I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.

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At the first sign of spring in New York, girls get out their short skirts, pasty white winter skin, and Tasti-D-Lite frequent customer cards.  We were just so excited for “ice cream” and, hey, it was fat free & sugar free, so bring on the shorter skirts. By the time mid-April came around, we had already stamped up 3 full cards.  Free fat free ice cream for everyone! Not.

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The first time I tried this ice cream, I had a friend in town visiting.  It was a beautiful Monday afternoon, and we gravitated towards the good stuff just as our natural warm weather instincts had instructed us in the past. Except this ice cream was different.  It actually had flavor. It was one of the most delicious things to ever hit my taste buds.  I’m not sure I spoke or listened to anything my poor friend said within the 10 minutes it took me to eat this thing. Midway through, I realized I probably should have brought a bib.  And maybe some self-control too (as evidenced by the below photo).

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I had the opportunity to crawl back visit the shop again to get a better view and take a look at how things happen backstage.  Smitten has taken ice cream back to its’ roots, and landed in what was once a shipping container, relocated to Hayes Valley.  All of their ingredients, which are comprised mostly of organic milk and sugar, are shipped in locally from Northern California. There are no stabilizers, emulsifiers, or preservatives used.  Why haven’t all ice cream companies used only natural ingredients? Well normally, ice cream needs preservatives to keep it from going bad, but Robyn Sue Goldman, the owner of Smitten, came up with a new idea to avoid that gross stuff.

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Meet Kelvin, the machine that allows for single batch, made-to-order ice cream in about 60 seconds.  The machine uses liquid nitrogen, which creates tiny ice crystals to freeze each batch. This translates to, incredibly smooth ice cream. Ice cream that dreams are made of.

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They create a new flavor each month, based on seasonality, and they have their classic flavors available year round which include TCHO Chocolate, Classic Vanilla, and Salted Caramel.  While I was there they were prepping for their Blood Orange with Pistachio Shortbread, which is now available!  Runrunrun.

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Here in San Francisco, we live most days like it’s the first of spring, so be sure to stop by the shop for a lick (or a few hundred) of some real ice cream. Pasty legs and short skirts not recommended.*

*I do not speak on behalf of (most of) the male population.
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Disclaimer:  Smitten provided the ice cream, but the opinions are my own.  The flavors photographed above are Salted Caramel, and Earl Grey with Chocolate Chips.

Thanks for having me, Eliza!

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