As the esteemed French philosopher Voltaire once said, ‘Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal’. He was spot-on: it’s a wickedly delicious treat, and particularly so when the steamy weather descends upon us during South Africa’s sweltering summer.
Luckily, because of the country’s climate and coastal regions, it’s home to a swirl of different ice cream shops, and we’ve picked out a few of the not-so-ordinary ones below for you to try.
ERA homemade ice cream
WHERE IT IS: 119 Cowey Road, Durban
THE COOL FACTOR: The parlour is dressed in a retro scheme with playful colours and old-school references, and it dishes up waffles, sundaes and milkshakes alongside its scoops of homemade ice cream.
FLAVOURS TO TRY: Favourites include salted caramel, peanut butter, lemon meringue and chocolate Oreo. Watch out for the inventive flavour of the month too.
paul’s homemade ice cream
WHERE IT IS: Dedicated retail stores are found at 27 Boxes, 4th Avenue, Melville and The Zone @ Rosebank, Oxford Road, Rosebank (otherwise, tubs are also available from various outlets in Johannesburg) THE COOL FACTOR: Owner Paul Ballen, who happens to be the son of famous international photographer Roger Ballen, is a veritable ice cream king who has mastered the art of crafting honest, premium scoops of goodness. Plus, the brand has developed a number of guilt-free Banting flavours that’ll be available at The Zone store from 20 January 2016. FLAVOURS TO TRY: There are too many to name, but you could start with options like birthday cake, peppermint crisp tart, poached guava, butter popcorn, mojito, chai tea or chilli chocolate.
WHERE IT IS: Main Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town (there’s also a stall at the Bay Harbour Market) THE COOL FACTOR: Though Ice Dream is a small, modest parlour, its velvety Italian ice cream is renowned throughout Cape Town – a scoop is an essential accompaniment to a stroll along Hout Bay’s harbor on a warm day. FLAVOURS TO TRY: Regulars swear by the hazelnut and peanut butter options, but the strawberry and mango sorbets are a hit too.
WHERE IT IS: The Litchi Orchard, Salt Rock and Simbithi Eco Estate, Ballito THE COOL FACTOR: KwaZulu-Natal-based brand Scoop handcrafts its ice creams, sorbets and vanilla sugar cones and its products reflect the seasonal produce available from farmers in the area. FLAVOURS TO TRY: Madagascan vanilla, cinnamon bun, toasted coconut with mango sorbet, and vanilla with salted macadamia praline.
WHERE IT IS: Inside Schoon De Companje, Cnr Bird and Church streets, Stellenbosch
THE COOL FACTOR: This little parlour is located amidst various artisan ventures (including De Oude Bank Bakkerij) within the charming Dutch-style setting Schoon De Companje, so you can pick up homemade bread, ethically cured meat, coffee and more while buying your scoop of lovingly churned ice cream.
FLAVOURS TO TRY: These change daily, but you can expect options like berry cheesecake, white chocolate brownie, grapefruit curd and vanilla rose with toasted pistachios.
fannyChanel is shooting her co-lab with CBC today • what a privilege @capebrewingco @love_the_craft A photo posted by •SCHOON• (@schoondecompanje) on
WHERE IT IS: Oaklands Shopping Centre, Johannesburg
THE COOL FACTOR: With a lengthy history behind it, this ice cream emporium is a long-time favourite amongst the Joburg crowd and pleases with traditional gelato locally made the Italian way.
FLAVOURS TO TRY: The most popular options include pistachio, amaretto, vanilla and stracciatella.
WHERE IT IS: The three stores are located at Dean Street, Newlands; Durham Avenue, Salt River; and Beach Road, Mouille Point. There’s also a permanent stand at the V&A Market on the Wharf.
THE COOL FACTOR: Exotic flavours meet a down-to-earth, all-natural preparation process at The Creamery, which has become something of a household name in Cape Town. Plus, you can enjoy the impossibly smooth scoops with waffles or hot cookies (depending on which store you visit)
FLAVOURS TO TRY: Standard classics include sweet cream, sea salt caramel and Rosetta Roastery coffee, and there are daily changing seasonal options too (think anything from citrus blossom and coconut lime to genoa fig, honey rooibos and naartjie choc-chip.
WHERE IT IS: There are stores all over the country. You can find your nearest one at marcels.co.za
THE COOL FACTOR: Marcel’s specialises in frozen yoghurt, which is slightly healthier than ice cream. It also happens to be South Africa’s first (and possibly most trusted) froyo brand.
FLAVOURS TO TRY: The English toffee and chocolate options are probably the most iconic, but the brand is constantly adding others like Turkish delight and nougat. There are just as many topping options too.