The City that Ice Cream Built

Trip Start Oct 10, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Sunday, May 6, 2007

I've never been to a city exlusively for the ice cream and I had a hard time admitting that was the only reason I was coming to Ibarra. But it's true; my weakness for cream and sugar in that perfect combination has finally taken control of my life. I wandered into Ibarra like a labotomy vicitim, not quite sure why I was there but sure I had a purpose.

Ibarra is world famous for it's copper whipping process, or something, I don't really care how they do it. And by world famous I mean famous within 100 km of Ibarra. So I went, spent a night and ate an ice cream. As so often has been the case on this journey, the places that are over-hyped are often disappointing. Nevermind that I was the only one over-hyping Ibarra, stirring myself into an ice cream frenzy as I squirmed like a dope addict on the bus ride from the Colombian border.

The ice cream was good, very good. It started with a simple, understated yet uniquely suave vanilla with just a hint of what I concluded must be nutmeg, a new and exciting ingredient that I had yet to encounter in my extensive tasting experience. The subtle tones of the vanilla were complemented perfectly by the second scoop (all good cones must work two-scoop combinations), the powerful tang of mora (blackberry) fruit ice.  The flavours swirled together on the tastebuds creating a rotating carnival ride of energizing mora and relaxing vanilla that left me both exhasuted and refreshed, like a vigourous forest run in a summer downpour. The quantity was that perfect amount that calmed my cravings but spared me that uncomfortable dairy bloating.

Unfortunately the perfect tenderness of the meat just enhanced the glaring oversight of the mushy boiled potatoes. How can you claim to have the best ice cream in the world and then serve it to me in a regular old styrofoam cone? To reach ice cream supremacy you had better give me a waffle cone, or at the very least a sugar cone, and that's pushing it. This anti-climatic finish was Ibarra ice cream's ultimate downfall and I would not even consider handing it the illustrious title of "best ice cream in the world". I guess I'll just have to keep searching.
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