Ice Cream

Ev­ery sum­mer, Ber­lin­ers go wild for ice cream. Hilda Hoy got to the bot­tom of Berlin’s hot love af­fair with this cold treat.

Where Berlin - - CONTENTS - BY HILDA HOY

The scoop on Berlin's hot love af­fair with this fab­u­lous cold treat.

S weet, rich, and in­dul­gent, ice cream has been a much-loved treat ever since mankind fig­ured out re­frig­er­a­tion. But in the last few years, Berlin has been un­der­go­ing a ver­i­ta­ble ice cream boom. For­get plain old choco­late and vanilla. Say good­bye to brightly sat­u­rated scoops laden with ar­ti­fi­cial colors and ad­di­tives. Scores of new ice cream shops have popped up all over town, and in prac­ti­cally ev­ery neigh­bor­hood, small, in­de­pen­dent par­lors now hawk hand­made, top- qual­ity, ar­ti­sanal fla­vors that are, need­less to say, ut­terly de­li­cious. CLAS­SIC GE­LATO IN KREUZBERG Gior­gio and Anna Luisa Sau, own­ers of

Anna Durkes ge­lato (Grae­festr. 80, www. an­, are orig­i­nally from Sar­dinia and were still liv­ing in Mi­lan when they vis­ited Berlin for the 2008 marathon. They fell in love with the city and, a few years later, they were able to ful­fill a long­time dream and open their own ge­lato shop in the peace­ful, pretty Grae­fekiez neigh­bor­hood in Kreuzberg.

For Gior­gio, it was a re­lief to leave be­hind a stress­ful law ca­reer and in­stead spend his days chat­ting with happy cus­tomers. Anna Luisa, a for­mer bi­ol­o­gist, com­bined her sci­en­tific back­ground with in­ten­sive training from an Ital­ian ge­lato master to be­come the culi­nary whiz be­hind ev­ery lus­cious scoop that Anna Durkes sells. Their fo­cus is pri­mar­ily clas­sic Ital­ian ge­lato fla­vors like pis­ta­chio, hazel­nut, in­tense vari­a­tions of milk and dark choco­late, and crema al limone, a rich cus­tard with a whiff of lemon. Anna Luisa’s cre­ative, self-de­vised recipes are a hit too, like the ever-pop­u­lar Anna Durkes fla­vor: vanilla with peanuts and choco­late bits. Ev­ery­thing is made “the old way – from scratch,” says Gior­gio. Pro­duc­ing with­out chem­i­cal emul­si­fiers, ar­ti­fi­cial fla­vors, and preser­va­tives makes their work harder, but it’s def­i­nitely worth it. “You can re­ally no­tice the dif­fer­ence be­tween some­thing made in­dus­tri­ally and some­thing ar­ti­sanal,” he adds.

While the job is re­ward­ing, it’s also sur­pris­ingly gru­el­ing to make and sell ice cream. Last year they both worked six months straight with­out a single day off, so the aim this year is to share the work­load with a few trusted staff. De­spite all the hard work, noth­ing beats the feel­ing of be­ing one of the neigh­bor­hood’s fa­vorite spots, and Gior­gio greets many of the cus­tomers com­ing through the door by name. Over the last few years, he and Anna Luisa have watched some of their most faith­ful clien­tele grow up from ice­cream-lov­ing ba­bies to ice­cream-lov­ing kinder­garten­ers.

“I al­ways say this shop is like our liv­ing room. That’s the nicest thing about this place,” says Gior­gio with a smile. MORE CAN’TMISS SPOTS FOR HAND­MADE ICE CREAM: Hokey Pokey Eis­patis­serie Star­garder Str. 73, Pren­zlauer Berg. De­spite prices well above the Berlin av­er­age, Hokey Pokey re­mains in­cred­i­bly pop­u­lar, of­ten with a lineup down the block. And yes, the wait is worth it. Try the rocky road, au­then­tic Si­cil­ian pis­ta­chio, or sig­na­ture Hokey Pokey, vanilla with crunchy hon­ey­comb caramel bits. Die Eis­macher Körtestr. 10, Kreuzberg. www.eis­ Un­usual and cre­ative is the call­ing card here, with va­ri­eties like vi­o­let blos­som and black­berry-laven­der, plus two Filipino fla­vors, ube (a pur­ple yam) and pan­dan (a green leaf with a vanilla-co­coa aroma). Rosa Can­ina Hufe­land­str. 7, Pren­zlauer Berg. www.rosacan­ The ice cream here is fully or­ganic, though the big­gest sell­ing point is still the taste. Be­sides more tra­di­tional op­tions like blue­berry or hazel­nut, make sure to try sig­na­ture fla­vors like black se­same. Eis­man­u­fak­tur www.eis­manu fak­ With six lo­ca­tions all around the city, great Eis­man­u­fak­tur ice cream is never far away. One of Berlin’s orig­i­nal ice cream suc­cess sto­ries, the chain makes a stand­out salted caramel fla­vor and dairy-free co­coa sor­bet.

Top: ice cream at Hokey Pokey; This photo: the in­te­rior of Anna Durkes

Ice cream in a glass at Hokey Pokey; ice cream chefs in ac­tion at Hokey Pokey; ice cream scoop at Anna Durkes. Be­low: Gior­gio and Anna Luisa Sau, own­ers of Anna Durkes.

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