This weekend it was actually warm in San Francisco. Like leave-the-scarf-at-home, get-down-to-just-one-layer and wear-your-sandals-without-fear-of-your-toes-going-numb type warm.
This of course, means nothing to most of you. The whole handful of you who read this blog have probably been dealing with hot weather all summer (or if you’re in Florida… practically year round) and are now welcoming fall with open arms, but in San Francisco, at least since I got here during the first week of August (August!!), it’s been downright chilly. Not in the 70’s like I had thought it would be, but in the low 60’s and then 50’s at night. Now, I’m not complaining. If you know me well, you know I hate the heat. I could just as easily do away with summer and never miss it, but it’s been strange being cold during summer.
This weekend though, for maybe only the second time in the last almost two months, it was hot. Which made me think one thing: ice cream.And apparently I wasn’t the only one thinking that, because when I walked up to Bi-Rite Creamery in the Mission, there was a line about 25 people deep… and that was just for the ice cream! There was a whole separate long line just for soft serve!
When I finally made my way to the front of the line, lots of flavors looked good (salted caramel, balsamic strawberry, and roasted banana just to name a few) but something on the menu caught my eye and I just had to find out what it was. Sam’s sundae: chocolate ice cream, bergamot olive oil, maldon sea salt and whippped cream. C’mon, you’re curious too, no?
Well, it was… interesting. The initial flavors were from the creamy, cold chocolate of the ice cream, followed by the smooth sweetness of the whipped cream. But then, in snuck something else. It was the slightly peppery bitterness of the olive oil. I could see it, a yellow-green pool at the bottom of my small bowl. Then as I spooned more ice cream into my mouth, I could make out the salt, playing off the chocolate. The whole thing was rich and sweet, creamy but also oily, with a slight hint at buttery bitterness. Definitely more complex than any sundae I’ve had before.
It was a little unusual, not the typical ice cream sundae I’d be eating on a summer day, but then again, this hasn’t been my typical summer, either.