Taste Test: Chef Mark McEwan picks Toronto's best ice cream
Get the scoop on the city's boldest new flavours, from black sesame to rosewater white chocolate jasmine
McEwan remembers visiting Anderson’s Frozen Custard Stand in Buffalo for ice cream as a child. “I could eat a whole pint of it,” he recalls.
Chef Mark McEwan summoned up his inner child to suss out the city’s most inspirational new flavours and coolest contemporary takes on crème glacée.
WINNER: CHOCOLATE MONKEY
MY FAVOURITE ICE CREAM
McEwan chose this as the winner because “It’s like a banana explosion in your mouth.” He says the flavour delivers on what the name promises, and he loves the caramel ripple.
3 Macpherson Ave., $10/pint
RUNNER-UP: BLACK CHERRY CHEESECAKE
“That’s definitely black cherry,” McEwan exclaims. He thinks this is an excellent ice cream, and loves that “they really captured the cherry flavour. They really deliver.”
36 Vaughan Rd., $14.85/litre
BANG BANG ICE CREAM
“They really nailed the flavour, so when you eat it, you know what you’re eating,” says McEwan. He says it has a nice sweetness and nice brightness from the citrus and that it “eats light for an ice cream.”
93A Ossington Ave., $10/pint
PUT A CONE ON IT
Although McEwan loves the “really nice unusual texture” of this coconut-based ice cream, he says, “it needs to go with something. It needs a travelling companion to be really successful.”
633 Bloor St. W., $10/pint
ROSEWATER WHITE CHOCOLATE JASMINE
WONG’S ICE CREAM
“This is the most elegant of all the ice creams,” says McEwan. “I thought with rosewater it was going to punch me in the face, but it’s actually subtle and quite enjoyable,” he says.
617 Gerrard St. E., $12/pint
SUMMER’S ICE CREAM
The almonds, marshmallows, peanuts and chocolate chunks give the ice cream a nice texture and flavour, according to McEwan. But he says it “suffers a little from overindulgence. A little less would have been more.”
101 Yorkville Ave., $11.50/pint
“I like the saffron,” says McEwan. “It’s different, but I’m just not getting the pistachio in it.” He loves that the ice cream has some contrast but wishes that the pistachio flavour stood out more.
6095 Yonge St., $7.99/medium container
GREG’S ICE CREAM
Cornflakes, a popular classic flavour brought back for the season, is not for everyone. McEwan thinks that the flakes are soggy and “It is kind of a funny texture. There’s not a lot of taste going on there.”
750 Spadina Ave. $8.50/half litre