Celebrating Ice Cream Month
When the calendar declares the month of July National Ice Cream Month, what choice do I have but to join in the celebration! The truth is I enjoy ice cream on a regular basis being that two of our tour tasting stops offer samples and scoops of unique and delicious ice creams.
Masthti Malone’s Ice Cream parlor opened in 1980 at the corner of Sunset and La Brea and is one of two Persian ice cream parlors found in all of Los Angeles. Founder and owner Mashti immediately understood our interest in bringing guests to sample his ice cream on our Hollywood Sites & Bites Tours. He is one of our original tasting partners dating back to August 2010 when we launched our tours. Guests enjoy learning the story of how the name changed from Mugsy Malone’s to Mashti Malone’s and they also get to sample the exotic flavors that make Mashti’s different from the rest such as Rosewater, Ginger and Saffron. There’s also Turkish Coffee and Persian Cucumber among many other flavors, all made with natural ingredients. Everything is made right there on site and my favorites happen to be Black Cherry and Pistachio Almond.
Ginger’s Divine Ice Cream, located in a little section of Culver City known as the West Washington District, is a newer shop in Los Angeles but is already making a name for themselves, recently called the #1 ice cream in LA by USA Today. Guests on our Chocolate Indulgence Tour are treated to samples at Ginger’s and then get to choose a scoop or an ice cream pop on a stick. Ginger herself peruses local Farmer’s Markets to find fresh ingredients that are the inspiration for her new flavors. And vegan guests have a nice selection of options at Ginger’s. I have sampled many of her unique flavors but I always go back to the Chocolate Covered Marzipan, my favorite.
When I’m not on tour, I enjoy ice cream year-round, rain or shine. Even though they are not Los Angeles based businesses, I am fond of Salt & Straw (founded in Portland, Oregon in 2011) and McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams (founded in Santa Barbara, CA in 1949) both of which now have multiple locations in the greater Los Angeles area and can be found in grocery stores. I have to give a shout out to two Ohio-based ice cream brands that are now scooping in Los Angeles. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream and Yogurt.
I also love a good frozen yogurt and an old-fashioned soft serve. I am not above getting a vanilla cone on a hot summer day. Gelato and Sorbets also make their way into my tasting line-up. I really can’t finish this blog without a special shout-out to Paciugo Gelato Caffe in Hermosa Beach. Paciugo translates to “messy concoction” in Italian and I find their gelato among the best I’ve enjoyed in the Los Angeles area.
Gelato is Italian for ice cream but has a higher amount of milk, less cream and eggs. Because it’s churned at a slower rate that incorporates less air, gelato is denser than ice cream. Sorbets are made with frozen fruit juice or flavored water and sugar with no dairy involved whatsoever. Right now Mashti Malone’s has a limited edition summer flavor Lemon Sorbet (made with lemons from his own trees) that is definitely worth the drive over to Sunset and La Brea to get a taste. Or I invite you to join me on a Hollywood Sites & Bites tour where Mashti Malone’s is our fifth and final tasting every day of the week!
By Trish Procetto