In spite of the fact that I still had a bit of a cough on Saturday, I could not resist a little detour to one of my favourite (if not THE favourite) ice-cream parlours, Tichy,
(they don't have a website of their own, apparently) on our way back from visiting friends who live in the 10th district. I'm the one in the cream leather coat, by the way and the "dumpling" is their famous (patented) "Eismarillenknödel" (ice cream apricot-dumpling). Mmmmhmmm!
When I was a child and only visited Vienna on rare occasions with my parents, Tichy ice-cream (generous portions for little money, quick service, the same staff every season) to me was perhaps the most attractive thing about our capital city. Well, and the annual trip to IKEA, possibly. Back then, two of my relatives lived just round the corner from Tichy's so we were sure to walk past (read: inside) it several times a day. With a few exceptions, most Viennese ice-cream parlours are open from March to September and I have vivid memories of holding Tichy cone in a gloved hand in gale-force winds towards the end of the season, trying in vain to keep loose strands of hair from getting stuck in the ice-cream.
My Mum is usually very restrained when it comes to sweets but a little pilgrimage to Tichy's is a ritual whenever she visits me in Vienna. She also always has the same flavours: strawberry and hazelnut. My dad (who hardly ever comes to Vienna, but that's a different story) loves ice-cream anyway and I guess I've inherited my passion from him. Whereas he's happy with a tub of good old shop-bought Eskimo
, I insist that Viennese ice-cream is the best in the world
. Don't let anyone tell you any different. I know that Italian ice-cream is supposed to be superior but the ones I've tried (and believe me, I've conducted quite an extensive...
ehm...survey on the subject) were expensive and fancy-looking but rather bland in taste, i.e. mostly very heavy on the cream. Perhaps I've just been unlucky but my taste-buds were just never tickled enough by Italian gelati. Several popular ice-cream parlours in Vienna actually have Italian proprietors so possibly all the talent has moved here? Well, only guessing.
One of my colleagues' Dad also owns an ice-cream parlour and from her I know that there's an annual "ice-cream-summit" where owners agree on the price of basic cones and cups for the next season. Size does vary considerably though and not all parlours are as generous as Tichy where I can hardly ever manage more than the smallest cone (€1,50 this season) or cup (€1,60).
Interestingly, I eat different flavours at different ice-cream parlours. At Tichy's, for example I love classics like vanilla, chocolate or strawberry I would not eat elsewhere as they tend to be very boring. At Bortolotti's
I always have natural yoghurt, "Bacio" and panna cotta. From "Eissalon am Schwedenplatz"
I prefer "pralinata" (very rich and nougat-y), chocolate-orange and "maroni" (chestnut).
Guess who's more or less on an ice-cream diet from March to September every year...Lunch-break-purchases:
As I went on a spring-cleaning rampage on the weekend, I had to stock up on detergents and various cleaning accessories.