Last Sunday afternoon, I attended a lovely tasting that brought together two well-known and adored food producers from the Boston area: batch ice cream made in JP and Taza chocolate made in Somerville.
A group of bloggers–Megan, Daisy, Meghan, Bianca and I–got to meet and hear from Susie and Veronica, founders of batch. They started the business about a year ago after quitting their jobs in software development and civil engineering. They decided to start making ice cream because it would be an ideal product with which to showcase a wide array of local and fairly-traded ingredients. Susie and Veronica regularly drive down to Rhode Island to pick up their milk fresh from Arruda Dairy. The name, batch, refers, of course, to their method of making the ice cream in small batches to ensure the utmost quality and freshness.
After learning the story behind batch, the sundae assembly commenced. Susie and Veronica dished us out scoops of the creamy, luxurious vanilla bean ice cream dotted with flecks of vanilla bean.
We had a choice of topping our sundaes with Taza’s cacao nibs or chocolate-covered cacao nibs. I chose chocolate-covered.
The final product was a grown up ice cream sundae, with a complex mix of flavors and textures. The sweet and creamy vanilla contrasted nicely with the lightly gritty, warm chocolate sauce and the crunchy and slightly bitter cacao nibs. After this sundae was enjoyed, I got to enjoy the same thing but with batch’s intense and lightly sweet coffee ice cream.
I had not been to Taza since they re-did their factory and factory store. The store is spacious with wide windows overlooking the production area. Taza just released three new flavors of chocolate that they were tasting inside: ginger, chipotle pepper, and orange.
I was a fan of all three, but the pungent ginger flavor paired particularly well with the gritty texture that Taza chocolate is known for.
Many thanks to Carol at batch for putting together the event, as well as to Susie and Veronica and the team at Taza. I have said this many times since the event, but I think Taza and batch should set up an ice cream sundae cart regularly throughout the summer. I know I would be a frequent customer. The Taza factory store is open Wednesday through Sunday and tours are given Thursday through Sunday. For more information on visiting, view their website here. In the Boston area, batch ice cream can be found at Formaggio, City Feed, Whole Foods, and other stores. For a full list of retailers, click here.