|Bennet loves Fosselman’s! Behind him my stepdad tries to decide on a flavor.|
Regina loves the old-fashioned charm and ice cream style of Fosselman’s ice cream parlor in Alhambra. The place has been there since 1919 and it retains an old-timey feel; the interior doesn’t exactly feel (almost) a century old, but the last upgrade in the decor was probably in the late 70’s. The ice cream itself is old-fashioned – it’s airy if not light, it’s creamy but not dense, it’s flavorful but not overbearing. Of course Alhambra has changed quite a lot in the past ninety-two years, which is evident from the very diverse crowd. This demographic shift is also evident in the wide array of flavors, which now includes more international tastes like horchata and taro alongside classics like chocolate mint, pistachio, French vanilla, peach, and peppermint.
The secret to the creamy texture of their ice cream is nearly 16% butterfat, which makes the final product luscious and meltingly tantalizing on the tongue. Everything is made in-house without preservatives. I think Fosselman’s started life as a dairy, but when the ice cream business took off they devoted their time and energy to making amazing frozen dairy desserts. This focused attention on their ice cream has resulted in great ice cream and a remarkable longevity in their business.
In addition to ice cream they also offer about 15 sorbet flavors. Of the ones I sampled green apple was my favorite. Watermelon was too sweet and cloying, but my boy Bennet loved it. You can also buy prepacked or hand-packed pints and gallons to take home with you. Also, you can order their ice cream online. And they offer an array of candies. A little historical note: apparently Jelly Belly jelly beans made their debut at Fosselman’s decades ago; they still display a wide selection of Jelly Belly beans.
On this past visit Regina got a cone of maple-walnut, which she devoured in record time. Bennet got two scoops: orange sherbert and chocolate chip-strawberry. My mother chose pineapple-coconut, which I thought was dynamite. I had a scoop of black raspberry, which was nice but had a slight artificial aftertaste. My step-dad threw caution to the wind and got a massive sundae with chocolate, strawberry, and peppermint ice cream. He inhaled that monster sundae in an impressive display of manly scarfing.
|Fosselman’s ice cream is from another era.|
|Adapting to demographic changes in the ‘hood, Fosselman’s offers all kinds of flavors.|
|One of Regina’s favorites: maple-walnut.|
|What kid doesn’t like ice cream?|
|Black raspberry was good but not a home run.|
|Mom’s pineapple-coconut was fantastic.|
|So damn cute!|
|That’s a big sundae for this overcast Sunday!|
|A bored teen ice cream technician stares at me with a surly attitude.|
To be frank, Fosselman’s is not my personal favorite ice cream. For me it’s too sweet. The texture is nice but I prefer the denser texture and more direct flavors of modern ice cream purveyors. I really love McConnell’s ice cream from Santa Barbara. Graeter’s from Cincinnati is pretty damn good. The wacky flavor combinations of Jeni’s out of Columbus, Ohio, are worth a taste too.
My favorite local producer is Scoops; their unusual flavors keep me coming back. I stop by their Culver City store frequently to have a taste of Brown Brown Bread and say hi to proprietor and friend Matthew Kang.
But all that aside, since I seem to find myself in Alhambra every couple of months, I never pass up another opportunity to eat Fosselman’s ice cream.
Check out their website to order online:
Or visit their retail location:
Alhambra, California 91801