John Gilchrist, CBC’s resident expert on the food of Alberta, walked us into Manuel Latruwe and headed straight for the ice cream freezer. Meanwhile, we were dazzled looking at shelves of magnificent pastry tarts, Swiss buns, vanilla croissants, cinnamon buns, sourdough loaves, quiches and meringues.
John took two half-liters of ice cream from the freezer and set them on a table. A member of the staff brought out three bowls and a bunch of spoons (they do not formally scoop ice cream in this place, but they do have tables where you can sit and eat a pastry). And we dug in.
Oh, my! No superlative is adequate to describe just how good this ice cream is. Praline and chocolate were the two flavors we got, the former profoundly intriguing, the latter devastating in its chocolate clarity. Let us make this clear: rich as Manuel Latruwe’s ice cream is, it is not cloyingly rich; nor is it oversweet. Its fundamental trait is purity. It is clean, smooth and dairy-good. The chocolate, made using superb Callebaut product produced just next door, has a vivid flavor but does not overwhelm your tastebuds the way so hyperchocolate desserts can do. It is – and we use these words advisedly – perfect ice cream.
John Gilchrist highly recommended the caramel cake and a loaf of multi-grain bread. We didn’t get a chance to taste one, nor did we eat Manuel Latruwe’s ravishing tart tatin. That’s the one that got away: just too much to consider after tucking into a liter of killer ice cream.