France, though, wins hands-down for the fanciest ice cream sandwiches around. Pierre Hermé, in Paris, makes the oddly named Miss Gla’Gla. (Dorie Greenspan explains that the phrase gla gla “is the French equivalent of Brrrrrrrrrrr.”) Ice creams, frozen yogurts, or sorbets are swirled together in mind-boggling combinations (passion fruit, rose, and lychee, for example), then sandwiched between two delicate macaron wafers. The confection is ceremoniously handed to you on a white tray by a gloved staffer, a highly formal ritual considering you are going to step outside, find a piece of sidewalk, and quickly inhale it before it melts.
Though Miss Gla’Gla has been around for at least five years, her existence goes almost unnoticed. She isn’t displayed in the pastry cases, and the menu describing the flavor combinations is printed on tiny bookmarks hidden next to the registers.
I think of Miss Gla’Glas as fun little secrets, a rare treat since they are only served in the summer (and only in Paris). Just check to see if the shop is open before you go, as the French have a pesky habit of vacationing en masse in August, leaving ice cream cravings in Paris unfulfilled.