Bikini diets be damned, the Chron’s food department took a tour of Bay Area ice creameries for the Sunday paper, with a view toward comparing the old guard like Mitchell’s and Fenton’s with upstarts like Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous and Humphry Slocombe. All told, after tasting three flavors apiece from fifteen different shops, they weren’t all that thrilled with the new guys! They say that the magic of Mitchell’s chocolate ice cream is that they use the highest-butterfat ice cream base of any of the shops, clocking in at sixteen percent — Bi-Rite et al all use Straus’s base, which is fourteen percent.
They also like Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous’s Chocolate Malted Crunch, and Three Twins’s strawberry, which they say beat out the others. But Humphry Slocombe doesn’t get a single flavor into their “hall of fame,” and Bi-Rite gets only one, the salted caramel.
The tasting panel might have been just a touch weighted with ice cream Philistines, however. They seem to have all hated, across the board, any new-fangled flavors with herbs in them, saying Humphry Slocombe’s honey-thyme “tastes like potpourri,” and complaining that they wanted to “spit the leaf out” of the basil ice cream from Fairfax Scoop.