What is it about snow storms that makes me crave ice cream and sorbet? Does like attract like? Am I a hopeless gultton? Aren’t I always craving those things? Whatever the reason, I made a bee-line for the Bent Spoon after more than a foot of snow fell in Princeton last week. This place is my go-to dessert spot when I’m home for the holidays, where I can get some cold stuff, some hot stuff, and a whole lot of spice.
The Bent Spoon, located in Palmer Square in the center of town, is a critically acclaimed ice cream shop that sells lots of Jersey fresh flavors. There is sweet corn in the summer, while the fall and winter call for cranberry, apple, and pumpkin. When flavors aren’t local, they are certainly seasonal. After sampling a few flavors, including gingerbread (creamy and piquant), I opetd for a scoop each of blood orange and spicy citrus sorbets. The latter used a medley of fruits from Ceebees Citrus in Odessa, Florida, an independent, family owned farm specializing in the cultivation of heirloom citrus varieties.
Spicy citrus sorbet combines heirloom clementines, Monarch tangerines and heirloom grapefruit. The spiciness is indebted to the presence of smoked lemon drop, a citrus-flavored yellow chili pepper. Each ingredient is interesting in its own right, but perhaps the prize for most unique goes to the Monarch Tangerine. Once the exclusive property of the King of Morocco, this variety is a rare breed that doesn’t grow anywhere else in the US.
This spicy flavor paired nicely with the blood orange, which cut the heat a bit. I think spicy citrus may be too spicy for some (a friend who tried the flavor said the heat was overpowering), but I enjoyed it so much that I followed it up with a cup of hot chocolate with habanero pepper and home made NJ honey-vanilla marshmallows. Not down for the spice? There are other hot chocolate flavors (classic, soy, and praline) and more than a dozen ice cream and sorbet flavors to choose from.