While this blog is primarily a fan of local scoop shops, it acknowledges that sometimes a person just wants to stay in for the night. That being said, this is one of my Freezer Favorites.
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A newcomer to my list of favorites is Steve's No. 45 Mexican Chili Chocolate, a chocolate ice cream spiced with cayenne, cinnamon and guajillo chili chocolate. It is a dense, fudgy chocolate ice cream with a rough mix-in, similar in texture to that of stone ground chocolate. But the first thing to notice after taking the lid off is the spicy whiff of cayenne and cinnamon. But never fear! The spiciness is most present in the mix-in and, though it leaves a burn in the back of the throat, the flavor of the base is classically chocolate. It makes sense: Everything on the ingredient list is pretty straightforward, except the final ingredient, guar gum, which is a commonly used stabilizer.
One friend commented that it was the best ice cream she had ever tasted. It is certainly one of my new favorites. But who (or what) is Steve?
Years ago, Steve's (Est. 1973) was a Massachusetts-based scoop shop that branched into pre-packaged ice cream for grocery stores. They were actually an early rival to Ben & Jerry's, as mentioned in the book Ben & Jerry's: The Inside Scoop. Though discord resulted in the business closing in the 90's, it was revived in 2011 by a former worker of the original store in the Boston-area. The business was moved to Brooklyn where it focuses on small batch preparation and unique flavors. How unique? They do not sell a plain vanilla or chocolate. In fact, every one of their flavors contains two distinct flavors, be it Coconut Key Lime Pie or NOLA Iced Coffee and Donuts.
Steve's Mexican Chili Chocolate, I salute you.