Navigating through the Short North Market on a Saturday afternoon is sometimes like walking down a busy New York street: people bumping into each other left and right as they try to decide if they want to dabble in a little Chinese or head straight for the fresh bread counter. But one thing is for sure: they will all eventually end up at Jeni’s Ice Cream. Some people may even start there, and that’s ok, because Ice Cream from Jeni is an experience, not a dessert.
Armed not with a culinary but a fine-arts background, Jeni Britton has managed to create a palette of colored confectionary delicacies fit for anyone’s palate painting . An array of colors meets the eyes first, followed by bursts of natural flavors (anything from fresh pears to goat’s cheese), finished off with something that can only be described as a soulful moment with a little piece of heaven.
“The first ice cream I ever made was hot chocolate with cayenne and Belgian milk chocolate,” remembers Britton. “Once I did that, I realized of all the spices and herbs you could use and how flavors really develop and come through in ice cream. Ice Cream is like a perfect blank canvas for flavor.”
Britton’s grandmother and mother both found success as artists, and she always believed she would follow in their footsteps one way or another. She has. The rich colors and textures decorating her display case cause shoppers to stop and deliberate over what to try: Salty Carmel? Saigon Cinnamon? Thai Chili? Pear Rielsing? Her art speaks to all the senses.