Tiffin Project

Cooling Down in the Capital

by Shelora Sheldan on July 30, 2013

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This perfect Victoria summer has us taking to the streets to seek out our favourite vendors for delicious cool down treats. From ice cream to ice pops here’s a list of the top four to melt over.

Ice cream maven Autumn Maxwell of Cold Comfort creates some fine, and astonishing, flavours served up in pints and monster-sized ice cream sandwiches. From pepita hot chocolate with cocoa-pecans and a hit of cayenne to rhubarb-sour cherry (shown) or avocado-triple sec-tequila-cilantro-lime wrapped in an almond dacquoise, her inspired combinations change weekly and rely on organic cream, milk, eggs, and cane sugar as a base. Maxwell sells her wicked wares at the Saturday Moss Street Market, at savvy grocers, or direct from her HQ at 809 Craigflower St.

Brett Black‘s Fruition Paletas continue to dazzle our palates with punchy flavours on a stick – over 30 now – crafted by Black himself at his bright-green storefront at 837 Fisgard St. The ingredients are seasonal and often organic with milk, Gianduja chocolate, cane sugar and eggs with many dairy-free alternatives, and the end product is darn good looking! My new fave is the Persian, a boldly exotic blend of milk, cream, sahlab, chunky pistachios, saffron, rosewater, mastic and cardamom. Killer!  Cult favourites include the key lime with its limey-cream top and graham cracker bottom, and dulce de leche, a nod to the paleta’s Mexican origins. Fruition Paletas can also be found at Red Fish Blue Fish and the Hot and Cold Cafe.

New to the brain freeze party comes DeeBee’s Organic TeaPops. The premise of creator Dionne Laslo-Baker is a certified organic tea-based ice pop paired with fruit and maybe a bit of organic cane sugar for an icy treat that is a refreshing, natural and healthy alternative to the high glucose-fructose-laced varieties common in the marketplace. (The concept was first created for one of Laslo-Baker’s young sons who doesn’t eat sugar). DeeBee’s recent high-powered launch garnered notice from the Wall Street Journal, best new tea product by World Tea Media and top pick by Good Morning America’s food editor Sara Moulton. Guaranteed, you’ll be seeing DeeBee’s TeaPops everywhere, real soon. There are currently four flavours on offer: Mango Tango, Cherry Berry, Classic Ice-Tea and Mint-a-licious, with a coconut variety in the works. The Cherry Berry finds four summer fruits mingled with rooibos and white teas. It’s completely enjoyable, delicate on the palate, a balance of fruit to tea with none of that lingering sugary syrup aftertaste.  They’re a connoisseur’s version of frozen ice tea, on a stick. (specialteafoods.com)

And lastly, from the ‘if-it-ain’t-broke, don’t-fix-it’ school comes Victoria’s iconic Beacon Drive-In with their no-frills, hipster-free, swirl-tastic soft-serve ice cream. Creamy, dense and oh-so-satisfying, the Beacon has been serving up cones since 1958. Large is the way to go – plain vanilla – with or without chocolate dip. You decide. 126 Douglas Street.

~Shelora Sheldan

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