Thus ice creams—with a cream base— and sorbets – with a fruit base—took on their own identity as they conquered cultures and stomachs. On the coast and in the city of Nicoya we can find an interesting range of artistic ice creams, many of them unique and original. VON visited the most popular ice cream parlors to taste them. Here we present those ones that just have to be tried this summer
Cherry and Tiramisu
Secret Spot Italian Ice Cream Parlor100 meters south of Panchos, Pelada Beach, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.
The creamy base of the ice creams is made by an Italian artisan who lives in Potrero beach. Later, Stephano, owner of Secret Spot, adds ingredients imported from Italy or fresh fruits. In this case, it's not the standard cherry but rather "guinda", a type of sour cherry that grows in temperate zones. The sour cherry marmalade, or Amarena as it is called in Italy, is imported. In the tiramisu, there is Italian mascarpone cheese, espresso, marsala liquor, and savoiardo crackers, known in Costa Rica as "dedos de señora" (lady fingers). Other flavors are pistachio (imported from Sicily), hazelnut (imported from Piedmont) and stracciatella (Italian chocolate). Secret Spot has eight flavors and Stephano alternates two of them each week.
Caramel and Oatmeal
Cookie - Mayan Chocolate
Robin's Ice Cream. 50 meters from Café de Paris Hotel, Guiones Beach, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Robin Lance, professional chef, knows very well how to make an ice cream; she's been preparing them since 1978. Her recipes are inspired by French cuisine, and the base of her creamy ice creams are eggs, milk and sugar, a lot of sugar. All of her ice creams and sorbets are 100% hand-crafted and use organic ingredients whenever they are available. The caramel and oatmeal cookie flavor has a cream base reduced with caramel (or dulce de leche) too which homemade oatmeal cookies and brown sugar are added, ideal for the sweet tooth. The Mayan chocolate is elaborated with 70% fine Costa Rican "foreign" variety cacao. Later, raw cocoa seeds imported from Nicaragua are added. Robin also has vegan ice creams made with coconut milk or almond milk, and she offers sorbets of seasonal fruits like cas (a Costa Rican variety of guava), orange or starfruit.
Vanilla and Cashew Rawgen-Dazs covered in chocolate
Naked Food vegan and raw ice creams In The Village. Along the main route, in the north corner of the entrance to Guiones Beach. Every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
If you're told that you are going to eat an ice cream without cream, without sugar and without egg, you'd think that what you were going to eat is not ice cream in the least; however, the raw and vegan (without animal product derivatives) ice creams of Naked Foods are an incredible surprise for the palate. The chef, Dave Englander, promotes the raw-vegan culture through his desserts and ice creams. By eating raw foods, we obtain more energy originating from the photosynthesis carried out by the plants that give us fruits and vegetables. The vanilla and cashew ice cream is made with 70% organic ingredients. The cashew is soaked in water for a few hours to "awaken the seed" and to activate the natural enzymes, which help with digestion. Later, tender coconut, dates, honey and vanilla are added. Once ready, it is bathed in homemade chocolate and sprinkled with almond slices. The flavor in your mouth: a chocolate truffle ice cream. Dave also makes ice cream cakes, blackberry and chocolate cheesecake, and banana, chocolate and coconut cake.
La Virginia's Ice Cream and Dessert Shop in Nicoya, 125 meters east of Coopealianza
Ana Virginia Quesada Gamboa, better known as "Doña Vicky," has been making ice creams for Nicoyans for 37 years. She started with cream ice cream and little by little "polished" the flavors until she achieved an excellent natilla (sour cream) ice cream with dehydrated plum, coconut, tropical fruits and chocolate-peanut, among other flavors. The caramel-swirled cream ice cream is made with cinnamon, cream, maicena (corn starch) and sugar. Doña Vicky cooks all the ingredients together and at the end adds a dollop of caramel that melts along with the ice cream as you eat it. They aren't just an excellent dessert or afternoon snack to satisfy your craving, and their price makes them irresistible: 300 colones (60 cents) each.