Tauck Names "World's Top 10 Places For Ice Cream" In Time For National Ice Cream Month In July

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List Offers The "Inside Scoop" On Great Flavors & Unique Locations

I'll move to Paris, bring my sleeping bag, and give them my credit card.

Ice cream is enjoyed by a whopping 90% of all Americans and dates back to the fourth century B.C. in Italy and China.* To help celebrate National Ice Cream Month in July, luxury travel company Tauck World Discovery is unveiling a top 10 list of the world's best places to enjoy the frozen treat. Tauck offers over 100 travel adventures in 63 countries on six continents, and compiled its list based on input from its global network of nearly 250 Tauck Directors, who collectively rack up over 30,000 days on the road each year.

"Our Tauck Directors have a real in-depth, local knowledge of the destinations where we travel," explained Tauck CEO Dan Mahar. "Because they take our guests off-the-beaten-path to discover the hidden gems in each country we visit, it's only natural that they'd know where to find the best ice cream." Tauck's list includes 10 varied locations, from an idyllic Hawaiian lodge high on the slope of a massive volcano, to an upscale Buenos Aires neighborhood, to a Paris landmark that has served handcrafted ice creams for over 70 years:

  • COWS (Canada)
  • Gelateria Perche No! (Italy)
  • Tip Top Ice Cream (New Zealand)
  • Kula Lodge & Restaurant (Hawaii)
  • Freddo (Argentina)
  • Gelateria di Piazza (Italy)
  • Hot Licks Homemade Ice Cream (Alaska)
  • Glacier Berthillon (Paris)
  • Las Iguanas (Costa Rica)
  • Ben & Jerry's (Vermont)

COWS (Prince Edward Island, Canada)
Located on the waterfront in Charlottetown, COWS has been selling ice creams based on traditional family recipes for 25 years. The proprietors use high-quality ingredients and a lusciously high butterfat content (16%) to craft rich, whimsically-themed flavors including Gooey Mooey, Wowie Cowie and Moo York Cheesecake. Tauck Director Rob White suggests enjoying your COWS ice cream in a waffle cone - they're baked fresh on the premises.

Gelateria Perche No! (near Piazza della Republica in Florence, Italy)
One of two gelaterias on the list, Perche No! translates into "Why Not!" The Via Tavolini shop dates back some 50 years, and also features sorbets (made with fresh in-season fruits) and granita. The shop's gelatos include traditional flavors as well as unique varieties ranging from Pompelo (grapefruit) to Fiordilatte con Miele e Sesamo (chestnut, honey and sesame seeds).

Tip Top Ice Cream (locations throughout New Zealand)
Tip Top Ice Cream was started in 1936 by two partners in Wellington, and today it's the Ben & Jerry's of New Zealand - a premium quality ice cream that combines rich flavor and the freshest ingredients with the convenience of wide availability. According to Tauck Director Larry Newsome: "In a country where the number-one industry is dairy, you know that the number-one ice cream has to be good!" Larry's top flavor recommendation: Hokey Pokey.

Kula Lodge & Restaurant (Maui, Hawaii)
One of Tauck Director Mike Ream's favorite experiences is enjoying a frozen treat on the lush grounds at the Kula Lodge on Maui. "Kula is a beautiful lodge halfway up the slopes of the dormant Haleakala volcano, at about 4,000 feet," says Mike. "The lodge has breathtaking views across Maui, and you can enjoy it all while eating the best Mango Sherbet I've ever tasted!"

Freddo (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Located in the trendy Recoleta section of Buenos Aires, Freddo is known for its eight kinds of Dulce de Leche ice cream. Made by heating sweetened milk, Dulce de Leche is akin to caramel. Tauck Director Carla Weston's favorite is Tentacion ("temptation"), which she enjoys while people-watching at one of Freddo's outdoor tables. If you're more ambitious, stroll to nearby Recoleta Cemetery, where Eva Peron is buried in her family's ornate black marble mausoleum.

Gelateria di Piazza (San Gimignano, Italy)
Overlooking the beautiful Piazza della Cisterna in the picturesque Tuscan hilltop town of San Gimignano, Gelateria di Piazza boasts a rotating assortment of over 100 flavors, including five different types of chocolate. This award-winning gelateria also offers seasonal fruit flavors, a sorbet made with the local Vernaccia wine, and other uncommon choices like Saffron With Pine Nuts and Dolce Amaro (bittersweet vanilla cream with cloves, cocoa, coffee and cinnamon).

Hot Licks Homemade Ice Cream (Fairbanks, AK)
Launched over 20 years ago by two brothers from Boston, Hot Licks offers locally inspired flavors including Aurora Borealis (local blueberry and cranberry purees swirled into vanilla ice cream), Alaska Birch Walnut (local birch syrup and California walnuts) and Nanook Nosh (vanilla, melted milk chocolate and caramel). "I'm an expert on this," says Tauck Director Neil Zaer, who has also worked for Tauck in Hawaii, the American West, Australia and New Zealand. "I try the local ice cream everywhere I travel, and this is the real thing."

Glacier Berthillon (Ile de St. Louis, Paris)
A Paris landmark, Berthillon has been serving up handcrafted ice creams - and winning devoted fans - since 1934. Flavors range from the conventional to the surprising, including Agelaise, made of Armagnac and prune. Of the 754 Paris attractions listed on the popular travel web site TripAdvisor.com, Berthillon ranks an astounding #41. That doesn't surprise Tauck Director Ron Wesner, who notes that, should he ever receive a terminal diagnosis, he'll spend his remaining time at Berthillon: "I'll move to Paris, bring my sleeping bag, and give them my credit card."

Las Iguanas (Boca de Arenal, Costa Rica)
Enjoying the ice cream at Las Iguanas is an immersion into Costa Rica's natural wonders. Set above the San Carlos River, Las Iguanas spins local flora into unique flavors including Cacto (cactus), Tamarindo (tamarind) and Maracuya (passion fruit). A visit to Las Iguanas offers the chance to spot the reptiles that give the shop its name, and view the 5,437-ft volcano Arenal. The world's 10th most-active volcano, Arenal erupts an average of 22 times each day.

Ben & Jerry's (Waterbury, VT)
You've had Ben & Jerry's at home, but to really appreciate it you'll want to make the pilgrimage to their factory in Vermont's Green Mountains. You'll enjoy a factory tour (and free samples!), as well as a short "moovie" telling the story of how childhood friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield parlayed a $5 mail-order course on ice cream-making into fame and fortune. And be sure to visit the "flavor graveyard" immortalizing varieties that have passed their expiration date.

For more info, visit your local travel agent, call 800/468-2825 or visit http://www.tauck.com.

  • The International Dairy Foods Association and About.com May 19, 2008


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