Ice cream around the world (and at home)

Ghirardelli Chocolate Market Street San Francisco

Ghirardelli Chocolate Market Street San Francisco

An experience. That’s what Ghirardelli is to me. For many years, San Francisco was a city that barely held any allure for me. Growing up in the suburbs, the city was “the place where my mom enjoyed shopping”.

But somehow in college, I had discovered that the city offered more. Especially in a period where I had found my own independence. Having cultivated (normal) friendships in college, we would venture to the city as young twentysomethings to do what twentysomethings would do. Despite the fact that so many of us had grown up in the Bay Area, the idea of going to San Francisco was wholly absent. But in the summer of our junior year, we all decided to hop on the BART and go to the city. We visited Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39, playing among the touristy attractions and aimlessly shopping in the shops. Then we went to The Original Ghirardelli Chocolate Manufactory, which overlooked the bay. We stared at how the chocolate was made (sadly with minimal signs in the shop) and smelled the chocolate scent that took over the space.

I don’t know if it was me or someone else, but we all ended up ordering the Earthquake for all of us. The menu simply states:

Eight scoops of ice cream with eight toppings and banana topped with whipped cream, diced almonds, Ghirardelli® Mini Dark Chocolate Chips and cherries.

Who ate the most? Who loved it? Who hated it? What I do remember was my brilliant idea. We were unable to finish all the ice cream before it melted into a soppy mess. Having being brought up in a family where every cent was valued, I was not going to let the ice cream go to waste. To this day, I haven’t absorbed the lesson that not everything needs to be completely consumed. To the horror of my friends, I found a straw and drank the mess.

Then I did that in two additional visits in the next year or so. Once with just one other person. This was the start of an interest in competitive eating. But it was the beginning of the fascination of traveling for ice cream. Just the peek of it, you see. That ice cream can be an experience. That ice cream can have a story.

Ghirardelli Chocolate (Palace Hotel on Market Street in San Francisco)

A shop, known for its historical chocolate factory…and traditional ice cream servings
Address: 2 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94105
Hours: Open everyday · 8 AM – 10:30 PM

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