Parfait Ice Cream / by Anne Livingston

In my mind, Parfait Ice Cream is THE place to get ice cream in Seattle. Intense, fresh flavors of the small-batch ice creams and sorbets would be reason enough to keep coming back. But when I think about how much thought Adria Shimada, Parfait's owner, puts into the quality of ingredients and the sustainability of her business, it just excites the heck out of me.

She uses local, organic produce and dairy products from sustainable farms nearby. For ingredients like sugar and chocolate, she only chooses fair trade, organic products. I'm blown away by the level of work and attention it must take to ensure that each ingredient is a) of the finest quality and b) has good karma. 

Adria also pays similar close attention to flavor. One time I came in to buy yet another of their addictive macaron ice cream sandwiches, and Adria was there, perfecting her hot fudge recipe. She said that she adds honey, specifically to bring just the right amount of tackiness to the sauce so that the fudge stays on the ice cream when poured over the top.

The attention to detail is what makes this place special. They make each cone by hand, with a small press. It's a time-consuming task, but well worth the effort to make exquisite, crisp cones with French flair.

Speaking of perfect recipes, two of my favorite macaron ice cream sandwich flavors make the most of the Pacific Northwest's local produce: The honey-lavender and the raspberry ripple. 

In particular, I cannot get enough of the honey-lavender one. It takes me to a field of flowers every time. I generally don't like lavender-flavored products, but here it seems to support the particularly floral quality of Ballard Bee Company's honey in the ice cream. Neither flavor dominates. Each bite makes me think about why bees love flowers so much.

Parfait's push up pops, my daughter's favorite choice at the shop, are made with care by hand, with the thoughtfulness found in a fine French patisserie.

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These push up pops have just entered a new level of amazing. She's layering flavors now, and using summer ingredients. Holy cow.

Pictured here--clockwise from top right--are blueberry sherbet, raspberry creamsicle, nectarines & cream, cacao nib with cherry ripple, and fudgesicle. I've also seen apricot sorbet, probably using these gems from Tonnemaker Farm:

My greatest challenge has been choosing what to order. The best solution has been to return, repeatedly and frequently, until I have tried it all. Then the season changes. It's the best problem to have, really.

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