When it gets hot outside, what do you most want to put in your mouth and swallow to cool you down? Do you go out of your way to get that favorite treat? How far will you drive? Is it sweet? Bitter? Icy? Acidic? Does the glass show lazy bobbles of oversized tapioca sitting at the bottom? Do you forgo dinner for salad?
Summer is an emotional memory. For me it was salt water fishing and clamming with my grandfather, all day at the beach on Long Island, hot humid days and the sheer joy of hearing the ice cream truck, Good Humor bars and Italian Ices in little green wax paper cups. Sweet cold things. Salty skin, riding waves until dusk, water fights at camp, deep sleeps and mosquito bites.
I associate going to the beach with French fries and ice cream. Somehow these mundane items tasted more delicious than anything. Even now, after I've swum and lounged all day at the Russian River, what I crave most is salty, crunchy French fries with ketchup, followed by ice cream.
I could make an argument for the fact that ice cream is indeed a food group.
But I'd rather hear from you. If you're reading this, perhaps you could chime in, in our comments section, and tell us where you get your chilly and/or sweet fix in summer?
Here are some to get us started:
Strawberry ice cream at Fairfax Scoop, fruit or Strauss yogurt sorbet at Sketch, lychee bubble tea, taro iced beverage at Out The Door, Blue Bottle's ineffable iced coffee, Mitchell's Buko (young coconut) ice cream, dense nutty chestnut ice cream at Marco Polo, the Rizogalo at Evvia: Anson Mills Carolina rice pudding "cannoli" with honey roasted apricots, the thick mango lassi at Vik's Chaat House, honey-sweetened saffron and pistachio ice cream at Zatar.
And if you haven't been to Picco yet to try their unbelievably PERFECT frozen custard drizzled with light, buttery olive oil and seasoned with a few pebbles of sea salt, I suggest you get over there before the fog rolls in! It is not to be missed! Gather your friends, get in the carpool lane, and treat yourself to a beautiful bowl of child and adulthood rolled in one.