July 27, 2011

Skankynavia: Siciliansk Is is Sicilian Ice Cream (CPH)

by Anders

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Italian ice cream, especially from Sicily, has this smooth, creamy texture which you can eat with a spatula. It’s gorgeous, sexy and slimy. In the best way.

Ice cream in Danish is called “is” as in ice–meaning we call that slippery cold frozen water stuff for is as well. Meaning denotes from the colloquial, like in Japanese. Just 10 years ago, you could only buy factory made is in Copenhagen. Either in the supermarkets or at the kiosk in the shop freezer. And maybe here and there in the tourist trap areas some “old-fashioned” ice cream scoops in a traditional Danish waffle cone. The ice cream flavours were vanilla, banana, chocolate, nougat and strawberry and it was always the same boring experience, trite, stiff, hard ice cream you bite off, and vague waffle-like cardboard dipped in canned milk.

Not so in 2011. Ice cream has literally exploded across the Danish capital with many different outlets, chains, local vendors and organic little dairies making fresh ice cream every day. Ben & Jerrys have planted their enticing, cow decorated freezers in every 7-Eleven street corner kiosk. It’s my only vice, since I don’t really like drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes or shooting heroin. And on Skydebanegade, the place in the city formerly known for the shooting and training of royal huntsmen, there is now a little dairy called Siciliansk Is (Sicilian Ice Cream).

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“Så er der is igen” (We finally have ice cream again).

Not a fan of the exterior or window decor. I smell Italian heterosexuality except the chair colour outside is very 1993 hairdresser coral which indicates either bad taste or really great ironic Generation X humour. But I’m afraid it’s a combination of the first two.

This little dairy shop has won several awards for being the best ice cream in the city. Even though my personal taste is more attracted to American ice cream with lots of chunks, chocolate, nuts and stuff, I can understand why people in Copenhagen love this place. For once a manufacturer doesn’t just bullshit you and fill you up with ad agency smart talk, this place really walks the walk. As their name indicates, their primary function is to make real Sicilian ice cream based on Sicilian ingredients. On their homepage they explain in detail where they buy their locally produced ingredients including photos of the small artisan chocolate shops in cozy Sicilian villages.

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Sicily spring 2010, taken by my friend. For more pics see my Wintering in Sicily post.

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The island gets so much sun that everything you grow here tastes wonderful.

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Dog not used as ingredient in ice cream. But perhaps this will be when in 2050 when China has taken over the world. Rice ice cream with pink Poodle chunks, yum.

Today I walked by the shop and had to sample three of their most popular flavours. Chocolate, havtorn and kærnemælkskoldskål.

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Nearly empty gelato containers–again, this place is popular. Assortment of flavours like chocolate from Sicilian capital Modica, almond from Avola, Zuppa Inglese from Palermo, Havtorn (buckthorn), cassata (ricotta and pickled fruit), strawberry (Danish), coffee, mandarin, koldskål, blood orange and so on. It all looked very delicious!

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The yellow colour of buckthorn caught my eye, I had to taste it.

Buckthorn is an expensive Scandinavian berry (this batch is from Sweden) which is so hard to pick.

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Voila! I chose the large serving at 37 DKK ($7). The yellow ice cream is buckthorn–it tasted sweet and fresh, sort of a sour mandarin. I could totally see buckthorn popular in Japan.

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White creamy ice cream is kærnemælkskoldskål (try to pronounce that, Americanos!). Kærnemælk is buttermilk and Kærnemælkskoldskål is a traditional  yogurty buttermilk dessert which I think I will write about next week. A cold and very refreshing Danish summer dessert served with biscuits and fresh strawberries. It’s a hit. This ice cream version is really delicious too–sweet but also spiked with a sourness. I only wish they’d gone a little American and dropped big chunks of biscuit and berry into it.

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Chocolate hiding beneath… chump chump.

Ok, chocolate recovered.

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This chocolate ice cream is based on chocolate made by famous dolceria Bonajuto in the city of Modica. To quote their webpage:

Modica is Sicily’s capital, when it comes to chocolate. Here they have specialized in chocolate for over 500 years and have over 80 small chocolate shops in town. Here people are experimenting with all sorts of spices, among other things: marjoram, nutmeg, white pepper, salt, cinnamon and cardamom to name a few.

