Thursday, 27 May 2010

Just one Cornetto...

I'm so disappointed that I missed out on Tyrrells Chips political potato chip flavours for the General Election.

Amazingly, rhubarb and waffle flavour wasn't on the list but a competition between Cameron’s Crunchies (Eton Mess), Gordon’s Gourmet (Scotch egg and brown sauce) and Clegg’s Cocktail (hummous and roasted veg) would probably NOT have resulted in a coalition government!

This week's Food of the Week is Ice Cream

so being topical, I'll guess appropriate favourite flavours for the aforesaid three musketeers

Gordon would go for golden butterscotch flavour (if he doesn't sell it off cheap first!)
Dave probably wouldn't get any as Mrs C will scoff his true blueberry scoops during a pregnant craving
Nick Clegg will struggle to choose between Gordon's and David's and then add in some Seville Orange sorbet (to keep his Mrs C happy) with Dave's true blueberry 

Who first had the idea to make ice cream?

According to the ice cream website, the Chinese got in there first again somewhere between 618 and 950 A.D.  It didn't get to Europe until 1503 where it was seen as a chemist's party trick (eat your heart out Heston!) and didn't get used as a sweet delicacy until 1660 when it hit Naples, Florence and Paris. Us Brits were close behind with it being first recorded at a Royal Feast in 1671. And the Americans were last, not tasting the stuff until 1800!
So the Italians started singing ice cream songs early on and travelled in their gondolas to Northern Europe where there was a lot of ice to be had. Huge ice house pits were built to store Norwegian ice near Kings Cross and you can still see them at The London Canal Museum. And at some point, the Cornetto was born.

Where can I find good ice cream?

Tricky. My favourite ice cream in the world is Chocolate Extra Noir and Pistachio from GROM based in Turin and I've never found anything to match it.

Closer to home, good places to go include Marine Ices - a legend in ice cream parlours that has been at its current location in Chalk Farm since 1947; Amorino on Old Compton Street is pretty good too but the coolest (!) is Freggo on Swallow Street (just off Regent Street, Piccadilly end) an Argentinian style late night gelateria where you can make yourself sick on very sweet dulce de leche ice creams or malbec and red fruit sorbets in a very swish environment

On the move, look out for Jude's ice cream with great flavours and the Choc Star van that travels the country laden with frozen treats.

Restaurant of the Week

Bincho Yakitori on Old Compton Street, Soho

Despite feeling I was in an episode of Tenko as I walked through yet another pair of Japanese curtains, Bincho is a very cool, modern and simple Japanese eatery. Bincho is a Japanese word for the finest charcoal to be used on a barbecue - apt given that it specialises in grilled skewers! It's a great place to pick lots of small sharing dishes ranging from the seven samurai of 7 types of mini kebab through to more substantial offers of tofu (I was forced to try it by a veggie friend and grudgingly admit that it was actually very nice!), all accompanied by a great range of sake. And perfectly located in central Soho! What more could you want?
Nearest tube is Leicester Square - expect to pay £20 per head although the pre theatre menu is a steal at just £10

Bincho Yakitori on Urbanspoon


  1. What do you mean forced?!!!!

  2. He he! Fair enough - the tofu was not quite forced on me although I do remember once being made to feel guilty for not trying quorn scotch eggs which turned out to be OK. But I think tofu is better and a rare steak better still!