I'm Eating What?! Crème de Canistel Ice Cream

Canistel.jpg
Photo by Riki Altman
Fruit nog?
We got suckered in when we saw the rep at Whole Foods offering samples of her Gaby's Farm ice creams and sorbets. Always aiming to help local farmers, we thought the least we could do was shell out the $6-plus bucks for a pint of her product.

"But which should we try?" we pondered at length. Instead of even tasting the more than two dozen flavors, my buddy and I just went for the one that was totally foreign: Crème de Canistel. "Canistel is also known as eggfruit," the kind rep informed us, registering the quizzical look on our faces. [Insert sarcastic tone here:] Oh. That helped. 

Now maybe you neophytes have never chomped down on a scoop of sapote, dragonfruit, sapodilla, caju, or jackfruit, but we're experts here in the "Eating What?!" department so our palates have been around the experimental block a few times. Those flavors held no mystery for us. But eggfruit? Now there was a new one. 

So we toted home our chilled pint of what we hoped would be ice-creamy deliciousness and prepared the scoops, bowls, and spoons. An audible gasp could be heard 'round the room as we peeled back the lid to discover the contents were hued similar to deep yellow egg yolks. Curious, yet enticing. What wasn't so enticing, however, was the scent. It reminded us of mangos that had sat out in the sun a wee bit too long, but we charged ahead, dedicated to bringing you the scoop (pun intended!).

Bypassing the formality of bowls, we each sunk our spoons in and our faces registered entirely different reactions. 

"Yummers!" I hollered. 

"Bleech!" she prounounced. 

"But it tastes like egg nog!" I countered.

"I hate egg nog!" was her quick response. 

Then she quickly picked up the carton and read from pursed lips, "Ingredients: Milk, cream, canisel puree, sugar, lime juice, egg yolks, natural rum extract, natural vanilla extract, salt, locust bean gum, guar gum, and carrageenan. Heck--it is freakin' egg nog! Just with fruit." (Actually, she mispronounced the last ingredient but we'll overlook it since we didn't know what the hell it was anyhow). Now we know it's an algae or seaweed derivative. Somehow the additional info made it sound that much less appetizing to her, though...

We at least agreed that its texture was interesting--creamy for sure, but a tad bit gritty. Like ice cream with 'tude. 

As to who should eat this, if you ask my buddy I suspect she'd tell you no one should go near it. But I propose anyone who needs to get into the holiday spirit would enjoy this frozen treat. Just throw it into the blender, spike it with some rum to make a kickass milkshake, then top it with some whipped cream and nutmeg. Now we're ready for all those office Christmas parties!!!

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