Two third of the way through our month-long ice cream odyssey, Scoops' out for Summer, Internet sensation Martin Cizmar braves the summer cold for an underrated food cart favorite.
A La Carts pod, 4926 SE Division St.; and North Station pod., 2730 North Killingsworth St., scooppdx.com.
Price per scoop: $3
Most popular flavors: Salted caramel
The person in front of me: I opened the place up. The day's scooper had forgotten her keys and it took about 45 minutes for someone to show up and let her in.
Best for: A fancy pint to bring along to a friend's summer barbecue.
Ice cream is a warm weather food by reputation. Paradoxically, people in colder climes eat a lot more of it. Getting reliable statistics on ice cream consumptions is a sticky chore, but most studies find Alaskans eats more ice cream per capita than any other state and that Portland, Seattle and St. Louis are the creamiest cities. All places known for greyer than average skies and tough winters.
Internationally, Americans eat more ice cream than anyone, but we're followed by New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden, Canada, Norway, Ireland and Switzerland.
None of those places is notably warm, save Australia. Given the Aussie propensity for appropriating the desert culture of the Kiwis—pavlova is a prime example—it's possible they only eat it to imitate the Kiwis. Either way, it's telling that almost every place known to lick up ice cream by the quart is also sweater country most of the year.
What gives? I really don't know. But I will say that I had plenty of time to look all this up as I waited for Scoop to open one rainy Saturday, and that my appetite for frozen dairy was in no way dampened by the fact that I was wearing a jacket. Honestly, I'm at least as happy eating ice cream on a cold day as a really hot one. I think other people are too. Either that, or people toward the poles overcompensate when the sun's out.
Heavy stuff like Scoop sells at its two stationary carts and stands at various Portland farmers markets goes especially well with colder weather. I got a rich pint flavored with white wine, poached apricot and crushed roasted hazelnuts that was more like a frozen ganache than most commercial ice cream.
The bold combination didn't come off quite as well as I'd hoped, but it stayed both interesting and edible thanks to a nice sweet sweet base. The flavors melded better as my bowl melted down a bit. That took awhile on such a chilly day, which didn't trouble me at all.
More Scoops' out for Summer
Day 18: Salt & Straw
Day 17: 50 Licks
Day 16: Pix Patisserie
Day 15: Caffe Pallino
Day 14: Alotto Gelato
Day 13: YoCream
Day 12: Ruby Jewel
Day 11: The Waffle Window
Day 10: Alma Chocolate
Day 9: j. Gelati
Day 6: Cool Harry's Yogurt
Day 5: Ohana Hawaiian Cafe
Day 4: Roses Ice Cream
Day 2: Oregon Ice Works
Day 1: What's the Scoop?