Back in my days of presenting a programme on BBC local radio, I made a one-night-only appearance in pantomime at the Oxford Playhouse. Dressed in a voluminous fairy-queen-mother-type gown, I had to sing (oh, the poor audience) ‘I scream for ice cream’. The words haunted my dreams for a week or two beforehand, as I set about learning my lines. “Never again will I have to sing that song,” I declared with relief after my brief panto debut.
This week, however, I could scream for ice cream. The mercury is rising and what better than an ice cream to provide some relief? If you’re visiting Palma (you surely are, because everyone else seems to be), you’ll find ice cream on sale in plenty of places (look for the queues outside). But for something special – artisan ice cream – these are my favourite purveyors:
RivaReno Gelato is an Italian ice cream place in the La Lonja district, located near the waterfront and opposite the handsome sandstone building known as Sa Llotja. The ice cream is made fresh daily on the premises (in the adjoining laboratory – open to view) and if you’re really naughty, you can have it drizzled with melted chocolate from a special tap. If you don’t want the sunshine to melt your ice cream, perch on one of the stools and eat it on the premises – handy if you decide to indulge in a second round. As if!
Can Miquel Gelateria
Can Miquel Gelateria is a Mallorcan company that’s been satisfying the ice cream demands of the good folks of Palma for more than 30 years, using a traditional base recipe passed down over the years. Their ice cream parlour used to be located in Jaime III but is now tucked away in more contemporary (and larger) premises a few steps away from the original location. On one visit I counted 15 different varieties of chocolate ice cream. It’s very popular among local yummy mummies taking their children for a treat.
Bo Bom Gelato
This place, owned by an Italian family, opened only in March this year but already has a lot of fans – of whom I am one. Luca Narbona is passionate about his country’s gelato and learnt the artisan craft of making it from one of Italy’s gelato maestros. Find the ‘laboratory’ (where the magic happens) and shop in Palma’s Costa de la Pols (just off the Rambla). You can also find their gelato on sale in Santa Catalina’s indoor market. As well as gelato in cones or paper cups, you can buy in larger quantities to take home. Do check out the gelato patisserie as well. Hard to believe those gorgeous cakes are made from gelato!
I haven’t yet tried the ice cream at Ice Wave in C/ Sindicat (one of the busy shopping streets of central Palma), but a couple of people have told me it’s good. It’s certainly different: your ice cream is made right in front of you, to order, on a frozen pan – thus keeping the optimum freshness of the fruit and other ingredients. The concept apparently comes from Thailand and one of this business’s founders brought the idea to Spain after spending time over there. Whenever I’ve walked past there’s always been a queue and I’ve always been in a hurry. Another time maybe.
It’s 30 degrees (and rising) in the shade on the terrace at home. If we were in Palma right now we’d probably be thinking about having an artisan ice cream …
Text & images ©Jan Edwards 2016 Updated June 2018 to add Bo Bom.