News | posted on September 2, 2015
I took a week off last week and went to southern Italy for some rest and relaxation. One day, my aperol spritz was served in this wine glass with this message- Luck is an Attitude. It was not a huge “aha” moment for me, but it did make me smile, because it gave me a glimpse of the Italian mindset. Or maybe not just an Italian mindset, but a positive mindset that I try to remind myself to reset into constantly. Luck is an attitude, and we are all lucky in little ways. Obviously, I felt really lucky in that moment in that special place where I was drinking an aperol spritz, but now that I am back, I am going to remind myself of all of the little things that I too am lucky to have here in NYC.
I haven’t blogged in a really long time, and so I wanted to start off this post with an apology. There have been little posts in my head that I think of and then never get to. As much as I love shopping at the farmers market and sharing my little recipes with my readers, this season I haven’t had much time for sharing. Anyway, this Summer has been quite busy here at the shop, and we have been streamlining our offerings so that we can be more efficient, and do what we do best- make delicious goat milk ice cream. I have been spending more time trying out new flavors of our hard packed ice cream, and working on getting them into stores. Our most recent flavor is one of my favorites (we all know, they are all my favorite, but hey). We are offering a Salty Peanut made with old fashioned peanut butter and salted peanuts. I love peanut butter ice cream for no better reason than the fact that it just tastes so good. But I prefer it with salty peanuts to give it that slight savory crunch. I had a delicious chocolate peanut butter ice cream recently at the Oyster Club in Mystic, CT, and when I got back to the City, I felt the driving force to make me try out a peanut butter flavor. We ship our ice creams now from our Shopify site. We hope you order some if you don’t live near our shop.
VG Special Sundaes | posted on July 2, 2015
Our Summer Specials menu is up, and we are very excited about our sundaes this season. We have four total: Midsummer’s Night Dream, Ciao Baby, Aegean Summer Delight, and the Victory Garden Dirt Cup.
Midsummer’s Night Dream is a combination of black currant bay leaf sauce, lavender/rosemary shortbread cookie, and stone fruits. If you love the flavors of Provence, you will love this sundae.
Ciao Baby is the Italian Stallion of the bunch. It contains our homemade “nutella” spread, candied hazelnuts, strawberry, and banana. Our hazelnuts come freshly roasted from Freddy Guys Farm in Oregon. The homemade hazelnut chocolate spread forms a hard shell around the ice cream!
Aegean Summer Delight combines homemade Turkish delight with sour cherry sauce and flossy halva. We sprinkle the top with a dusting of pistachios. This brings the Greek goddess/god inside all of us!
The Victory Garden Dirt Cup is our homemade chocolate crunch topped with carrot caramel, minty honey sauce, raspberry rose sauce, and of course, an edible flower.
Flavors | posted on June 22, 2015
A few weeks ago I took a baking class at Haven’s Kitchen, because I had never been there before and was dying of curiosity. I also hadn’t been feeling very inspired as of late, and needed to change things up in my routine. I signed up for a baking class with Shuna Lydon, who is now baking at Bakeri. I really enjoyed everything that she taught us, but most especially her honey and hojicha ice cream. For the ice cream, she reduces honey to both lessen its sweetness, as well as bring out its natural bitterness. It was one of the most delicious ice creams I have ever had. It was intense, strong, and really bitter. I wanted to try my hand at an intense honey ice cream as well. I made mine with Tremblay Apiaries Wildflower honey, which I reduced and infused with Keith’s Farm rosemary. I mixed in bitter chocolate chips to the final product, because I love the combination of honey and chocolate, I love the combination of rosemary and chocolate, and I love the combination of honey and rosemary. The three ingredients go swimmingly well together in this lovely ice cream, that we are proud to serve in our pints, both in the store and online.
Victory Garden needs a new name for our Vanilla ice cream, and we are asking our customers to help us find it!
Did you know that vanilla is the second most expensive spice after saffron? That is because it only comes from one type of orchid, which has to be hand pollinated under ideal conditions in order to produce this exotic spice. What is so plain about that? Absolutely nothing, we say!
We are using Mexican vanilla beans from the region of Veracruz, Mexico, where vanilla originated. A flavor as delicate, exotic, and classic as Vanilla deserves a special title. Especially one as delicious as ours. We take a lot of pride in the origins of this renowned spice and we want to celebrate it with a special name provided by our wonderful community of goat milk ice cream lovers! So please help us #nameourvanilla.
