What's new in Ottawa's ice cream scene
What's hot in ice cream
If there's one thing that ice cream purveyors have in common this year, it's that prices went up.
My favourite, Montavani 1946 in the ByWard Market, went up two dollars for a medium cup landing at just under $10.
The excellent Cassis in Aylmer was sold to the Quebec chain Le Scoop, and prices rose by two dollars a cup while not giving me the same quality I enjoyed in the past.
There are however two new ice creams on the market and they're worth noting.
Amir Roastery. Ralf Joneikies/Ottawa Lookout
Amir Roastery in Kanata opened earlier in the year and it's a beautiful shop for a wide variety of Middle Eastern staples.
They also carry a famous ice cream known as bouza. Bouza is a dairy product made with the addition of mastic which is the hardened resin of a specific conifer. Mastic was also the sap from which the first chewing gum was made and in Greece it is also made into a delicious spirit.
One of its distinct characteristics is that this ice cream can be stretched and then folded back in on itself and molded.
Bouza Ashta. Ralf Joneikies/Ottawa Lookout
Bouza (sometimes also spelled booza) ashta is a clotted cream often flavoured with rose water or orange blossom water.
Amir gets his from the Montreal based shop named Bouza. It's often referred to as Lebanese ice cream although its origins go back decades to Syria.
It is commonly sold in a 1 kg roll (think Swiss Roll) but Amir also carries a six pack of bouza balls for $20.
While there is no nutritional information available, this ice cream is far less sweet than anything else out there. When you're eating it, you also start to sense the density of the fat content. The closest I can come to describing it is letting a frozen dollop of sweet butter melt on your tongue.
Then again, that's the effect of the mastic and the salep powder which comes from the roots of an orchid species and contributes to the richness of the experience. Ultimately it finishes very clean with no fatty residue.
The entire experience is a delight and in Ottawa this product is only available at Amir's Roastery.
You'll be hearing a lot more about this frozen treat in the next year.
Sadie Beans. Ralf Joneikies/Ottawa Lookout
Sadie Beans launched in 2022. I first tried the ice cream in the form of a smoothie beer from Wood Brothers Brewing. It was so good that I tracked down the ice cream and found it available by the pint only at Ten Toes Coffee at 837 Somerset St. W.
Each Thursday morning new flavours are launched and they can be very inventive. Pictured here is a blue raspberry ice cream with what taste like ribbons of lime-flavoured condensed milk. The lime is pretty bracing and a refreshing counterpoint to the cream.
The flavours change every week and if you'd like to know more, reach out to them on Instagram to send a message.
Be warned — these products sell out quickly. I arrived on a Friday afternoon to find that only two pints were left. That's an impressive sell through rate guaranteeing freshness. Just get there on a Thursday is the lesson.