Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spinach Ice Cream

This afternoon we stopped by Napoli, our favorite gelateria in Hiroo, to pick up some treats to accompany our Sunday evening repast. While waiting outside with Pippi (no dogs allowed in the shop), I noticed a new flavor on offer. Spinach! Naturally I had to sample this delicacy so Eve took over leash duty while I went in. Would that I had had my camera with me but it is fresh out of batteries since we just got home from a Habitat for Humanity mission in northern Thailand (more on that to come soon).

Some might take issue with the frozen confection's bright green hue. But in Japan, where matcha (green tea) flavoring is as common as strawberry, green is a perfectly acceptable pigment for sweets. And green IS my favorite color.

The problem here concerns that other sense, taste. While living (and eating) in Japan I have gotten quite accustomed to foods that unite sweet with salty. The local cuisine really knows how to get this right. Better than most of the trendy variations on this theme that may be found in other parts of the world. Salty caramels? I rest my case. A little contrast is OK but spinach ice cream was a new one for me. I hope I did not grimace when the ice cream landed on my palette -- the flavor was a bit odd. I believe that "grassy" would be an apt descriptive. No make that "sweet and grassy." Not a winning combination. But I give Napoli accolades for their daring and verve.

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