With the heat hovering somewhere around oppressive, it was a no-brainer to venture (read: climb through layers of humidity) to Ali Kazan’s Mister Softee truck today and indulge in an ice cream that has apparently been all the rage in places like Jamaica and Canada for years – but which the U.S. has only recently caught onto: Grape-Nuts.
Around the time that people were taking to the Internet to demand why there weren’t more places offering the ice cream (“New York City is truly an ice cream wasteland…This city is devoid of the world’s best ice cream flavor – Grape-Nuts,” the Village Voice wrote in 2010), Ali began selling the Grape-Nuts delicacy from his truck parked outside of the PS 217 exit- as well as the much in-demand flavor of rum raisin – because of many a request from neighbors.
And it’s not only those of us in the neighborhood who have been yelling for such a flavor – in recent years there has been an explosion of Grape-Nut ice cream love on the web, with people saying they have trekked far and wide to find the ice cream with its nuggets of crunchy cereal embedded in a home of vanilla goodness.
From a Washington Post piece espousing the values of Grape-Nut (and rum raisin) ice cream:
“We all grow up with Grape-Nut and rum raisin ice cream,” says Calver “Cal” Headley, owner of York Castle Tropical Ice Cream in Rockville. As a young boy in Mandeville, Jamaica, Headley ate those famous whole-grain nuggets only as part of the creamy dessert. So did the entire island nation, he suggests.
“You only use it for ice cream, not as a cereal,” Headley says.
So, how did it live up to the hype? This may be sacrilegious to say, and it was certainly a welcome respite from the heat, but we’re still not entirely sure what all the fuss is about. So, all ye Grape-Nuts lovers, take to the comments and tell us why you love it. Did we do something wrong? We had it in a wafer cone, sans any toppings. So, help! Why worship at the altar of the Grape-Nut?
As for the rum raisin, we definitely recommend it – even if you have to down it in record time before your hands become reminiscent of your 5-year-old self, in all your gooey, sticky glory. We had it in a wafer cone and added chocolate sprinkles – and it was, what’s the technical term – yum? The rum flavor wasn’t too strong and the two r’s – raisin and rum – add a nice layer of sweetness (but not too sweet) to the scoop of vanilla.