On our trip to Disneyworld last week, I was very dedicated to my cause and couldn't stop brainstorming and craving ice cream. Nearly every day, we tried a new ice cream treat that left me feeling inspired or gave me some new insight on ice cream-making. Thankfully Josh didn't mind me working while we were on break.
Our first ice cream experience at Disneyworld had to be a Dole Whip float. There's nothing more appealing on a sticky hot day than a tall cup of pineapple juice and pineapple soft serve. I never go to Disneyworld without getting one (usually two). The ice cream is your typical soft serve texture- soft, melts fairly quickly, and has a fair amount of iceyness to it. I love to eat it very slowly to let it melt a little as I work, then sip up the juice with some melted ice cream. Yum!
The next ice cream experience was the cookie ice cream sandwich from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. This was less of a study and more of a fun treat since the ice cream from this parlor comes from Dreyer's/Edy's and we all know it's decent but very mainstream ice cream. I mostly just wanted to try the cookies sandwiching the ice cream which were indeed perfect for sandwiches. Firm but soft, so you could take a clean balanced bite of both ice cream and cookie that wouldn't leave a mess of broken cookie and ice cream in your hand. The shop itself was adorable and old-fashioned and one of the ladies working there was happily singing as she worked.
During our one "day off" from the Disney Parks, Josh and I spent an afternoon at Disney Springs for some shopping, eating, and seeing a movie. We found Vivoli Il Gelato and I had to check it out as I always have a hard time resisting trying a new ice cream shop. Apparently this location in Disney Springs is the second and only other location of an authentic gelato shop founded in Florence, Italy. I don't want to be rude but... really? This is what I have to look forward to in Italy? I mean, the ice cream was good. I don't mean to say that you should all avoid eating at this place, but I expected a bit more. The dark chocolate gelato was good and had an amazing texture, but the flavor wasn't as deep as I'd like. The stracciatella was much icier than the chocolate ice cream and I just didn't care for it too much. I had a few bites and then let Josh eat the rest of that side. If I were to go back, I think I'd try something a little more adventurous to see what more they can do.
While we were at Epcot, the Food & Wine Festival was still going on which excited me greatly. Nearly every thirty feet on the World Showcase were food stalls serving up fare from around the world. We ate a few things from the Food & Wine stalls but after paying $5 for a sub-par cannoli the size of my thumb, I decided we wouldn't buy anything else. That was, until I found the stand selling caramel ice cream and cream soda floats! How genius! So we got our last treat from Food & Wine and weren't disappointed. The ice cream and soda paired perfectly, though I do wish both flavors had been more pronounced. It was the perfect afternoon treat and had me itching to go home and make these floats myself. I'm not much of a connoisseur of creme soda so does anyone have any suggestions?
My favorite of all the ice cream I ate at Disneyworld was from L'artisan De Glace in France at Epcot. They serve 16 flavors of artisan french-style ice cream and I had a tough time deciding between the vanilla pear and chocolate, salted caramel, or the lemon ice cream with meringue. Unfortunately we could only select one flavor for the single serving cup, but once our server scooped, I didn't have to question why. The ice cream was so soft, his scoop barely had to work to create a perfectly formed tennis-sized ball. We chose the lemon with meringue and I have zero regrets. This ice cream was the most fluffy and soft ice cream I have ever tasted- it must have been churned at high speed as it was almost moussey. The lemon flavor reminded me of my favorite lemon cake- not very tart and very creamy. The meringue chunks were perfect, giving you a soft something to chew that paired perfectly with the lemon flavor. I definitely want to try adding meringue to my ice creams.
It seems our trip to Disneyworld was exactly what I needed, not just because it was a fun break with family, but because the treats we ate gave me a good hit of inspiration that I was really craving. There are so many flavors I'm itching to make!