Ice Age: NYC's Frozen-Dessert Revolution
by Jonathan Zeller, 05/30/2012
Mastic Dream. Photo: Laura Miller
31 Carmine St., 212-206-7273, West Village, Manhattan
When Sophia Brittan first tested her brainchild—soft-serve goat-milk ice cream—an early taster thought she was a "complete freak show" (her words). Judging by the public's reaction to her new shop, no one is freaked out now. Goat milk is lower in fat than cow's milk, suitable for lactose-intolerant folk and quite appetizing. Victory Garden's comes from farms in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, and there is a picture of one of the happy-looking goats on the shop's wall. The milk is pasteurized and turned into ice cream and yogurt right at the shop. In addition to the plain flavor, salted caramel (there it is again), chocolate and the other usual suspects, Brittan is especially fond of mastic, which has a floral taste. Unusual in America, it's a common ice-cream variety in Turkey and Greece. "Mastic is used for so many things," she says. "It cleans your breath, it kills gingivitis, it's good for digestion," and, of course, "I just really like the flavor." In keeping with the holistic-health theme, the shop also sells other products made from goat milk, including caramel and soap.