STOP. Right now. Whatever it is you’re doing can wait.
You ought to read this.
You need to read this.
The Pud-Hog has made a discovery, see, and to say that it’s a good one is an understatement. It concerns the city of London and some of the finest Ice Creams I have ever tasted.
All from this lowly brick building at Spa Terminus, just metres from the Little Bread Pedlar:
Looks fairly run-of-the-mill, don’t you think? Small? Humble? Easy to miss?
Why, if it weren’t for the colourful sign you might hurry past thinking that nothing was there. But that would be a serious mistake.
Come closer, Ogglers, and check out that blackboard menu…
This board, dear chums, marks the home of La Grotta Ices. And, my, don’t those flavours sound exciting?
For those who can’t make out those bright chalky letters, the options (at least for last Saturday) read as follows:
- Pinenut + Candied Orange Cedrat Choc Ices £3.50
- Chocolate + Espresso Choc Ices £3.50
- Chestnut Cremolata £2.50
- Toasted Hazelnut Brittle £3.00
- Quince Custard £3.00
That’s right, Ogglers. QUINCE. CUSTARD.
Last time I saw such an intriguing list was on the side of the Sorbitium Ice Cream van. But they didn’t do any Choc Ices.
In fact, the last time I had a Choc Ice was years ago – and it was just your average supermarket fare: nice, but nothing special – and nowhere near as tasty as a Magnum.
Naturally, I was keen to try one of La Grotta’s gourmet varieties – but first we were lucky enough to sample the other Ice Creams on offer.
They were delicious.
The Hazelnut Brittle was packed with candied Nut – like a crunchy Praline in frozen form.
The Chestnut Cremolata was milder and much lighter – apparently not being an Ice Cream per se, but more of a milk-based Sorbet.
Meanwhile, the Quince Custard wasn’t custardy at all, but a gorgeously fragrant hit of what tasted like Fruit Sherbert (POW), followed by a sweet and milky aftertaste.
Excellent work, indeed.
Even so, nothing – nothing – could quite match up to what I then opted to buy: the Pinenut and Candied Orange Cedrat Choc Ice.
Sorry… must breathe… calming down…
So where should I start?
Well, obviously, despite being the drizzly, cold November day that it was, this Choc Ice ROCKED MY WORLD. So hard did it rock, by the end Magnums started to seem like bars of frozen ditchwater in comparison.
Seriously, this Choc Ice had it all: the softest and creamiest centre, a thick coat of luxurious, crisp Milk Chocolate, and a flavour that pretty much BLEW MY MIND.
Apologies for all the capped-up letters, folks, but you know it’s my go-to when I get excited. AND I AM EXCITED. Besides, how else can I convey just how deeply I loved this product?
Oh me, oh my! What an intense experience!
It was the flavour of the Ice Cream within that really stole the show: like nothing I’ve ever tasted before.
The best way to describe it would be to say that it was like eating the sea. Not in a bad way, mind (after all, actually eating the sea would make you very ill). Instead, it was more like the atmosphere of the sea: the breezes, the sunshine, the slightly briny air.
Perhaps it was the fragrance of the Cedrat (a citrus fruit that’s slightly like a Lime). Or maybe it was the generous dose of Pine Nuts.
Whatever. Then combination of these, the Chocolate and all that Candied Orange was really, really magical.
Seriously, I urge you, Ogglers: if you’re anywhere even remotely near London next Saturday, be sure to go to Bermondsey and get some goodies from La Grotta.
Whatever the weather, your taste buds will love you forever.