I have seen a lot of interesting ice cream flavors over the years but never as many in one place as at Tara’s Organic Ice Cream. Sesame, avocado, pepper, chai, garam masala…one has to wonder where they come up with these. But I must say that while Ici is my favorite ice cream shop in Berkeley, no one does interesting flavors better than Tara’s.
Let’s take garam masala. Never would I have guessed that this Indian spice would work as an ice cream flavor, but it does. And it’s good. The creamy texture compliments the spice to bring out both the flavor and the creaminess in the ice cream. However, lemon blueberry absolutely stole the show for us. Light yet creamy, the flavors complimented each other perfectly.
I cannot seem to think about ice cream in Berkeley without comparing it to Ici, especially since Tara’s is just down the street. Ici offers deliciously light ice cream, but Tara’s provides a richness that leaves you heartily satisfied. While both shops offer unusual flavors, Ici’s are pretty hit or miss. When successful, they are fantastic, but I feel the need to try everything before ordering it. Not doing so has lead to disastrous results (don’t try the tiramisu. Just don’t). In contrast, even though Tara’s has even weirder flavors than Ici, they are much more successful in bringing out the best each flavor has to offer and pairing it well with ice cream.
So next time you don’t want to wait in line at Ici, crave something a bit heartier, or really want to try avocado ice cream, head down College Ave. to Tara’s. You won’t be disappointed.