My sweet tooth is about to get a cavity. One of the many summer transformations I’ve observed in Utrecht is the appearance of numerous ice cream parlours, ice cream trucks, and ice cream bars sprouting up around the city like mushrooms. On my way short home from work, I pass no fewer than five places selling ice cream (and I’m terribly tempted to spoil my dinner every time). The word in Dutch is ijs.
What I love the most is these are not just one-man crappy ice cream trucks selling soft-serve ice cream with a Cadbury Flake stuck in it (apologies to my British readers, but ice cream is not your forte). The selection of ice cream venders includes not only your good-old soft-serve fix (from a chain of shops under the Uniliver “Swirls” brand, which even offers stroopwaffel ice cream!), but also honest-to-goodness Italian gelato, stylish ice cream parlours that make their own ice cream and serve it in glass dishes, and artisanal ice cream shops such as the Dutch chain named (oddly) Australian Homemade. Now that’s what I call ice cream.
Last night we went to Ijssalon Il Mulino near the windmill (ijssalon meaning ice cream parlour in Dutch, and Il Mulino meaning windmill in Italian). They have over 30 flavours to choose from – including apple tart, rum raisin, and pistachio – and at only €1 per scoop, I am tempted to try them all! We took our cones outside and licked away while sitting by the canal. It was heavenly.