Dozens of ice cream enthusiasts converged on the Community Boating docks on the Esplanade to both hold onto those precious few more weeks of almost-summer weather and enjoy some frozen goodness for a good cause Sunday.
Under bright afternoon skies, the 3rd Annual Ice Cream Showdown welcomed local ice cream vendors who were passing out frosty samples of their tastiest flavors. The lines were sometimes long, but the treats were sweet, so no one seemed to mind too much.
Our first stop was Batch, a local, fair trade, and organic-when-possible ice cream operation based out of Jamaica Plain. Their offerings were a rich chocolate and a very nice homemade salted caramel.
Next up was COOP’s Microcreamery, a Watertown-based line headed by local ice cream aficionado Marc “Coop” Cooper. They were all out of chocolate by the time we got to them, but they also had a salted caramel – this one was creamier and dense with less air in the mix, creating a more velvety mouthfeel.
At the back of the docks was Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream, the Inman Square favorite that offers at least 50 unique flavors at their shop every day. Christina’s options for the event were a light, herbal fresh mint flavor (that, while summery now, could transition very easily into a chilly fall/winter flavor) and burnt sugar, which had a powerful caramel flavor that bordered on coffee.
Last for us was the longest line of all – Giovanna Gelato e Sorbet, purveyors of small-batch, authentic Italian frozen treats. The little samples were even being scooped up by gelato master himself, Eduardo Kreindel. The chocolate gelato had a very pleasant cocoa flavor that leaned nicely toward bittersweet instead of sugary, and the dulce de leche had a gentle caramel flavor and a satisfying richness.
A sweet time was had by everyone. Plus, ticket sales raised money for Community Servings, which provides meals to those homebound by illness, and Lovin' Spoonfuls, a food rescue service that distributes perishable and unserved foods that would otherwise be thrown away.