Tuesday, 3 September 2013

with love from brooklyn - van leeuwen

One of the highlights from my summer in the States was getting to spend time with my brother who lives in the hipsterville of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  I must admit I was really beginning to feel old and totally not with it walking around there without big framed glasses and a couple of tattoos.  My 3.5 year old son however felt completely at home and is still demanding we move to Brooklyn.  Williamsburg is filled with fabulous gourmet destinations and trendy boutiques and well worth the visit over the East River.  When it feels like parts of the city are becoming outdoor shopping malls with the same brands and chain stores taking over area by area it is truly refreshing to find a place with so much character and plenty to explore.  You definitely will not find a Starbucks in Williamsburg!

Van Leeuwan Artisan Ice Cream truck on Madison and E 70th St on a Sunday afternoon
My brother brought us to the Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream truck parked on Bedford Ave and N 8th St and told me it was the best ice cream ever.  When anyone prefaces anything as "the best" I am pretty skeptical but I must say he was absolutely right and I am hooked.  I actually lie awake at night thinking about this ice cream and going through withdrawal now that I'm back in London.  We might just have to move to Brooklyn after all to get my fix.  What is extraordinary about this ice cream is that it is so rich and creamy without being over the top with the perfect balance of flavors and it isn't too sweet.  It is clear for the second you taste the ice cream that only the finest and purest ingredients are used as the ingredients.

I've tried several of the flavors and going to make it my goal to try all of them.  The Gianduja is a blend of rich chocolate and hazelnuts and is heaven on a cone.  Strawberry actually tastes like fresh strawberries and the espresso flavor has a kick and will happily fulfill any caffeine craving.  The standouts are Van Leeuwen's unique flavors cinnamon and my personal favorite earl grey tea.  My kid now orders cinnamon every time we are at a restaurant or ice cream shop and seriously needs a reality check.  It is the earl grey tea ice cream that I cannot stop thinking about and I can still remember the taste so vividly.

There are 2 brick and mortar shops (loving this new American term) in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan.  Plenty of trucks scattered throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan daily so be sure to check out their website for locations and look it up in Google too because there are lots of trucks out that are not listed on their site.  Some shops are carrying tubs of their fabulous ice cream so hope you can find it in a shop near you or else you have a great excuse to visit Brooklyn!

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