Slip back to crisp spring air for a second, and there I was skipping into Van Leeuwen ice cream shop in the city that never sleeps. I tried to keep my cool as I stepped through the doorway with a belly of butterflies. You see, one day while casually scrolling through Instagram I was struck by a Van Leeuwen snapshot that spoke of genmaicha green tea & wildflower honey ice cream. I felt my heart leap and taste buds jump for joy. Fast forward to a hopeful spring day in NYC in their sweet treat parlor, my eyes slowly moving to the menu (squinted in hopes that the blurry vision would help lessen the blow if I missed out on the tea treat). Scanning through handwritten flavors on the chalkboard at a rapid pace, I stopped when I saw what I thought to be a "g" and opened my eyes wide to read each and every letter, g-e-n-m-a-i-c-h-a. They were all there. It was real. I may have danced. But I'm not sure.
Racing to the register, I almost screamed my order for genmaicha green tea ice cream in a classic sugar cone. I simply love the way a scoop sitting atop a cone sends me back to childhood giddiness of masterfully sculpting the ice cream with every lick so that you wouldn't even lose one drop of cream. First taste, and the savory toasty, nutty notes rush to my taste buds, then are quickly cooled by smooth cream that was rounded out with an excited shout of rich but not overly sweet wildflower honey. I could have lost myself in a pint or two, but instead I savored the memory. I smiled thankfully knowing that I could add a new tea infused ice cream flavor to my bucket list, as genmaicha joined fast favorites of masala chai, earl grey and matcha green tea. Welcome to the club.
p.s. for genmaicha green tea newbies, it's often a blend of either sencha green tea or bancha green tea leaves with toasted brown rice. when steeped it offers a toasty, roasty, nutty flavor, that's smooth and refreshing.
p.p.s. it seems that the genmaicha tea infused ice cream flavor didn't make it on Van Leeuwen's permanent list. Maybe this calls for a few pleading tweets this fall? You'll help? wonderful!