The last time Lauren and I visited Boston, Julie took us on a tour of Boston’s ice cream parlors. Over the span of two days, we tasted the flavors on offer at J.P. Licks, Christina’s, and Herrell’s, but we were unable to fit in a trip to Toscanini’s, Boston’s most famous ice cream shoppe.
This afternoon, Lauren, Vidya and I went on a mission to Central Square to see what all of the hype was about. It was a beautiful 75 degree day, and arrived in Central Square ready for a cool treat.
Toscanini’s ice cream factory, visible through street-side floor to ceiling windows, is adjacent to their cafe. It was fun to watch the large machinery, but we did not linger as there was an assortment of 30 flavors beckoning. The staff at Tosci’s are very friendly and are happy to let you try a number of flavors. So try we did, delighting in a variety of flavors that all shared a perfectly balanced, creamy texture.
Our plan was to get one scoop from the chocolate family, and one lighter flavor. Aztec Chocolate was a mix of chilies and dark chocolate, with a delicious start, but a surprisingly intense aftertaste that would likely have overwhelmed a companion scoop. Orange Chocolate was also yummy, but it was when we tried Black Bottom that we were sold. Black Bottom, based on a Southern pie, is a mix of dark chocolate rum ice cream and ginger snap cookies. We paired it with a scoop of B^3 (Brownie, Brown Sugar, Brown Butter). I liked B^3, but our consensus after we polished off the cup was that it would be better if they dropped the brownies and turned it into B^2 (or perhaps made the brownies less dense).
Overall, Tosci’s has their base ice cream formula down pat. It’s clear that they know their trade, and the result is the best ice cream I’ve had in the USA east of Mission-Dolores.
899 Main Street
Cambridge, MA 02139