Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Update: Finger Lakes Ice Cream

At left, the flavors at Amber Cellars. Above, a "small" serving of Finger Lakes Grape, swirled in Vanilla.

On our way back from attending a home inspection in Canandaigua (yep, we made an offer on a house and it was accepted!), Shane and I stopped at Amberg Cellars for a scoop of Finger Lakes Ice Cream.

There were more flavors at Amberg than were offered at the New York Wine & Culinary Center opening and they're now billing their ice cream base for the wine flavors as cheesecake, not vanilla. (I can't imagine that they switched the flavors in four days, so I'm not sure why the sign at the NYWCC would be different than the ones at Amberg.)

The additional flavors are "Creamy Butter Pecan," "Ultimate Vanilla," "Chocolate Cream," and "Blue Dinasaur." The Blue Dinasaur [sic] is a vanilla ice cream colored a deep greenish blue, featuring fudge ripples and chunks of malted milk balls. I sampled it and it's good, but not my thing -- but I'm not its target demographic anyway.

I ordered a cone of the Amaretto Sherry in chocolate, which I had tasted at the NYWCC -- still delicious. Shane had the Finger Lakes Grape, which was good but again, not my thing. The ice cream is sweet and creamy swirled with icy concord grape puree and larger grape bits. Shane liked it a lot, declaring it "refreshing."

We found out a bit more about the company as well. They plan to be a major presence in a number of the wineries in the Finger Lakes, which has a nice tie-in: not only will there be wine ice cream at the wineries, but the children who get dragged along by their parents will have something to look forward to. (Kids get bored at wineries; go figure.)

The ice cream is super premium, which means that it must contain at least 16-percent butterfat. Further, they're aiming to be a competitor to Ben and Jerry's (or at least, that's what they're telling vendors) and should start appearing in local grocery stores fairly soon.

Lastly, and most suprising, the ice cream isn't (completely?) made in the Finger Lakes. The words "Adirondacks" and "Farmers" were mentioned a few times by the woman who served us, and we're still not sure if she meant the ice cream was made in the Adirondacks, the ingredients were grown there, or both. (If you live in the Finger Lakes and eat this ice cream, are you still eating local?)

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