20 | Mar | 20

Richard Johnson

I Scream & Sore Bay

Since La Grotta Ices won Best of the Best at the inaugural  British Street Food Awards supported by Hellmann’s, we knew ice cream was always going to take off in the street food crucible in a big way. We get it – there’s tons of nostalgia surrounding ice cream (we were all feral kids once, chasing ice cream trucks down the street). Plus, it’s in mid-revival, people.

Remember when we called vanilla ‘vanilla?’ No one does that any more. It’s got to be ‘Madagascan vanilla’, or ‘Tongan vanilla’ – each with their own flavour profile (Madagascan more rich, Tongan more earthy). Still sound a bit pretentious? Maybe no one told you Mr Softee and his mates use vanilla extract. Where can the romance be found in that?

Meanwhile, salted caramel has for some time been a marketing buzzword, wafer ice cream cones are falling out of favour, and no one seems to do honeycomb anymore. Well, unless you’re Richard Makin of Blu Top, who made his name with inventiveness.  ‘Infusions are gonna be big,’ Richard tells me. ‘We’re also looking to the Deep South for inspiration: blueberry cornbread, buttermilk pie, Bananas Foster.’

Then there’s sorbet. More of a thing in other street food circles (see that of Bangladesh), dare we say the choice is somewhat…lacking? No disservice to the likes of the UK’s Sorbitium of course, whose cherry negroni granita (bit like a sorbet, but more granular) cools off many a Londoner in the summer. Or to the various concoctions knocked out by Ginger’s Comfort Emporium, including a dish involving orange blossom sorbet for breakfast.

At the 2020 Scottish Street Food Awards supported by Hellmann’s you’ll undoubtedly see MOO PIE’s ice cream cookie sandwiches smothered on the face of many a small child. And their parents’. Founder Emma finished her training at Bologna’s Gelato University (you heard right – a GELATO university) before she set up a proper ice cream business in Edinburgh, which must feel a bit brave considering the general climate. But get this – provided Emma does well at the 2020 Awards, and impresses the rest of the UK, then it’s on to Europe, where she’ll have the chance to beat the Italians at their own gelato game. How would that be for a story?