Hertfordshire companies providing a luxurious touch to the tasty business of staying cool
Apparently, we can thank the Chinese for ice cream. A centuries-old recipe of milk and rice, which was frozen by packing it in snow, was expanded by King Tang of Shang (AD 618-697), who had 94 ice men on call to help make an ice-cold dish of buffalo milk, flour and camphor.
And although Roman emperors sent their slaves to the tops of mountains to bring back fresh snow which was then flavoured, ice cream worthy of the name was not introduced to Europe until Marco Polo saw it being made on an expedition to China and bought the recipe back to Italy.
And it snowballed from there.
To the extent that, even last year, more than 405million kilogrammes of frozen loveliness were sold in Britain alone.
In Hertfordshire we are fortunate to have some luxurious ice-cream parlours and producers, with one of the most highly-rated, Dawlicious, based at Amswell place in Hertford Heath. Founded by Barry and Jenny Daw, the award-winning ice cream is made by their daughter Claire, with the milk from their Jersey cows turned into a taste sensation within hours.
Their Dawlicious and Dawlicious Chocolate flavours have both won awards and are available from the farm, Foxholes Farm shop, Brookmans Park Dutch Market Place and Cammas Hall.
For pure indulgence, try Darlish who are hoping to broaden their horizons this month by adding a store in trendy Covent Garden to their St Albans-based outlet. They create a luxury ice cream inspired by natural botanicals and the wonderful flavours of the Middle East, creating such delights as Apricot Yoghurt and Honey to Coconut and Cardamom, although their baklava ice-cream sandwich is a real delight.
Their lines are available at Waitrose, and they also provide a home delivery service.
St Albans is also home to two other highly-rated businesses, Room For Dessert and Valentina’s Italian. The former has been building a good reputation under two friends with a love for all kinds of desserts, including delicious ice cream and waffle cones, which have gone down a storm on TikTok.
Valentina’s is in Chiswell Green and is an Italian café offering bespoke cuisine, including their popular home-made ice cream and Italian gelato.
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