Name: D'Onofrio Pezi Duri Lucuma Ice Cream
Found at: Aji Limon, Buena Park
Water, Sugar, Hydrogenated Vegetable Fat, Milk Whey, Lucuma Flour, Milk Protein, Skimmed Milk, Glucose, Emulsifiers (Mono and diglycerides, Guar Gum, Garrofin Gum, Carrageenan and Wheat Proteins) Salt and Artificial Colors (FD&C Yellow #5 / Yartrazine, FD&C Yellow #6 / Sunset Yellow).
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Why I Bought It:
Pricey? Yes. But in the case of helado de lucuma (lucuma ice cream), I am willing to pay a little more than your everyday pint of Häagen-Dazs. Sightings of this distinctly Peruvian ice cream flavor is rarer than Bigfoot. I've seen it at only a handful of Peruvian restaurants, and even then, you can only buy it a scoop at a time from their dessert menu. Aji Limon, a new Peruvian restaurant, has it in the reach-in freezer case next to the door.
The lucuma fruit is indigenous to Peru and has been loved by its people for an eternity (longer than before ice cream was invented). They've discovered ancient ceramics with representations of the fruit.
The flavor of lucuma ice cream is unlike any other you've probably encountered. Think of it as a mix of sweet potato and maple syrup, with a gritty, sandy texture at the finish. The color is also striking. It looks like wet adobe clay, the kind you make, well, ceramics from. For sure, this deep orange hue would also definitely be harder to get out as a stain than chocolate.
Speaking of chocolate, it is said that lucuma trumps chocolate (and vanilla) as the favorite ice cream flavor in Peru. Methinks it's because it's probably easier to find there.