And in a cone, not a cup (small, $4.50). Van Leeuwen ice creams are rightly renowned for their scrupulous reliance on superior ingredients. (At an UnFancy Food Show one summer, it was explained to me that the nuts for their pistachio ice cream are sourced just every other year, "on the trees' schedule.") The custard base, made only from milk, egg yolks, and cane sugar (18 percent butterfat, 30 percent overrun, if you're into stats), is super-rich and creamy. So much so, in fact, that at first the ice cream may seem all texture, until that "Aha!" moment when the flavor makes itself known.
Shown: Earl Grey, flavored with Yunnan black tea and Italian bergamot; mint chip, excellent primarily because it was clearly made with peppermint, as advertised, and not merely some random "mint"; palm sugar atop roasted banana; a subtle vanilla; and one of the Van Leeuwen trucks, parked at the Columbia University main gate.
Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream
Multiple mobile and brick-and-mortar locations