I think we have to be honest with ourselves here guys. The hope of a late summer has all but gone; the nights are closing in much earlier (oh how we complain now but how we will mourn a 7pm sunset come the end of October), I’m prepping my coat for the dry cleaners and sorry – don’t hate me for this one – but I can feel Christmas creeping around the corner. A dash around Sainsbury’s this weekend revealed the ugly truth to me in the form of shelves dedicated to the festive season: summer is over.
I spent the weekend grasping on to anything I could to prevent the sinking feeling that happens every time another summer goes by. On Saturday I wore an outfit that I routinely pull on when I feel spring on it’s way and schlepped all the way from the sticks around North West London to the East End. Why not, I had time to kill – as you often do on pretend summer days. The reason for my pilgrimage was all down to The British Street Food Awards over at ‘Fifteen Street’ unsurprisingly outside Jamie Oliver’s restaurant Fifteen.
The best of street food from around the country had gathered in one street for the weekend, hailing from Scotland, Manchester, Bristol and London itself in order to battle it out in a variety of categories. The sun had made an appearance for the occasion and by the time I made it East, people were being temporarily turned away at the door and a few vendors had sold out for the day.
My plan to feel summery was working. Wondering around the streets of London has a sort of summer romance to it, and my mission was made all the more easier by finally getting my hands on some famed Sorbitium Ices. With such an array of unusual flavours, I was a bit stumped with what to go for. Luckily, the Sorbitium geniuses are happy to let you try before you buy. Not wanting to take the Michael, I asked for a fairly restrained three samples. Being only a SLIGHTLY closeted chocoholic, one of my choices was the Dark Valrhona Chocolate and Chipotle Chilli. WOW did that chilli have some kick to it. I love spicy food, but I was unprepared for how hot an ice cream could be. An interesting flavour, but I’m not sure I could enjoy a whole scoop as much as I could a couple of spoonfuls.
Next up was the Blackberry and Rose Geranium Sorbet. A fresh and fruity flavour – as you would hope – yet not sharp, it was an exemplary sorbet. If I wasn’t a ‘fruit is not dessert’ person, I would have been all over this. However, I’m a true dessert cliché and my favourite without question was the Sea Salted Caramel. It was just beautiful: a robust caramel flavour with the taste of salt coming through to make the whole thing one of the best ice creams I’ve tried in a long time.
If you’re not ready to give into Autumn, Sorbitium is a good place to start.