I hope you all are having a great autumn so far, RMT’ers! I know summer officially ended last weekend, but here in Southern California, we tend to see the hottest temperatures of the year right about now. It’s been HOT here, RMT’ers, and what better way to cool off on a scorching hot day than a nice cone or cup of ice cream! Even better, how about a trip on down to the ol’ time ice cream shoppe (yep, the sort that would put the “pe” at the end of “shop” because it’s been around THAT long)?
We discovered Fosselman’s in Alhambra first from – what else – a random TV viewing of “Visiting… with Huell Howser.” If you are a semi-frequent reader of this blog, then you know by now that Mr. Howser is pretty much how we find out about most of the classic California mainstays and hidden gems, and Fosselman’s definitely fits both of those descriptions.
Opened in 1919 and still owned and operated by members of the Fosselman family almost 100 years later (!), workers lovingly churn out (literally) more than 30 flavors of homemade ice cream daily. All the flavors are based on the family’s original recipes and processes and are only made with the finest ingredients. Of course, much has changed in a century as far as flavor preferences and trends, so along with the classic chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry palate, there’s also taro root, chocolate-dipped strawberry, and sweet corn.
On this day, T went with his usual of vanilla; yes, RMT’ers, of all those choices, he still prefers the classics! Well, at least he knows it’s something that won’t go out of style! However, after looking over the menu and the containers spread out in front of me like a fantastic frozen buffet, I decided that this was the day to try something completely different. Well, OK, I tried a few things, three to be exact as customers are politely requested to limit their tastings to three samples (understandable, otherwise we could get full just from free samples!).
I tasted the sweet corn, pistachio, and then chocolate-dipped strawberry on this outing. The sweet corn completely resembled that of movie popcorn, just frozen. Well, since I’m not really a HUGE popcorn lover, I passed on that and moved onto pistachio. I loved this one actually, but boy is it rich! You can really taste the ground nuts blended down into the cream and you also get the texture of the larger pistachios bite after bite. If I’d been in a super-duper pistachio mood (and sometimes I am), this would have won me over, but after just the three bites from the sample I’d had plenty on this particular day (I will bring C back to taste this though for sure!).
Finally, I tried the chocolate-dipped strawberry. OK, this was the easy winner, hands-down, and all it is is strawberry ice cream with dark chocolate chips mixed into it! I have no idea why either no other ice cream maker has thought of this before, or why I’ve never come across this in all of my sweet-tasting adventures across this great land of ours or overseas, but this is pure ice cream genius. It works beautifully overall in flavor, texture, and the frozen state; seriously, it’s just perfect.
I’ve heard that folks who live in or near the Alhambra area can pick up containers of Fosselman’s at their local markets, and now I am just totally jealous. Though this place isn’t a long distance from our home, it’s not exactly around the corner either, and it’s an excursion that definitely requires some pre-planning (around freeway traffic and with it being a 30-40 minute drive one-way). But the good news is that it’s semi-on the way to such family favorites as the Huntington Library and Gardens and Kid Space (both in the Pasadena area of LA County, and I will post about Kid Space very soon, promise!), so it’s an easy stop on the way home for us after a nice day out.
So as I finish up this post, I am left wondering – as I sit in my darkened house in the middle of the afternoon with the a/c running and a HUGE fan blowing on high in my direction – why we just didn’t head on up to Fosselman’s this day?! Next time for sure… and I know there are going to be more hot days like these, and that’s cool.