November 11, 2009
At Last, My Love Has Come Along: Bertillon Glace
So, today I finally got to sample Berthillon's famous ice creams. I read about them a few weeks ago in the book Remembrance of Things Paris, a collection of essays from Gourmet Magazine (rip). Back in 1973, a writer visited the hallowed headquarters and snuck a visit with the curmudgeonly Monsieur Berthillon. Direct quote: "I am not interested in people who come here during a heat wave. I like them to come when it's snowing and zero outside. Then they come to enjoy my fine ices and not just to cool themselves."
Today, it was in the 40s, and we grabbed a couple scoops on Ile Saint-Louis, home to the original shop (the famous, creamy concoctions are now sold all over the city). Choosing from a list of about 25 flavors was a tall order—thank goodness for these double cones! I ended up settling on caramel buerre sale and vanille (salted caramel and vanilla), while my buddy Julie indulged in licorice and get-you-wasted-its-so-intense rum raisin. (Seem like a strange combo? She insisted on choosing without hearing the English definitions of the flavors—how adventurous!)
Rich and intense, the ice creams were as good as advertised.
For dinner, we ate cheese, cured meat, grapes, bread and wine. One of the cheeses, chosen at random, smelled like dirty socks (or, as Julie put it, "Like a petting zoo"), and it tasted like it too. Everything else was delicious, especially the 18-month-old comté—mmmm...unpasteurized. Guess you can't win em all!