PUBLISHED: 11:49 29 July 2013 | UPDATED: 11:49 29 July 2013
One of the most exciting aspects of the Somerset food scene is that it is full of surprises. Driving down a peaceful country lane near Stoke St Gregory recently, my eye was caught by a sign proclaiming the HQ of Granny Gothard's Ice Cream.
If you haven’t discovered Granny Gothard’s yet, it is a range of 50 naturally flavoured, handmade ice creams and sorbets that have been quietly sweeping delis, farm shops and restaurants across South West England, from Lyme Regis to Brixham, Lynmouth to Bath. Not content with scooping Great Taste and Taste of the West Awards, Granny Gothard was recently named among the top 10 independent ice-cream and gelato makers in the country.
What do they do differently here from other ice cream producers? First of all, these are true artisanal ice-creams - produced by a highly skilled and devoted team of just three people.
“We make our ice creams just the way you would at home, using milk, cream and eggs, and proper, natural flavourings,” says co-owner Jean Allen. She points to a pile of squeaky fresh rhubarb and gooseberries: “Donna picked these in her garden this morning.”
Bestselling flavour is Honeycomb. For Rum and Raisin, raisins are soaked in actual rum for more than a week.
Clotted Cream tastes of actual clotted cream. Lavender is flavoured with fresh lavender flowers.
I ask Jean if she has any tips for ice-cream fanatics.
“If you let ice-cream melt on the way home, it will be ruined. Keep a supply of bubble wrap and newspapers in the car so you can wrap it up properly. And don’t eat it straight from the freezer!
“It’s too hard to scoop and it won’t taste nearly as good. Even if you find it hard to resist, give it 10 minutes at room temperature and you’ll enjoy it so much more.”