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Restaurants & Bars

San Rafael - Three Twins Ice Cream – Japanese pumpkin pie, butternut squash, kugel & possibly cranberry

rworange | Oct 15, 200608:46 PM     1

The Japanese pumpkin pie was nicely spiced with pieces of Japanese pumpkin. There was no spice in the butternut squash but it also had pieces of squash. Both were dense and not overly sweet ice creams that were full of true pumpkin & squash flavor.

They were enjoyable and I’d seek them out again next year, but they didn’t wow me like the pumpkin ice cream at Fairfax Scoop or Silbermann’s ... though the latter is in a different class. Silbermann’s is more what is expected of pumpkin ice cream where Fairfax scoop uses Green Gulch pumpkins and has the same type of fresh pumpkin taste that Three Twins has.

In an article from the Marin Independent Journal linked below, the owner mentions he tries to get a clarity of taste in his ice cream. For the squash and pumpkin, IMO, he achieved that.

Had a taste of Carl’s Kugel which was custardy and seemed like it might have noodles in it. I read they make cranberry seasonally. Other flavors on my visit:

Milk & Cookies (made with Newman's Own Oreos)
Strawberry je ne sais quois (read it has a touch of balsamic in it)
Bittersweet chocolate
Lemon sorbet
Mint Confetti
Milk coffee
Rice milk coffee
Madagascar vanilla
It’s a girl (pink vanilla)

Someone mentioned that the ice cream was light, more like ice milk. I didn’t get that impression, but it might be due to the heaviness of squash. In a pumpkin ice cream topic, one poster mentioned a ‘chewy pumpkin ice cream’ and that comment popped in my mind while eating these scoops.

There was a delicious smell of organic waffle cones being made. Everything is organic and earth-friendly. Tastes are given on metal spoons so they can be washed and reused. The bio-degradable dishes go into the compost bin. They donate a percentage of profits to environmental causes.

When owner Neal Gottlieb's twin brother married a twin, the name was born. He’s really a nice young guy (under 30) and has a serious commitment to organics and the community.

He was chatting with one of the customers about the squash he was growing. When she asked if he used his home-grown squash in the ice cream, he said no. His backyard garden wasn’t certified organic. I’ve read that this is one of the three ice cream parlors in the US that is certified organic. Others might use organic products, but don’t require certification.

This article in the Marin Independent Journal says sugar cane bagesse is used to make the dishes and quotes Gottlieb as saying bagesse is "what's left over when you press the juice out of sugar cane. It's burned in fields of developing countries. Now it's being used for products, including cups and bowls. We have those, and our spoons are what's made of spudware - made from either corn or potato starch and soy oil. They have a nice feel and they're compostable." (scroll down)
http://www.marinij.com/lifestyles/ci_...

Strauss cream and milk are used and in a Chowhound thread someone mentioned that Three Twins uses the Strauss mix as a base. I’m not sure if that poster is confusing Three Twins with Fairfax Scoop which the Marin Independent Journal writes uses the Strauss ice cream mix as the base.
http://www.marinij.com/lifestyles/ci_...

Lots of kids and moms stopping by. There’s a corkboard with lots of kids drawings. There are a few tables inside and some sidewalk tables.

Prices:
$1.75 – teeny
$2.75 – small
$4.40 – twin
$5.70 – triplet
Pint - $5.50

Previous posts:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

Website:
http://www.threetwinsicecream.com/

Address and hours on the website. It is an easy off of 101 one exit North of the Marin Civic center. (Frietas exit). Head down Frietas away from the Civic Center (you should see Safeway if going in the correct direction). When you see Scotty's Market, it is in that shopping center.
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

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