The Ice Age
According to Annabelle Mallia, the tastiest way to cool down this summer is with two scoops of creamy decadence.
The tastiest way to cool down is with two scoops of creamy decadence.
hile no specific person has been credited with the discovery of ice cream, we know the frozen food's origins date back to 200 BC, when the Chinese created a dish of rice mixed with milk and chilled in snow. Over a thousand years later, Marco Polo returned to Italy from the Far East with a recipe that closely resembles what we today call sherbet. But it was only in 1851, when Baltimore dairy dealer Jacob Fussell hit upon an idea to utilize his milk surplus, that ice cream became a big business. Today, the addictively delicious treat is much-loved around the world, particularly right here in Berlin, where varieties range from vegan to gelato to that distinctly German curiosity, Spaghettieis.
CREAMY FLAVORS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE
At most parlors, a scoop of ice cream costs around €1, so make it a daily affair and try as many flavors as you can.
The oldest and most iconic ice cream in Berlin would have to be Florida Eis ( www. floridaeis. de), whose ads featuring a little girl holding a cone stacked with more than 20 scoops of ice cream are ubiquitous. The first Florida Eiscafé, founded way back in 1927 at Klosterstr. 15 in Spandau, still exists today and offers more than 40 flavors, including traditional Swiss chocolate, old-fashioned caramel, and banana milk cream. A visit is best combined with a leisurely stroll along the nearby Havel River. Unique to Germany is Spaghettieis, invented by an Italian living in Mannheim in the 1960s, in which squiggles of vanilla ice cream are topped with strawberry sauce and desiccated coconut to resemble a plate of the long-noodled pasta. The perfect place to indulge in a bowl and cool off between sightseeing stops is at Caffé e Gelato ( www. caffe- egelato.de) in the Potsdamer Platz Arkaden mall.
NEW CONE ON THE BLOCK
Piedmontese gelateria Giorgio Lombardi (Weinbergsweg 5) has expanded beyond its Italian borders and opened a store in trendy Mitte. In addition to natural flavors that rotate with the season, such as the refreshing pineapple and lime, the family-owned shop has semifreddo, freshly made tiramisu, and house specialty capricci, a waffle cone
lined with chocolate, filled with a shot of espresso, and topped with gobs of whipped cream and nuts. Another newcomer that has already garnered a sizable following is Romoli La Gelateria ( Schönhauser Allee 88), specializing in traditional Italian desserts and ice cream.
THE ALTERNATE SCOOP
If you’re visiting any foodie events over the summer, such as
Street Food Thursdays at Markthalle Neun and Bite Club in multicultural Kreuzberg, keep an eye peeled for the Zwei
Dicke Bären (www.facebook.com/ZweiDickeBaeren) cart, whose team has been busy baking to bring you delights such as their lemon sugar cookie and blueberry and sour cream ice cream sandwiches. Or visit the Woop Woop IceCream (www. woopwoopicecream.de) truck, usually parked at Charlie’s Beach Bar near Checkpoint Charlie, which will freeze your choice of, say, funky peanut butter and raspberry using a blast of liquid nitrogen close to – 200° C (– 330° F), right before your eyes. And at Schöneberg's Mein Lieblingseis Frozen Yogurt Bar ( Belzigerstr. 7), you can enjoy pure creaminess finished off with a choice of toppings, whilst you relax in a beach chair and the kids play in the soft sand under the shade of trees.
BEST OF THE REST
The queue outside Vanille
& Marille ( Hagelberger Str. 1, www. vanille- marille. de) attests to the small chain's reputation. The all- natural ice cream and sorbets are made in the backyard of their original Kreuzberg shop, which supplies its other three locations in Schöneberg, Tempelhof, and Steglitz. For a fancy scoop of American-style ice cream, head to Eispatisserie Hokey Pokey (www.hokey-pokey. de) in Prenzlauer Berg. Pastry chef Niko Robert, who studied in Michelin- starred kitchens, now turns his skills to creating cooling concoctions. Try the rocky road with caramelized pecans, marshmallows, and chocolate.
Clockwise: Spaghettieis, ice cream sandwiches from Zwei Dicke Bären, Woop Woop cup of ice cream, Giorgio Lombardi.