Some people find their favorite flavor of ice cream early in life and stick with it. Me, I go through phases. For years my favorite was strawberry, then it was praline, then pistachio, and then, for a while, vanilla bean. (Not regular vanilla, or French vanilla, or cherry vanilla or vanilla fudge, but vanilla bean. I wanted to see dark specks of what looked like dirt throughout the white cloud of cream.)
Now my flavor of choice is coffee. I’ve sampled coffee ice cream from a variety of manufacturers, including Ben & Jerry’s (mediocre at best), Häagen Dazs (passable but too subtle for my taste), Double Rainbow (sadly, Coffee Blast is more eh than a blast), and Starbucks (which, since it’s in the business of selling masstige coffee, should really produce more piquant coffee ice cream than it does). Sadly, none of these brands truly satisfies the discerning coffee ice cream palate. What disappointment.
Mitchell’s Ice Cream does produce a delectably smooth Kahlúa Mocha Cream — (Kahlúa being a well-known Mexican brand of coffee-flavored liqueur) — but unfortunately Mitchell’s is only available in the San Francisco Bay Area. (This is a great loss to everyone outside this region, and we hope that one day Mitchell’s expands its local empire without sacrificing the superlative quality of its many unusual flavors.)
Thankfully, I eventually discovered Mashti Malone’s, a little-known brand that produces an impressive, pungently flavored Turkish Coffee ice cream. It tastes like real Turkish coffee with ice cream added to it, rather than a diluted shot of weak coffee added to vanilla ice cream. Each bite packs a bittersweet punch that simultaneously wakes you up and leaves you feeling happily mellow.
The brand description on the Mashti Malone’s carton reads "exotic ice creams and sorbets" and manufactures other unusual flavors such as Creamy Rosewater, Lavender, and Orange Blossom with Pistachios. Be prepared for its hefty price tag, though: each pint retails for over $5.