this, but this is commonly accepted), much higher than the 5-8% that's normally found in gelato.  And I, my friends, have been eating a lot of gelato lately.  When it came time to take charge of my double-scoop cone of Original Oreo and Grasshopper pie, I was barely equipped to handle it.  

It was like training for a marathon by running around the Central Park reservoir once a week for a month.  I just wasn't ready.  My body couldn't take it.  The ice cream felt dangerously rich; I could hear it whispering for an angioplasty as it slid down my throat.  I needed gulps of water between bites.  But that said, it sure tasted great.  And I've been back - training, as it were - several more times since then.


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