Saffron Spot: Pomegranate & Chikoo Ice Cream

Customer: “Waiter! I asked for alu paratha but I find no potatoes in it!”

Waiter: “What's in a name Sir! If you ask for Kashmiri pulav, will you expect to find Kashmir in it?”

At Saffron Spot in Artesia, the ice creams tend toward a vibrant candyish hue and sport names that sound like particularly festive planets in the Star Wars universe. Rajbhog? Chikoo? Sure, a working knowledge of Hindi would help, but you'll do fine to order based solely on linguistic exoticism. It's hard to go wrong at Saffron Spot, where vanilla and chocolate play a faint second fiddle to distinctly Indian flavors like guava, jackfruit and Kulfi Kreme.

Saffron Spot: Assorted Ice Cream in the Case

Mr. Sen & Mr. Singh were two good friends. Mr. Sen was thin, and Mr. Singh was fat.

Mr. Singh: “Yaar Sen, seeing you, outsiders would think that there is a famine in India.”

Mr. Sen: “And seeing you, they would come to know the cause of that famine.”

Maybe rajbhog, a sunflower yellow ice cream heavily flavored with rose, tinged with cardamom and dotted with cashews, is to Indian ice cream what rocky road is to Dreyer's. Who knows? Where the Saffron Silk ice cream is too flowery for our taste, the balance of flavors in rajbhog is ideal, and the ice cream looks gorgeous.

Pinkish-beige chikoo, made with the same fruit known as sapodilla in Mexico and Central America, isn't the prettiest of Saffron Spot's ice creams, but it may be our favorite, in part for its indefinable flavor. It has hints of apple, green tea, pumpkin and malt, and a faint grittyness that recalls crushed pear.

Saffron Spot: Onterior

Three men who died the same day were presented before God. The almighty showed particular interest in their sex life. The first one replied that he never had an affair before or after he was married. God granted him a chaffeur-driven Cadillac. The second man admitted he had some affairs before he was married but none afterward. God gave him an Ambassador car. The third man confessed to having had lots of affairs. God gave him a scooter. A few days later, the man with the scooter saw the fellow with the chauffeur-driven Cadillac sitting by the roadside and crying. The scooterist asked him why he was upset. Replied the Cadillac owner, “I've just seen my wife ride past on a bicycle.”

In consistency, Saffron Spot's product is similar to most high-end artisanal ice creameries: rich, creamy with a hint of friction that separates it from gelato. It's definitely nothing like the ultra-glutinous consistency of the Persian ice cream at Westwood's Saffron and Rose.

Among the 16 or flavors, you can generally find coconut, mango, pistachio and Tutti Frutti, but it's flavors like Kulfi Kreme and Masala Tea that bring people to this shop. What may be exotic in one conext is perfectly ordinary in another, but let's hope Angelenos never grow so jaded they can't appreciate the wonders of a velvety, perfectly blended cup of saffron ice cream.

All jokes from Khushwant Singh's Joke Book, Vol. III, purchased at Books N Bits in Artesia.


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