Some time ago, I was given this gorgeous DM (which stands for “direct marketing,” and is Taiwan’s word for “brochure”) featuring gorgeous scoops of ice cream, from a local company called 8% ice. Intrigued, I did some online research, and found out that 8 % ice is a company that specializes in making gelato and soft serve ice cream. They have a few branches, one in Yong-Kang Street (home of the famous mango ice) and the other is a smaller location, on the first floor in the A8 building of the Mitsukoshi department stores near the Taipei City government building.
It was during this visit when I realized how much my interests and priorities have shifted in the past year. Usually, I can never resist a (quick) browse in the shoe section that is located on the same floor. But on that day, I bypassed all the shoes and headed straight for the ice cream shop located in the back corner of the building. Since it was a sweltering humid Saturday evening, the store was packed. But I didn’t mind, because I actually had a really difficult time deciding on a flavor.
I finally decided on bergamot chocolate. I was a little bit surprised that for $100 NT (about $3 USD) you only get a tiny portion. (and you have to eat it standing up, outside because there is very limited in-store seating)
However, after I got over the initial sticker shock, I really began to enjoy the rich, dense chocolate flavor. The ice cream was not particularly sweet, but I hardly noticed the absence of sugar, since my taste buds were completely occupied with the distinct flavor of bergamot, which lingered long after the ice cream melted.
The flavor of the ice cream had engaged all my tastebuds, and I found that I was really concentrating on each and every bite. By the time I got to the bottom of the cup, I realized that I was feeling actually pretty full. Just a few minutes ago, I was feeling a little silly for paying quite a lot of money for quite a little amount of ice cream. But then I realized, it was worth every penny, to have those 10 minutes of quiet enjoyment, where I felt the cogs turning in my imagination. Afterwards, I came across this quote by one of my role models, Julia Child which really resonated with me: “Just like becoming an expert in wine–you learn by drinking it, the best you can afford–you learn about great food by finding the best there is, whether simply or luxurious. The you savor it, analyze it, and discuss it with your companions, and you compare it with other experiences.”― Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
This makes me feel less anxious about the reality that I don’t have any formal training in either ice cream making or baking. For now, it’s okay that I am just experiencing great pleasure and excitement in finding, tasting and comparing all different types of ice creams and desserts, and experimenting in my own kitchen. I’m not sure where this learning process is taking me, but I’m completely certain this is where I want to go.
Another part to note is that if you are in-store, make sure to grab one of their gorgeous DMS. They have a newsletter out called “Hoja Life,” and it details information out their ingredients, and activities over at 4F Cooking Home (another location that I’m absolutely dying to visit)
After reading through their newsletter, I will be so excited about trying their other flavors, such as Blackcurrant with Rose, Formosa Ruby Black Tea, Lemon with Mint and Dark Malt with Lemon. (it makes my heart sing to see so many imaginative combinations!)
Information: 8%ice |Website: http://8-ice.blogspot.tw | Locations: Yong-Kang Street Yong Kang Street, Lane 13, No.6, Taipei, Da-An District, Ph: 02-2395-6583| Mistukoshi Location: Building A8, Shingkong Mitsukoshi Department Stores, Song-Gao Road, No.12, 1st Floor. Ph:02-2722-9686
營業時間：11:00~21:30 例假日前夕 11:00~22:00
營業時間：12:00~22:00 例假日 10:00~22:0