classic vanilla & chocolate cone from Freskura
Okay, this is hardly news, but summer in Seville can get pretty hot. Afternoon temperatures often reach 40ºC, the sun beats down from directly overhead, and only mad dogs and Englishmen are still out and about (I’m joking of course; the mad dogs are all indoors, where it’s a little cooler). In days of yore there was little relief from this state of affairs, which is why most Spanish buildings are constructed to keep the heat out as far as is humanly possible, with those shady courtyards and thick walls, and not too many south-facing windows.
Times have changed, however, and a number of inventions have made Seville a realistic summer holiday destination. Air conditioning is one of these, and indeed the art of refrigeration in general is another. A third, and the topic of our homily of the day, was made possible by these advances. I speak of nothing other than that summertime staple, the humble, and often not so humble, ice cream.
Italian soft-serve at Buoni le Pizze
Sweet treats made from fruit and ice go back a long way, certainly more than two thousand years, and we have references to such delights from both ancient China and Persia. Special buildings (mostly underground) with high insulation properties, where ice could be stored are also known. Later the Arabs added milk to these frozen delicacies. In the absence of refrigeration, however, these developments relied on supplies of natural ice, either stored from the winter, or transported from nearby mountains. Iced fruits or creams were therefore the preserve of the wealthy, and not for the common folk.
trademark ice cream flower at Amorina
With the invention of refrigeration in the 19th century, however, ice cream became a staple summer treat for everyone from Blackpool to the Med. Spanish ice cream is generally made in the Italian “gelato” style, a thick creamy ice cream that’s actually lower in calories than most others. In the last ten years both the number of ice cream parlours in Seville and the variety of flavours available have increased dramatically. These are some of our favourites.
Almirante Apodaca, 1
Tel: +34 954 221 746
The original Rayas opened its doors here in 1980, and there is now a second shop (shown above) near the Puerta de Triana. It’s still among the most highly regarded parlours in Seville.
Heladeria La Fiorentina
Tel: +34 954 221 550
Considered to be one of the most innovative, with both traditional and modern flavours. Also does excellent granizadas (half frozen drinks that I used to know as “slush-puppies” back in the day).
Tel: +34 954 227 428
I’m not generally a big fan of international chains, but Amorino’s, recently opened just off Plaza Nueva in the city centre, has a nice ambience, a good location and some great ice-cream.
Tel: +34 645 859 198
As well as a full selection of ice creams Freskura also has desserts and pastries. You can find them just off the Alameda de Hercules in a convenient location for a post lunch merienda.
Buoni de Pizze
Amor de Dios, 56
Tel: +34 955 293 150
Wonderful Italian soft-serve made from locally sourced fresh milk. Two flavours are made each morning.