Sunday, 12 June 2011
tar ice cream
I'd been in Turku before, in 2003, at a formal methods conference (nice weather again, but nowhere near as hot). One evening a group of us went out for a meal at the Harald "Viking" restaurant (we didn't wear the helmets...). On the sweet menu was "tar ice cream". Ho, ho, ho, we went, it must be mistranslated. So we asked the server. "Tar? Like you put on the roads?" "Yes" she said. Okay, so I have to order that. It arrives: a scoop of plain white ice cream. I take a hesitant spoonful as the rest of the table watches. "It's tar!"
It had a lovely tarry flavour -- like mild creosote. It is actually pine tar, made from tree sap -- and it's very nice (although not everyone agrees!). This visit, one evening I was in a restaurant, and recognised it as that same place I'd been 8 years earlier. So I looked eagerly for the tar ice cream. Still available, and still delicious.
The next day was the conference dinner. We went to a lovely place in the archipelago, where they were serving a smoky tar drink in a wooden mug -- and the dinner included (among many other kinds of fish) herring in tar. Both nice, but not as good as that tar ice cream.