Monday, April 16, 2007

Eis, Eis, Baby*

Our weekend weather was utterly fabulous. Since my memories of last summer consist mainly of feeling nauseous, sitting in a tank top on my couch and sweating while counting down the days until I got to visit the States, the glory of a summery weekend in Bavaria took me by surprise. Low expectations have their reward.

German EisCafes unfurl their umbrellas as soon as the sun appears each spring. Most of them are run by Italians who lay out an array of tempting gelato bins - everything from Pistachio to Stracciatella - and hand out colorful menus displaying a gleaming array of concoctions. I thoroughly appreciate the German embrace of ice cream, and not just a simple cone. On any sunny day, the umbrella tables outside the EisCafes are packed with people who sit in front of incredible towers of ice cream, chocolatey syrup, whipped cream, fruit, and straws. These masterpieces look exactly like the menu photos. No meager scoops of vanilla here. The philosophy seems to be that if you're going to take the time to sit down at an ice cream parlor, you'd better go the whole hog. In the US, no one ever actually orders the banana split. A hot fudge sundae is as thrilling as it gets. I would wager that many American ice cream purveyors don't even know how to make half the fancy offerings pictured so temptingly on their menus, because no one orders them.

Yesterday, I ate the whole thing - whipped cream, syrup, and all - from a colorful goblet under a striped umbrella. Maybe if I eat enough ice cream, I'll keep cool enough that I won't pine so heavily for air conditioning this year.

*(This might be my worst post title ever. But I am unable to resist the opportunity to pay tribute to Vanilla Ice. He is an icon.)


Abigail said...

I am seriously envious over here!

Schokolade Madchen said...

The EisCafes are awesome! You are absolutely right - what you see on the menu is exactly what comes to the table. And your post title rocks:+)

Maria said...

Oh-- I order a banana split and eat it all! I especially enjoy those from the DQ (which I used to work at)!