Berthillon ice cream

Paris, Friday August 2, 2013 065

Yesterday was hot. Very hot. And I took the day off work, not because it was hot but because everyone takes time off during July-August.  After my Pilates class, I headed to the river and to Berthillon glacier (ice creams and sorbets) located on the small island of Ile Saint-Louis in the middle of the river Seine.

Paris, Friday August 2, 2013 085Paris, Friday August 2, 2013 081What’s funny is that the original Berthillon ice cream parlour is closed during July and August!  Isn’t that a hoot?  Luckily, the Ile Saint Louis is served with a half-dozen outlets.Paris, Friday August 2, 2013 059

You either line up and purchase your ice cream take-out or sit inside and have it served to you.  It was so hot I had to sit down and order an apple juice while perusing the list of a dozen or so flavours ranging from fig to litchee to mandarin orange. Sorbet, or sherbet in English, has 30% less calories.  I ordered mango and cherry sorbet.

Paris, Friday August 2, 2013 071Paris, Friday August 2, 2013 068

Isn’t this the most gorgeous-looking sorbet?  Eating Berthillon is an event because the flavour is so intense and the taste sensation so startling, you swear you’re eating a real mango and real cherries. Once the fruit sorbet eaten, I ordered a single scoop of réglisse. Never having tasted licorice ice cream before, I was curious. (I thought it would be black – photo below).  Again, the flavour bursts in your mouth.  One scoop is 3 euros 50, two scoops 6 euros 50.  For take-out, one scoop is 2 euros 50, two scoops 4 euros.  

I like that the word “flavour” in French is parfum.  I like that metal and not plastic spoons are used.  I like the edible wafer cup (coupelle en gaufre) that the sorbet is served in and I like the pitcher of water that’s offered.

Paris, Friday August 2, 2013 080

Afterwards I strolled the streets of the Ile Saint Louis and then made my way down to the river.  A hot wind was blowing.  …….to be continued.

6 thoughts on “Berthillon ice cream

  1. Oh, these ice creams look gorgeous. (When I was a child in Victoria, B.C. in the early 1960s, I used to love the licorice ice cream at Peter’s — and it was black…) I have a wonderful memory of sitting at Berthillon and eating every last bit of ice cream flavoured with Armagnac-soaked prunes. (I gave the experience to the main character in my forthcoming novella, Patrin. ..)

    • How decadent! Armagnac-soaked prunes, I’ll have to try that. Do you know that for decades I’ve wanted to make my own ice cream. Apparently, it’s easy (if you have an ice cream machine). But for one reason or another, I’ve never gotten around to doing it. Peach would be nice. Or coconut…

      • I make a very simple one (lacking a proper maker, though I’ve eyed the Cuisinart ones fairly often…) with frozen fruit and cream. Put the fruit in a food processor with the metal blade. Pulse a few times with a little sugar (depending on the fruit. Our favourite is frozen blackberries). Then slowly add cream, pulsing as you do so, until it’s the consistency you want. Quantities depend — on how much fruit you have, how sturdy you want the dessert to be. But I’d say about three cups of berries to a cup of cream — to start, at least. This doesn’t stay firm for long but while it does, oh, it’s delicious. I’ve just come back from blackberry picking and will freeze some for when my kids are all here next week. It’s one of the things they always ask for!

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