I scream, we scream. It seems we’re all screaming for ice cream. Perhaps because I’ve been talking about my arduous foray into ice cream tasting, or because my editor has to read my copy without getting any of the benefits, she accompanied me to this week’s destination, Humphry Slocombe.
After last week’s letdown, I decided to go with the tried and true. In high school, my friends and I were so devoted to Humphry Slocombe that at least once we lined up for the customary free scoop dispensed on the shop’s birthday, December 23. I think I was number 8.
Back then, I always chose one of the most popular Humphry Slocombe flavors, secret breakfast — a delectable combination of vanilla, cornflakes, and bourbon. The presence of bourbon in a dessert was enough to make me feel like, so incredibly cool.
Nowadays, I like it because it combines two of my favorite things: breakfast food and alcohol.
Today, my editor in tow, I knew I had to try something new. How else to show my dedication?
Inside the Humphry Slocombe, it seemed like I’d stepped back in time. There were no extra partitions, only a few signs, nothing different in the payment/scooping area. Were we really in a pandemic?
And then one of the women behind the counter called out to the gaggle of young boys with scooters behind us to “please wait outside” until the shop cleared.
Still, I was happy to be able to just stand in an ice cream shop on a July afternoon and study the display up close.
My editor, a no-nonsense type, immediately ordered her usual, the Blue Bottle Vietnamese coffee.
“What’s the most popular flavor?” I asked. And of course, got the expected answer: secret breakfast.
I tried again, “What about seasonal flavors? What are the best ones right now?”
The woman behind the counter suggested red velvet (absolutely not, isn’t it just chocolate with red food coloring?) and the strawberry blondie.
My ears perked up. I like blondies. They are a sadly underrated member of the cookie/bar dessert family.
I selected a scoop, on a sugar cone.
My editor liked her choice. It tastes like coffee, it’s not too sweet, she said. As I said, a no-nonsense type.
I was pleased that my scoop wasn’t a shocking shade of pink, like some strawberry ice creams. Nor did it smell overwhelmingly fruity.
First lick, and I was sold. The strawberry was subtle, not too sweet. The chunks of blondie were soft and moist, not too chewy, and added texture to what might otherwise have been a bit bland.
My only complaint? I couldn’t eat it fast enough to beat the sun.
At least my boss was kind enough not to comment on the ice cream melting in my hands.