Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Carmela: Local ice cream now in holiday flavors
Recently I was listening to NPR when the commentator started a story, "Chances are that today you bought something made in China." I was feeling kind of smug, because in fact that was the day I bought beautiful handmade silver earrings from Sasha Bell Jewelry, a vintage Mexican silver ring at the Silver Lake Art Craft & Vintage sale and adorable designer seconds from All-Mighty. It was a very locally-made day.
Then at home, my kids and I sampled holiday ice cream flavors sent over from Carmela Ice Cream, which is made right in L.A. with seasonal, local and organic ingredients including herbs from Silver Lake Farms. Did I say really local? My daughter loved the dark chocolate cacao nib flavor, despite an earlier bad experience with overly earthy nibs at Scharfenberger. My son quickly polished off the candied pecan. I thought the cranberry orange thyme sorbet would make a perfect palate cleanser during Christmas dinner. We all liked the refreshing spiced strawberry sorbet (pictured at center). The teens found the nutmeg a bit too nutmeggy on its own, but we all agreed it would be an excellent addition to a slice of pumpkin pie. But the piece de resistance was the salted caramel -- this is the best ice cream I've had in a long time, and I'm afraid I'm going to have to lay in a large supply of it. The perfectly-balanced amount of salt cut the sweet caramel in just the right way, and I didn't even resort to my usual tinkering with pomegranate syrup and such.
Carmela is great stuff, and although they sent me this sampler, I've bought it before and will continue to -- especially the salted caramel! It's available on the website, at the Hollywood and South Pasadena Farmer's Markets, and at restaurants including Tasca, Auntie Em's and Cafe Was.
at 9:28 AM