Here is how it works:
Step 1: Think of the best vanilla name in existence. It should scream “Vanilla is not plain”, “Viva Mexico” (optional), “Vanilla is the best flavor ever”, “You gotta try this vanilla”!
Step 2: E-mail it to us at , submit it in the store with your name and contact info, or post it on our Instagram feed @victorygardennyc, on our Facebook page /victorygardennyc, or on twitter @victorygardenny. If you go social, be sure to include #nameourvanilla
Step 3: Wait till June 30th
Step 4: Win a whole lot of goat love. If we like your name best we’ll put you, our Vanilla Victor, in our Goat Notes newsletter and send you a free shipment of our ice creams (including a pint of the newly named Vanilla). We will even include the newest edition of our Victory Garden T-shirt!
My favorite spice shop in the city is SOS chef in the East Village. The owner, Atef, always has something special there that makes me feel so happy to work in food. Usually it is some amazing honey from some exotic part of the world that she gives me on a beautiful wooden spoon. She carries all sorts of spices, spice blends, teas, grains, floral and herbal essences, etc. I always try something new or see something that I haven’t seen before when I go there. The last time I stopped in, she had Persian saffron that was so fragrant, that I could not resist buying some. I bought a few grams and made some Persian Saffron ice cream with it the other day. I was thinking of what I would mix into it, and almost stirred in some pistachios, but when I tried the ice cream in its purity, I felt like it would be a sin to marr it by adding something superfluous. It is just what it says it is, Persian Saffron ice cream. Made with the most valuable spice in the world.
VG Special Sundaes | posted on May 27, 2015
I can’t believe that it is already the end of May. As we try to give our Summer Specials Menu some thought, we are clutching our hearts at the thought of no longer having the Sesame Mucho, Miso Lovely sundae around. This one is my personal favorite of the Spring bunch, which is surprising, because I tend to lean towards more fruity/refreshing flavor profiles. However, I love sesame more than anything (hello, halva!), and consume it multiple times a day. I thought of this sundae, because one of my favorite flavor combos is Miso/Tahini, which balances the slight bitterness of tahini with the sweet/saltiness of miso. The sundae is a miso caramel (which we make with goat milk half and half), layered with your flavor of choice, and topped with a tahini cream (also goat milk), and sesame miso brownies. If you haven’t tried this sundae before, stop in before the end of June, because we will be changing it in a few weeks. And make sure to dip your spoon all the way to the bottom, so that you get everything together on your spoon!
When I was younger and running my cooking website, I used to work part time at the Mastiha Shop on Orchard Street for some extra cash. My dear friend, Artemis Kohas, ran the store for 7 years. I loved that job. I loved listening to Greek pop music that I didn’t know the words to, but which I eventually memorized. I loved chewing on mastic, and the slight camphoric scent that filled the room. She used to sell Greek coffee granules that were scented with the healing resin, which led me to start making my own mastic coffee at home. Way before any seedling thought of Victory Garden had been planted, I would infuse goat milk in a sauce pan with a few drops of the oil and a spoonful of sugar. I would then pour it over freshly brewed espresso made in my Moka for me and anyone who was staying with me. It wasn’t before long that my mother would wake up and request mastic coffees in the morning. “Make me a mastic coffee” she would say excitedly as she ambled into the kitchen. I was so happy to share the mastic love. My mother passed away a month after I opened the shop, but her presence is here with every mastic coffee that I prepare.
Every Monday is now Mastic Monday, mainly because it rhymes with Manic Monday, and well, it is always just another Manic Mastic Monday. Mastic Coffees are $3.00 and other mastic-y things will present themselves too.
Our spring Cheesecake Sundae is flying out the door. We top our goat butter graham crust with your choice of soft serve, perfectly tangy poached rhubarb, and stewed strawberry sauce. The result is a combination of flavors and textures that hit a home run. To make this sundae even more amazing, this week we will be serving our cheesecake soft serve. This creamy and rich flavor is made with goat cheese, quark, and yogurt, making it the perfect base for some fruit toppings.
Fennel is in my top 10 favorite flavors of our ice cream. I love desserts with anise, and the fennel flavor that we do encapsulates the wonderful versatility of this refreshing vegetable. We cook down about a dozen bulbs in some olive oil and goat butter, then combine them with fennel seeds that we toast and grind, as well as some fennel pollen. The result is fennel heaven. Since we are now able to offer hard packed versions of our flavors in our freezer, we will be offering some of these more popular flavors for the fans who miss it after it is gone from the soft serve machines. We have about 2 dozen pints of this VG classic.
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