The parental loves to tell the tale of how, when I was but a few months old, she was holding me on her hip while eating an ice cream and chatting to someone at a picnic – she took her attention off that ice cream for a moment and needless to say I faceplanted straight into it. A chocolatarian from the start, clearly, and one with a fine appreciation for ice cream.
As a child I would probably have Hoovered up any old ice cream you pointed in my general direction, but now that I’m (a tiny bit) older, I would rather have a little of the really good quality stuff, then heaps of the vegetable fat-laden product that masquerades as ice cream. I had a pretty serious relationship with Ben & Jerry’s when I lived in Ireland, but that had to come to a tragic end when I moved back home, although I did try to plot ways of transporting ice cream on the plane in coolers of dry ice marked organ donation. Ahem. Obviously I had to abandon that plan…
The discovery of Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream (PHIC) right here in Johannesburg was therefore great cause for celebration! Their website describes their product as a form of art, and you certainly can’t dispute that. Each batch is clearly made with love and attention, and absolutely no synthetic ingredients are included. You can be guaranteed you’re eating ice cream made with milk, cream, eggs, sugar and whatever high-quality ingredients need to be added to create the flavour of your choice.
We first encountered PHIC at Ice Cream Sunday, a glorious event that takes place on the last Sunday of every month at Unit 8 in Bramley. Imagine a lazy Sunday afternoon spent outside in the sunshine, sipping on bubbles or craft beer while you sample a few different ice cream creations – it’s heaven and the only challenge is maintaining decorum rather than just going back to my roots and faceplanting into the ice cream. We now make Ice Cream Sunday a monthly ritual, and at the most recent event, they celebrated their first birthday. Consider this: a Consol jar with a piece of chocolate cake nestling in the bottom, smothered in birthday cake flavoured ice cream, topped with cream cheese ‘icing’, sprinkles, and of course, a sparkler. I’m salivating just thinking about it again! Other flavours on the day included caramel popcorn ice cream with popcorn, salted butterscotch and a wafer cone, and a pair of cannolis, one filled with malted milk ice cream and the other with Smartie ice cream. Seriously. There have been Red Velvet Sundaes, Peach and Thyme Sorbet, Stroopwafel Ice Cream Sandwiches, Tiramisu Sundaes, and even potato wedges and sun-dried tomato served with basil swirl ice cream, to name but a few. It’s decadent to say the least but hey, it’s only once a month.
Of course, once you’ve discovered PHIC, you’ll discover that once a month is definitely not frequent enough. So the next quest became finding a stockist that sells this manna. Luckily for me (and probably less luckily for my waist), Delft Butchery is a stockist, and conveniently situated just around the corner. There are quite a lot of other stockists listed on their website as well, and if those don’t suit, you can order online. You can also order more unusual flavours or create your own online as well. I succumbed to the temptation and ordered a carton or two of the Milk chocolate, Nutella and Oreo flavour from the website recently, which I picked up on Tuesday night. Best thing that’s ever happened to my mouth, hands down! The team at PHIC is so friendly and helpful that ordering is a breeze. You will need to brace yourself to pay substantially more than you would for that icky artificial stuff, but the quality makes it absolutely worth it.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to dream of burying my face in a bowl of ice cream when I get home.