Like most kids, I grew up eating ice cream. I also kept detailed, running lists of new flavor ideas, played between the lines of an ice cream factory during production, and made bets with my brother who could stay the longest in the walk-in freezer (bad, bad, terrible idea).
My grandfather worked for an English ice cream brand before he founded an ice cream company in Nairobi, in the 1970s, not long after Kenyan independence. In its golden days, Dairyland sourced strawberries from the highlands and milk from local dairies. It sold its teeny paper cups of vanilla, the kind with the spoon attached, in every East African deli with a freezer. Its bright blue logo was crudely painted on the walls of grocery stores at the beach. I remember the vanilla cups often had grainy ice crystals, from melting and freezing again, and you had to press at them with your tongue to get them to dissolve.
It was not the finest ice cream in the world, but it was the one that sparked my lifelong love. All this to say, I love ice cream. In all its forms — soft serve, bars, tubs, scoops, cones, sandwiches — it’s such a sweet and simple joy. And I’m really excited to share my 10 favorite scoops in the city with you, tomorrow. Stay tuned.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 7, 2012