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This Month's Hot Deals

A Journeywoman's Beat-the-Heat Fact Sheet

Ice cream is cool...

Can you think of a better way to beat the heat than to indulge in the best ice cream in town. We asked readers in Europe to tell us about where they go to get their personal best of the best. This is what they said ...

Edinburgh, Scotland...
If you're in Edinburgh and craving a tasty ice cream treat that a typical "99" (vanilla ice cream with Cadbury's Flake) will not satisfy, hop on bus 26 and head for the seaside 'burb of Musselburgh, to Luca's where you can have what many consider Scotland's best ice cream. On sunny summer days, the queue is around the block, but why not go inside and grab a table - the wait is always less, the comfort food is good, and you can order those old-fashioned, oversized, coma-inducing desserts you know you wanted. Note: There is a Luca's in Edinburgh, but the original has that charm you can't get in town.
Andy, Edinburgh, Scotland Twitter address:

Amsterdam, Holland...
Family-run business Linde makes a truly frozen whipped cream, which resembles a soft ice cream. It is located directly across the street from the Hema on Nieuwendijk (in the city centre, a short distance from the Dam Square). The goat farm (Geitenboerderij) in the Amsterdamse Bos sells the most fabulous, creamy goats ice-cream 'farmed', needless to say, from their own goats. Ijscuypje which is just off the Albert Cuypstraat (at the Albert Cuyp market) on the Eerste van der Helststraat 27 sells some of the best ice-cream in Amsterdam.
Keith, Amsterdam, Holland. Blog:

Brussels, Belgium...
From my point of view, here in Brussels, the two best ice cream places are:
Capoue 27 different rotating flavors and 13 permanent flavors to choose from.
Zizi Located at Rue de la mutualité 57A corner of Vanderkindere. Click here for their mouthwatering menu.
Ann Wulf, Twitter address:

Paris, France...
I love ice cream, but I am in love with gelato. I crave the consistency and all of the fresh, luscious flavor creations. And while everyone else in Paris is queuing at Berthillon, I head for Pozzetto. Located in the Marais, this tiny gelateria manages to churn out homemade Italian gelato, in flavors like pistachio, peach, strawberry, and even fig. If you're just having gelato, order from the street side window. But if you are looking for an espresso or cappuccino as well, take a seat inside the caffè.
Robin Locker, USA. Blog:

Hove, England...
I live in Brighton & Hove, in South-East England, and the best ice cream here by far is in Hove, at a family-run Italian diner on the seafront called Marroccos. Fabulous. It's all homemade with flavours such as apple crumble and chilli chocolate, strawberry cheesecake with real pieces of cheesecake in it. The best thing about it is that it's just at the end of my road!
Clare Davies, Hove, England

London, England...
For best Italian gelato in London, I vote for Scoop in the heart of Covent Gardens. Bonus: They offer gluten and sugar free flavors.
Fede Rilli, London, UK . Twitter address:

Florence, Italy...
In Florence I recommend Gelateria Le Carrozza (near the Ponte Vecchio). What better place to have a light lunch or meal than at an ice cream parlor. Located just on the Duomo side of the Ponte Vecchio, this is one of my favorite traditional ice cream parlors. Moreover, it has a small dining menu too. The banana splits are a big favorite here By the way, Marco Polo did not bring the banana split to Italy. The banana split was invented in 1904 at Strickler's Drug Store in Pennsylvania.
Judy Witts, Florence, Italy. Blog:

Rome, Italy...
Giolitti may be the most famous gelateria in Rome. Some find it old fashioned and outdated, but in reality the ice creams here are off the chart. There's dozens of flavors and some of the best are fruit flavors like fig, pink grapefruit, and watermelon. Also worth a taste are the vast varieties of chocolate: gianduia, bacio, cioccolato bianco and more. Closed Mondays.
Via Uffici del Vicario 40 (near the Pantheon)

Il Gelato di San Crispino has recently come to the forefront of the Italian gelato scene and its fame is well-earned. The gelato is made by two brothers who oversee every step of its production. Fruit flavors are seasonal for they make use of the cream of the crop. And there are innovative flavors as well, such as ginger and cinnamon or balsamic vinegar. The brothers refuse to have their ice cream eaten on cones: they think this contaminates the gelato and detracts from its taste. It seems right to take their word for it. Don't miss this one! Closed Tuesdays. Via della Panetteria 42 (near the Trevi Fountain)


Ice cream etiquette...

Think of Italy in the summertime, and you think of ice-cream. Having a gelato, whether seated at a café, or while strolling the streets, is a delightful treat that is synonymous with sunny weather and leisurely days. But what to choose? The average Italian ice-cream shop, or gelateria, offers between 20 and fifty flavors. These are divided into cream-based (creme) and fruitbased (frutta). You will see this distinction made on the menus when you are choosing your coppa, or ice-cream sundae. If you are opting for an ice-cream to eat in the street, you will notice that the display is divided into two: fruit flavors on one side, cream-based ones on the other.

Among the classic fruit-based flavours, lemon (limone) and strawberry (fragola) are always popular and work very well together. Other ideas could be peach (pesca), melon (melone), and fruits of the forest (frutti di bosco). In terms of cream-based ice-cream, there’s coffee, hazelnut, cream, as well as chocolate, which, incidentally is the Italians’ favourite flavor.

When to eat ice-cream? After lunch as a dessert, mid-afternoon as a cooling pick-me-up, about 7pm, when it is not yet dinner time but you feel like a little something, and after dinner.

How to eat ice-cream? Either seated or walking around. What you choose depends on how you feel. Tired feet need a rest at times. Sitting under a shady umbrella, watching the world go by on a café terrace as you savour a delicious cup of ice cream -- brought to you on a silver tray by a waiter -- is what memories are made of. But you pay for the privilege. If you have bought a cone or a cup of ice-cream from that same café, and you want to sit and eat it, then you are expected to make your own arrangements. Find a convenient wall on which to perch, or a park bench, or just keep strolling. There’s no rush. Just enjoy.

Just in case you were wondering… what happens to those delightful ice-cream shops (gelaterie) when the sunny days become few and far between? Well, that depends. Some bars where you can buy fresh ice-cream, just shut down that section between October and April. Other places keep a small selection, because ice-cream is a welcome gift when one is invited to someone’s house for lunch or dinner. Rather than buy a cake, or even an ice-cream cake, you can take a box of ice-cream. Now, isn’t that a nice idea?

Roberta Kedzierski writes as on Twitter, where she reports from Italy, on Italy, and a lot more, besides.

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