Monday, July 26, 2010

Van Leeuwen Has New Flavors

Palm Sugar Ice Cream
Moving to Greenpoint has meant many walks down Bedford Avenue to the L stop, especially on weekends when the G train ceases to exist. I usually don't mind the walk: it's exercise, I like to hipster watch, and it almost always means passing the Bedford Van Leeuwen truck. And this past weekend I spied not one, but two new flavors: palm sugar and cherry chocolate chip.

Palm Sugar Ice Cream
Until Saturday, I had no idea palm sugar existed and now I'm hooked. Palm sugar, a regular ingredient in Southeast Asian cooking, is what's left when the sap of sugar palm tree has been boiled and allowed to crystallize. Apparently it's the sweetener du jour: Serious Eats discovered it last November, and even the WiseGeeks are asking about it. While I can't tell you what real, uncut (with white sugar) palm sugar tastes like, I can tell you about Van Leeuwen's ice cream. Though mine was bit melted, its taste has a bit of the tree sugar taste of maple syrup mixed with dark brown sugar mixed with golden syrup. Sweet, but not sugary, an almost earthy, old-fashioned kind of sweetness. I'm definitely a fan.

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream
Trucks throughout the city, and a shop in Greenpoint

1 comment:

Zach said...

Maple syrup and brown sugar are a good basis comparison. I use it all the time when I cook Thai food or Balinese food. (And if you ever see brown sugar in a Thai recipe, it really should be palm sugar.)