Exciting. I would love to go there on an Umamiventure to sample all these interesting experiments.

All in all, this ice cream is very good and I like their business model and concept. I didn’t take pictures of the interior of the shop, I thought of it as quite messy and unsexy. Their website is very DIY as well, I think their business could do with a little redesign and concept styling to make it all come together much better.

But for now they probably spend all their time awake making great ice cream and hats off for that. Then we can hope for a better visual experience to match the culinary one sometime in the future.

Map

SICILIAN IS
Skydebanegade 3
1719 København V
T: 30 22 30 89

FAT MAP

8 Comments

  • yoko
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    kærnemælkskoldskål. There, I said it!! Seriously, I wouldn’t know where to begin with that word. As always, very observant commentary with the humor I expect from my favorite Scandinavian food blogger.

  • yoko
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Confession. I have been internalizing the dog comment for a few days now, trying to think about why my stomach turned at that moment. I know I am a half Japanese/Chinese, PC Californian. I don’t know if that has anything to do with anything, but I couldn’t avoid the fact that I kept thinking about that comment and why it was nagging at me. It got me thinking and I started snooping around the www (the most reliable resource in the world) regarding the dog meat debate. I came across this interesting article here:

    http://askakorean.blogspot.com/2010/07/ask-korean-news-bok-and-dog-meat.html

    I thought the section “Food Can not be Immoral” was very interesting. It’s a heated debate and I think what gives me a funny feeling in my stomach about the dog/horse debate is that there’s something more than just the animal in question. I totally understand that people criticize the inhumane slaughter process for dogs, but if that’s the reason for not eating dogs, eating a species who has ever been slaughtered in a factory farm should be illegal as well. Meaning, even a cow that was humanely raised and slaughtered shouldn’t be eaten. It’s an argument that doesn’t really hold up if we look at our own processes.

    I have never eaten dog, will never and would most definitely gag if I saw it in front of me. But that’s not really the point. It’s telling people what is right and wrong that gives me a little knot in my stomach.

    I actually just called my 90-year-old Chinese grandma and left a message on her machine. I wanted to ask her what she thinks of this debate and if she’s ever had or seen dog meat. I know that dog meat is consumed in specific parts of China, like in Switzerland and I am not sure if she ever lived in those parts. Since I got her machine, I’ll get back to you if she gives me any interesting comments about this whole issue.

    Also, China is a long ass way to taking over the world. I read a great book by Rob Gifford called China Road. I totally recommend it. The country still has a plethora of major kinks to work out. USA! USA! USA!

  • Yoko
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    I just talked to my grandma. So she was in Shanghai at the start of the second Sino-Japanese war (1937) and remained until the mid-1940s. She has never eaten dog meat. She mentioned that there may have been dog in sausage, but she never saw dog meat sold and people she knew never sought it out or made a point to eat it. She noted that Shanghai was quite prosperous compared to other parts of China and speculated that rural areas in China ate dog meat because there weren’t a lot of resources. She compared it to the start of a rat-eating tradition in Southeast Asia where resources were scarce.

    My “super reliable” research online tells me that dog meat consumption in Korea flourished during times of scarcity and famine (i.e. during Japanese colonial rule, when the Japanese exported most of Korea’s food to Japan and during the Korean War).

    My grandma has also heard that people eat dogs for medicinal purposes. Again, the www tells me that dog meat is said to heat the body, so it is consumed especially in the winter.

    Our discussion became a really interesting conversation about history, different countries and human nature.

    Out of curiosity, I asked her one last question: What do you think of the future of China… do you think they’ll take over? And to that she replied:

    I oppose the whole concept of having countries– dividing people and land into countries mean nothing to me. I never wasted a single moment thinking about which country is in power because no matter who is in power, the bottom line is that we are still bombing each other and we haven’t gotten past that yet, as humans.

