Befitting its Chez Panisse DNA, Downtown Bakery & Cafe introduces summer fruit selections only at the absolute peak of season. I stopped by this afternoon to see if wild blackberry might have started its brief appearance in the ice cream case, but its time has not arrived yet. However, I did not leave empty-handed.
Peach has begun its run. The essence of ripe peaches in this dreamy, freshly spun and barely frozen ice cream is much more intense than the version at Tabla a month ago. The small cubes of frozen, dead-ripe peaches add to the delight.
Even better is the raspberry ice cream. Enriched with so much fruit puree this had a fluffier, almost foamy sorbetto-like texture. The creaminess of the butterfat rounds out the pronounced tart-sweet red berriness in perfect harmony and then melts away in a clean, refreshing finish.
At this time of year, this is my favorite ice cream. Can hardly wait for the blackberries.
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