As we enter the season of indulgences, which so wisely precedes the season of new beginnings and atonement we call resolutions and Lent, it’s good to think about ice cream. Like so much else, we’ve frou-frou’ed it a bit too much, and while the region doesn’t lack for fine gelato at establishments like Via Maestra 42 (3343 State St.) and Here’s the Scoop (1187 Coast Village Rd.), sometimes nothing beats a half gallon from the supermarket, especially at midnight when gelato is sleeping. This time of year also heralds Dreyer’s producing some of its finest flavors, namely peppermint and pumpkin.

Turns out pumpkin doesn’t quite have the cachet it should. The nearest place you can find it, according to Dreyer’s handy Web site flavor locator ( enter your zip code and it provides stores within a proscribed mile radius-is Buellton. I guess Buelltonians realize how much better pumpkin ice cream is than pumpkin pie, a creamy delight and not just a vehicle for eating whipped cream. I keep thinking how good it might be with cajeta, the caramel sauce made from goat’s milk that would make my shoes a taste sensation, if poured atop.

As for the peppermint, it seems to be available everywhere. There’s no better way to meet your holiday requirements of candy cane than to do so by eating it crushed into ice cream.


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