When I was a kid, soft-serve ice cream was a treat. But, really, you could only find it from one of three places — Dairy Queen, McDonald’s or an ice-cream truck. And, your choice of flavours was limited; you could get vanilla and, if you were lucky, chocolate. Occasionally you’d find an ice-cream truck where things got truly out of control, and a chocolate-vanilla swirl was served. This was like finding the treasure of the Sierra Madre.
So, my fifty-something mind is blown that soft-serve isn’t so cut-and-dried anymore. We’ve seen the rise of exotically flavoured soft-serve ice cream — and one that’s worth to note is Groove, the name of the new offerings from Fleisch Delikatessen in Forest Heights, a stone’s throw or two from the Dawson Bridge. Sure, Fleisch is a hot spot to grab cold cuts, cheese and maybe a custom cocktail mix, but it also spins soft-serve. Created by Ivan Rankic, the name comes from the fact that he was once pretty well-known in Calgary as a DJ.
And the idea is that the flavours on offer are anything but the good ol’ vanilla (and sometimes chocolate). When I visited, there was a choice of strawberry cheesecake or Oreo. Or, you could swirl ’em up. I know, madness, right?
And, yes, the flavours worked. The soft ice cream doesn’t retain colour like hard ice cream does — so what came in the bowl was pretty pale. But it was packed with strawberry flavour, so don’t trust your eyes. And it’s a pretty big serving, so expect a brain freeze or two while you stroll through the neighbourhood (because we can’t dine in right now because of COVID restrictions).
The thing is, the flavours change regularly, so you really don’t know what you’ll get. Past flavours have included Cinnamon Toast Crunch and apple pie. So, spin that great roulette wheel of life when you ask for soft-serve.