Monday, July 16, 2012

Cooling off.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that vacationer in possession of an appetite must be in want of an ice cream cone. After all, what is summer vacation if not an excuse to treat ice cream as its very own food group? New Englanders know this instinctively, and ice cream is available pretty much everywhere you turn.

On my first night in Maine, en route to Rockland to stock the fridge, I spotted Dorman's Dairy Dream by the side of Route 1. It was too late to stop (everything in Maine closes by 9 PM, it seems, and Dorman's is no exception), but I made a mental note to visit later in the week, as there was no way something so cute wouldn't be worth a stop.

Turns out, I wasn't wrong. Dorman's flavor list includes classics like peppermint stick, grapenuts, and pistachio, as well as less commonly-seen varieties, such as ginger and orange-pineapple. I chose a small coffee cone, while Louisa went for the peppermint stick. (I thought she was going to go for ginger, but I was wrong. It's nice when even your best friend can surprise you from time to time.) The ice creams were wonderful in an entirely classic way - creamy, rich (but no mouth-coating ickiness), and a bit on the sweet side. Our cones melted quickly in the midday heat, and we slurped up every drop.

A couple of days later, the ice cream craving struck again. My friends Liz and Skylar, who've lived in Rockland for a couple of years now, suggested we stop by Lulu's on Oak Street - so long as it was open. (Lulu's is a seasonal joint, and sometimes doesn't open until later in July.) Lucky for us, it was open, and in spectacular fashion.

Lulu's, it turns out, is a more modern take on the New England creamery concept. Sorbetto, gelato and ice cream are all on offer, and the flavors are a bit wider ranging than those at Dorman's. I went for a small cup with two types of sorbetto: dark chocolate noir, and strawberry balsamic. Both were ridiculously delicious. The strawberry balsamic tasted so strongly of rich aged vinegar and strong berries that I couldn't believe Lulu's captured the flavor in an ice cream. And the chocolate? It was like eating a bittersweet chocolate bar, but in sorbetto form. So, you know, not bad. (And by not bad, I mean amazing.)

My only regret? We visited Lulu's late on Friday, which meant we never had a chance for a return trip.


Alison said...

Did you hear anyone say "Cremee?" That's what a lot of New Englanders call soft-serve ice cream. Takes a while to get used to...

Louisa Edwards said...

I may have surprised you at Dorman's, but I went true to form at Lulu's. : )

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