Earlier in February I wrote a guest post for another Barcelona blog, Sticky Fingers BCN, the full post is reproduced here.
Ice cream. Whether it’s the Italian-style gelati, a child’s milk ice, Indian kulfi, a choc ice with its fake chocolate covering, a palate cleansing sorbet or, at a push, the pale yellow supermarket soft scoop, I’m generally a sucker for the stuff. Luckily Barcelona is awash with my favourite dessert.
Ice cream is also a thing of wonder in that it’s been around for a lot longer than most of us might imagine. It is almost certain that it was being created in Italy in the 17th century, however, its production may go back even earlier as our ancestors in the Arabic world almost 800 years ago were aware that adding salt to snow or slush lowers its freezing point and made it possible to freeze sweetened cream. A huge thanks to the ingenious person who made that discovery and set ice cream creation on its way.
Like those in Italy, the Middle East and France that have preceded them in history, the Argentinian owners of Barceloneta’s Vioko are providing the city with some imaginative ice cream creations.Situated on the Passeig de Joan de Borbó facing the stunning marina, I defy you to pass on your way to or from the beach and not succumb to temptation. For me the styling of Vioko is not the draw, I’m not a fan of the stark, minimal, white and neon lit interior.That said, its bare walls contrast with the vivid selection of macaroons, imaginatively decorated individual chocolates and celebratory chocolate tablets.The crisp exteriors of the macaroons, with flavours such as rose, violet and pistachio, lead to soft, meringue like fillings and are so light that it’d be dangerously easy to eat the whole box.
It will come as no surprise though, given my introduction, that what I’m attracted to is the ice cream. The quality is equal to some other vendors around the city but it’s the flavour selection here that makes it worth the trip.
Ginger, a love it or hate it ingredient, is one I adore, so to find a spicy, refreshing ginger ice cream is a real treat. My second selection was cheesecake with forest fruits, not two flavours that pair well together, but I painstakingly ate one first and then the other, trying, like a fussy eater, not to mix the two.Other more curious flavours are raspberry mouse, passion fruit mousse, yoghurt and honey, the floral tastes used in the macaroons and bitter chocolate.Always led astray by my ice cream cravings my friend chose the dulce de leche tentación together with the crema catalana, a much wiser marriage than mine.Vioko has obviously become a big hit, the queue stretching round the shop made even a dedicated addict and queue hater like myself consider going elsewhere and the near empty containers are testimony to the fact that that queue must’ve been a fixture for most of the day. We stuck it out for the end prize, I suggest you do to.
Vioko, Passeig de Joan Borbó 55, Barceloneta