Homegrown: Best Ice Cream in New England
My first taste of Susanna’s Ice Cream happened on a chilly March day at a farmers’ market in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. Stuffed with pastries and fixated on the piles of oysters and root vegetables, I almost walked past the tall woman with corkscrew hair standing behind a red Igloo cooler. But a friend, a market regular, called me over, and I was drawn by Susanna’s toothy grin and outstretched sample of tangerine-vanilla swirl.
The first spoonful was a cold wash of silk, rich with egg yolks and cut through with a bright orange sorbet that tasted like a fresh wedge of tangerine. It was as smooth as gelato, but with a purer cream flavor.
“Wow,” I said. “Do you use fresh-squeezed juice?”
“Yes,” Susanna replied.
“And is that tangerine zest?” I asked, noticing the fine slivers of fragrant peel.
“Of course,” she replied, as if to make a tangerine-swirl ice cream without hand-zesting several cases of fresh fruit would be a sacrilege.
“And you make the ice cream yourself? No commercial bases?” I asked.
“Yes,” she beamed. “The cream is from Tiverton.”
I tasted another sample, this one Irish Coffee, just as delicious. Well, I thought, there it is: the best ice cream in New England.