French ice cream sundae treat

Ice Cream Sundae: Route 66 To France

View of the Grand Canyon

Last month was National Ice Cream Month and I hope most of you got the opportunity to enjoy a special ice cream celebration. I certainly did, as did my friend June. Why would that be interesting? Well, we were both on holiday, thousands of miles apart, in very different countries — I was in France, whilst June was driving Route 66 taking in Chicago, St. Louis, Oklahoma, Phoenix and the Grand Canyon.

Typical village in the Vendee, FranceWhen we got back from holiday, we met up for a coffee and June gave me a photograph of a particularly good ice cream sundae she had enjoyed in Phoenix. I laughed and showed her one of my favorite photographs taken in France — an ice cream sundae! What’s more, we had both chosen the same combination — chocolate and vanilla!

Here is June’s chocolate and vanilla ice cream sundae, which she enjoyed in Phoenix. It was locally made ice cream served in a homemade almond tulip cookie cup with a sprig of fresh mint.

Ice cream treat on Route 66
Served at the famous La Posada Hotel on Route 66 (Winslow Arizona), June told me that many famous people had stayed there — from Bob Hope to John Wayne — even Albert Einstein and President Truman. “There’s another ice cream connection!” I declared. June looked at me a little surprised. Having researched and written about U.S. Presidents and ice cream, I knew that President Truman was amongst those who was an ice cream fan.

Having looked at June’s ice cream photograph, I insisted that my French ice cream sundae was equally delicious. Served in a small seaside restaurant in the region of France known as Vendée, it was locally made ice cream supplied by what the French call an artisan glacier (master ice cream maker). Lashings of chocolate sauce and chantilly (sugared whipped cream) meant that it required serving in a rather tall ice cream glass!

French ice cream sundae treat
When it comes to ice cream sundaes, it’s hard to beat the combination of chocolate and vanilla, but what I find interesting — as these photographs show — is that you can present an ice cream sundae in such different ways.

In Phoenix it was a simple, no-nonsense two scoops of delicious ice cream with that extra “homemade” touch of a cookie cup.

In France, they took the artistic approach and made you dive into a stack of swirled, whipped cream before reaching the ice cream tucked away in the bottom of the glass. That to me is one of the secrets of the enduring popularity of ice cream — its versatility! Take a look at this ice cream sundae gallery to get an idea of what’s possible.

Go one step further and make a batch of your own chocolate or vanilla ice cream to create a special homemade sundae!

Here are my own tried and tested recipes: Chocolate Ice Cream and Vanilla Ice Cream.

You don’t have to be in far flung places to enjoy a great ice cream treat!