Monday, August 26, 2013

Scaramouche: Adventures in Ice Cream

Sorry for the trou noir, folks (That's French for black hole).There's no excuse, at least not a 21st century one. Where in the name of Marie Antoinette have I been for the last year? You might remember last June, when I posted this picture and odd little caption on Facebook. "Up at midnight making yellow cherry sorbet..." Some of you thought I was pregnant. That lacks imagination. We simply started an ice-cream company.

Scaramouche: Adventures in Ice Cream, opened on April 26, 2013 in Cereste, France after a year of intense testing and much pillow talk about vanilla (not quite as sexy as it sounds).

The idea came to us suddenly, Gwendal has always wanted his own business, his own space. We both wanted to share the extraordinary flavors we've discovered here in Provence, from the mellow sweetness of the local melons (harvested just down the hill) to the acid tang of sheep's milk yogurt (my new favorite flavor). I've learned how to make change (my mom was worried about me and the math) and homemade hot fudge. Gwendal's got a closet full of suits gathering dust and is happier than I've seen him in years.
The menu and the recipes come from both sides of the Atlantic. There's a traditional Banana Spilt, like the ones I used to share with my dad. There's a flavor called 1001 Nuits (1001 Nights), made with Raz-el-Hanout (traditional cous-cous spice) and grilled almonds - a nod to Gwendal's family's pied-noir roots in Morocco.

There are cultural differences, even in ice cream. Gwendal and I had a little tiff about the Strawberry. The French like strawberry sorbet, hot pink and smooth. I grew up with creamy pale pink strawberry ice cream with chunks of fruit. As so often happens in an intercultural marriage, we ended up doing both.

Our first summer season is winding down, but there are all the fall flavors to come: quince sorbet, pear sorbet, chestnut ice cream, butternut squash ice cream with sage. I want to add a maple syrup and candied pecan ice cream; we'll have to see how difficult it is to import proper dark maple syrup. You can follow along with all the new flavors on our facebook page.

As the winter months set in, I'll get back to writing (and cooking) full time. My next book, Picnic in Provence is due in April 2014 (to be published in Spring 2015). In between, I'll be launching a new version of this site, and keeping up with the foodie photos on the Lunch in Paris facebook page.

PS. No one would believe it, but Gwendal lost 20 pounds and I lost 10. I'm thinking of filming my own infomercial: LOSE 10 POUNDS IN TWO WEEKS: OPEN AN ICE CREAM SHOP!


  1. Congrats on the ice cream shop....woo hoo, and also to losing all that weight!

  2. félicitations, I'll go visit you next time I go in that area

  3. Lovely to have you back, and the ice cream shop sounds delicious and great fun, looking forward to the new book ;-0

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  5. So glad you are back blogging! Missed your adventures but think you will have many more!

  6. Great to see a new blog post! I'm glad the ice cream shop is going well: we'll probably stop by somewhere during a next vacation in the south of France (I'm from Belgium)! And I'm really really looking forward to your new book! I should also add that I've read Lunch In Paris 3 times already, and am using it for recipes more than I use Nigella's cookbooks :o)