  • Kayoko
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Let me give this some good thought. You’re right, we’re talking about a lot of different, very loaded arenas here that require a good deal of thought before offhandedly responding.

    Start of a great discussion, thanks Yoko.

    Truly in awe of Gramami.

  • Anders
    Posted July 30, 2011 at 5:27 am

    Yoko: It is a very interesting discussion actually. I understand your political point of view, please know I never meant any insult by writing it, it was just a jokey comment. I actually thought it was funny myself, which is a bit why I can’t understand that people don’t just laugh and get on with their day, why do they have to take it personally and get insulted?

    As you know Europe is much less politically correct than the US meaning that we write and joke about a lot of issues which would never go in the US. Not just because of the belief in 100% free speech but also because the people/religions/sexualities who are the butt of the joke usually laugh WITH the joke instead of filing a lawsuit. Everyone gets joked about and that’s just how it is in Europe, we’re an ancient plot of land and a boling pot of nations and that’s how it’s always been – unless religion comes and tells us what to say or not. The whole PC thing is one major difference between our countries, and I’m actually not a big fan of it, instead of protecting people it creates so many conflicts, lawsuits and most of all great divides inside a nation.

    Also, people write jokes about everything from disgusting sex to crazy homo candy on this blog, and I really feel like writing what I believe is funny and not having to tiptoe around everytime there is a gay/Jew/Muslim/Christian/Chinese person in the readership.

    If, in fact, I was offered a scoop of rice flavoured ice cream with poodle chunks in 2050, who says I won’t enjoy a bite? I consider myself an Umamimartian and will therefore always be ready to try new things, even dog (sorry, Cindy).

    As for the China taking over comment, I don’t want to get into lengthy global politics on a food blog, but even though your cool and lovely grandma doesn’t believe in the concept of countries (and I do agree with her on the sad outlook for humanity), fact is that’s how it’s been almost since the birth of man so it’s probably not going to change. Countries/tribes/nations/gangs/families is part of nature.

    I’m NOT an expert on China, but in 2011 this this nation is doing very well and is a rising global force of power. They’re among other things buying up land like crazy all over Africa and they’re sitting on 99% of the world’s most precious metal mines meaning they control a lot more than we know of. The rise of the working class in China is also among the reasons why the price on gas has skyrocketed globally since everyone in China now wants a car.

    Which is a good thing for the people there, but it’s also a sign of a future which will be very different from these times. We can’t all continue living in this high consumer world forever if everyone (deservedly) wants in on it. Perhaps it’s their turn to be the leader and our turn to become a third world some day.
    I read Amy Chuas “Battlehymn…” book on raising children the Chinese way, and even though she comes off as completely mental, she does have a point – and forcing your children to be supermen certainly doesn’t hurt the nation’s collective energy, workforce and future accomplishments.
    I do not know this, but I don’t also feel like I have to be an expert on everything before writing about it on Umamimart. Otherwise I wouldn’t write anything in here anyway, I know nothing about food in the first place, I just like to eat it.

    Therefore I think for me it’s ok to write a small comment about them taking over in 2050 even though it might end up being true or not. That IS the common view here in Europe and as my column is based in Scandinavia I guess that’s just one of the differences between an American and a Scandinavian column :-)

  • yoko
    Posted July 30, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Thank you for your comment, Anders. I know where you are coming from and I appreciate your response. I agree that we don’t need to all be experts on anything here. After some thought, I also don’t think I reacted as a PC person. It’s just that sometimes things affect me on a gut level and I just wanted to investigate why. I also believe in free speech that’s why I would never want something like that to be deleted. I enjoy dialogue like this that arises out of it. I can take a joke, but I also always have my opinions about EVERYTHING (you know that well about me). Ha!

  • Anders
    Posted July 31, 2011 at 5:01 am

    Yokez: That’s why I loooooove you!

  • Henrik
    Posted February 4, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Anders: Stumbled by, by chance, and thought i should give it a look. Can’t believe i, as a native Dane living 5 minutes from CPH, have never even heard of Siciliansk Is. Definitely going to check it out. ^^

    Yoko: I like your Grandma. When it comes to countries and border, we think exactly alike. ^^

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