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Ice cream: Summer's Richest Temptation
Fruits, chocolates and creams, the richest and the coldest

By Emiliana García

Few people can resist the temptation of an ice cream or sorbet during the summer. Many are just waiting for the arrival of the heat and the sun to satisfy their "cold" passion for this ancient and exquisite dessert.

The desire for the frozen creams and juices is no novelty or recent fad; even in the Babylonian courts, before the Christian era, they drank frozen or chilled drinks with snow or ice. Marco Polo, in the eighth century, upon returning from his voyages to the Orient, brought several recipes for ice cream desserts used in China for hundreds of years. Italy, France, Spain and England made the ice creams popular and later brought them to American during colonization.

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 Parlor
100 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.

Caramel-swirled Cream
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.



More Entertainment News

Backpackers Welcome

Vacationing in Guiones beach or Peladas always had its price, and in many ways it still does. However, the new hostels are now expanding the type of tourists that are seen in the community's streets. The majority of them, called "backpackers," look for economical options close to the beach. They are young adults traveling around the country in search of good surf and a good time.

10 Unique Beers at Your Grasp

Carlsberg beer. A lager in actuality Carlsberg was first brewed in 1847 and is from Copenhagen Denmark where it has enjoyed in it's past a royal warrant meaning it is the beer of choice for the royal families needs.

Entertain your kids with the very best that the coast and the city has to offer all summer long

Boxing: for children from 7 to 15 years old, children under 7 are fitness classes. $10 per child. During classes the kids play while they exercise inside the only ring in the jungle. Classes are in English or Spanish. Call 2682 - 0621 to book.

The Birth of the Miraculous "yegüita"

The town of Nicoya is preparing a great celebration to honor its patron saint, the Virgin of Guadalupe, along with the Yegüita Dance, which is held every December 12th to commemorate the origins and traditions that the Chorotega Indians left. The religious celebration includes several activities that bring residents, families and visitors together, embellishing the town with faith through one of the most deeply rooted traditions that characterizes Guanacaste's religious folklore.

El Curime of Nicoya: Casa de Arte opens the door to dreams and imagination

As you enter the garden of the Casa de Arte (House of Art) in El Curime of Nicoya, a stone path leads you to a door and a choice. The door, a piece of art in itself, is covered in squares painted with bright colors and designs, and it is symbolic of a choice each of us makes in life.

A Night Out in Nicoya

Sometimes residents and visitors of Nicoya's coastal areas find themselves "stuck" for one night in Nicoya. They might lose their bus or ride back to their hometown, or they just simply have to spend the night in the colonial city to run errands the next day. Many decide to book a room at a hotel and go straight to bed, however, Nicoya offers much more.

December Astrology Report

December promises to be a whirlwind of a month. Focus on seeing clearly the reality of all complex situations in your life- and pay extra attention to where self-defeating attitudes may be coming into play. The mid month eclipse could cause a communication snafu or two. Listen closely to avoid misunderstandings, and do your best not to make commitments until the dust settles. The end of the month brings clarity, so sit tight and do your best to have compassion for others now.



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