Kristina’s Bookshelf

Sweet, Cold Cream

Inventive flavors like Honey Lavender (top), Thai Iced Tea (bottom), and Mexican Chocolate (in the background) are plentiful at I-Scream on Solano Avenue.

 Local favorite I-Scream on Upper Solano in Berkeley scoops flavors that taste like the farm-fresh ingredients they’re made from. Popular flavors include creamy, buttery rich Salted Caramel (or even better, the Burnt Caramel, when it’s available). Daily offerings change and might include Strawberry (always made with ripe berries), Honey Lavender, or Wild Blueberry. My all-time favorite is Mexican Chocolate, which features a load of spices, including cinnamon and a hit of chili pepper. Order a split scoop if you can’t decide which you’d like.

For a different kind of ice cream goodness, head down to the lower part of Solano in Albany to Mr. Dewie’s, a cheery ice cream parlor with red tables and chairs out front. A second shop is now open at the Public Market in Emeryville, in a shipping container inside the market. Shop owners and brothers Ari and Andrew Cohen, a friendly and outgoing pair, grew up in North Berkeley. They were regular customers of both McCallum’s and Ortman’s, two local ice cream purveyors some readers might remember. In an email, Ari reminisced, “We used to play at Thousand Oaks school and go to Ortman’s for slushies. At McCallums, we’d go to birthday parties and order the ‘sink,’ which was, as you can imagine, as big as a sink and filled with every conceivable flavor and topping under the sun. It was pretty cool, and pretty gross at the same time!” While in high school, Ari worked at Bott’s, an old ice cream store in the Elmwood district, owned by the fellow who currently owns Fentons ice cream.

All that experience served them well, and the brothers have developed a big following for their vegan, non-dairy cashew milk ice cream made from organic ingredients in flavors like Chocolate Orange Chip, Tumeric Spice, Green Tea, and their most popular flavor, Caramel Almond. Most items (including cones) are gluten-free. (And if you’re curious about the name, “Mr. Dewie” was a character Ari played in a music video made with his brother Andrew many years ago.)

Ari (left) and Andrew Cohen serve up Mr. Dewie’s vegan, non-dairy cashew milk ice cream on Solano Avenue in Albany. Photo courtesy of Mr. Dewie’s.

For more local ice cream lore, read our article Sweet, Cold, and Unforgettable Pleasure.

If you’d prefer to try making your own ice creams, with or without dairy or gluten, get yourself a copy of one of these new books:

Mexican Ice Cream: Beloved Recipes and Stories
By Fany Gerson
Ten Speed Press, 2017

Mexico City native Fany Gerson owns Newyorkina and Dough, two shops in Manhattan and Brooklyn featuring the specialty ice creams of Mexico. In her new cookbook, Gerson shares 60+ flavor-packed recipes for ice creams and frozen treats rooted in Mexico’s rich ice cream history. Gerson recommends some Bay Area ingredients like Rancho Gordo chocolate, and her recipes are easily managed by home cooks. Unusual ingredients are needed for some flavors like Red Prickly Pear Ice Cream, Oaxacan-style Lime Sorbet, Avocado-Chocolate Ice Cream, and Rice-Almond Ice Cream with Cinnamon.

Guilt-Free Nice Cream: Over 70 Amazing Dairy-Free Ice Creams
By Margie Broadhead
Hardie Grant Books, 2017

Make delicious and colorful dairy-free “nice” cream, all using bananas as the base. Add your main flavor of choice, churn and chill to make basic favorites as well as more creative combinations like salted caramel and matcha green tea. The book is complete with recipes for cakes, sundaes, toppings, edible baskets, nice cream cones, and molds.

Hello, My Name is Ice Cream:
The Art and Science of the Scoop
By Dana Cree
Clarkson Potter, 2017

This new cookbook from James Beard–nominated pastry chef Dana Cree presents instructions for making ice cream together with the science behind the recipes. More than 100 recipes for ice cream flavors and mix-ins begin with the basics—super chocolate and Tahitian vanilla—then move on to more creative infusions, custards, sherbets, and frozen yogurts. Try the burnt honey ice cream and other seasonal mixtures like Meyer lemon frozen yogurt, cinnamon basil ice cream, and garden mint ice cream.

Edible East Bay’s book editor Kristina Sepetys is eager to share her ideas and book recommendations with our readers.