I was 4-years-old when I had my first ice cream. Okay maybe not. I mean maybe- but my memories from birth till about 7 are filed according to “level of excitement experienced” not chronologically. Point is, I was young. It was hot and we were at the beach and my mother was in the process of exercising her belief that one cannot go to the beach and not get soft serve from the man in the van (the man in the van had no moustache, just a golden retriever; a nice man in a van). I received a beige coloured cone with a swirl of vanilla soft serve towering so high that even holding it at chest-level left milky marks on my chin. The marks made their way up my face to the bridge of my nose. The experience was heightened when buried deep inside the mostly-tasteless cone, I found two bubblegum balls. My brother only found one.
I’ve spent years searching for an equally blissful ice cream experience. In January of this year I found it. Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream (PHIC).
Paul’s has been spreading ice-creamy joy for a good while. After supplying various stores and restaurants with their boxed up beauties Paul’s opened their first retail store last year at 27 Boxes in Melville. 2016 saw their second store opening in Rosebank.
Founder Paul Ballen got it right. From the shade of the blue spoon to the cardboard-box packaging of the take-home tubs (yes cardboard – revolutionary!). Importantly, Paul doesn’t just call it ‘peppermint crisp tart’ because it kind of has the same colour and you can kind of taste something resembling the South African classic. IT TASTES LIKE THEY STOLE A SLICE STRAIGHT OUT OF YOUR GRANDMOTHER’S FRIDGE. It’s magic, truly.
Last weekend Dean and I had ice cream for breakfast. (When you become an adult, it’s decisions like these you can look forward to.)
Dean got Birthday Cake. A standard flavour at Paul’s for a reason – you get to put your favourite vanilla birthday cake from your favourite childhood birthday party right into your mouth all over again! (Blissful sigh).
I went for the flavour of the month – Madiba Magic. Madiba Magic replaced 4-year-old Danielle’s first and favourite ice cream memory. All the pleasure of drinking a comforting cup of Rooibos and all the guilt of sticky koeksisters fingers. Euphoric. 10/10 would recommend for breakfast, snack time, lunch, snack time, dinner and dessert (and snack time).
What’s your favourite PHIC flavour?
PS: Vegan friends – forget NiceCream, Caralishious at Paul’s Homemade has you covered.
Find them here:
75 4th Avenue, Melville, Johannesburg
The Zone @ Rosebank:
117 Oxford Road, Rosebank, Johannesburg, 2196
(Soon to open in Sandton too – woohoo!)
Or see some PHIC magic on the last Sunday of each month at Ice Cream Sunday.