Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mora Iced Creamery

Mora Iced Creamery

Ever notice how a good day for a ferry ride is also a great day for ice cream?   A few years ago the owners of Mora Iced Creamery banked on this coincidence, closing their popular Bellevue Square shop to focus their retail efforts closer to their production facility on Bainbridge Island, a beautiful half-hour ferry ride across Puget Sound from downtown Seattle.  

To sum up:  assuming you don't live on Bainbridge, sinking your spoon into a scoop of Mora's finest involves a trip down to the docks, a boat ride, and an uphill hike.  And every time I've made the trek the line has been up to or out the door. 

The Mora experience is both old-fashioned and space-age:  small-batch ice creams made with and tasting of identifiable ingredients, scooped from rows of cryogenic-looking stainless steel jars (apparently this reduces oxidation and preserves the intended flavor and texture).  Part of the fun is watching the servers confidently whip off the correct unlabeled lid.  

Given that the shop is cheekily named after the blackberry--both a much-loved fruit and a much-hated weed in these parts--the Mora philosophy seems to suggest when life gives you invasive species, make ice cream.  The wide-ranging fruit flavors rotate seasonally, as do other inventive specials, including Ginger, Eggnog, and Rose Petal (a favorite of mine that I have yet to find at Mora--maybe it appears at a time of year when the ferries are fogged in?). On my most recent visit, my cup was crowded with Italian Chocolate (a potent mix of chocolate ice cream, cognac, and walnuts), Bob's Peppermint, and Irish Coffee.  In the past I have also greatly enjoyed Sabayon (marsala wine and egg yolks), Cinnamon, and Pink Grapefruit.  Frozen yogurt is an option, as are shakes, floats, and affogato.  

My only quibble is that, unlike Elevated Ice Cream in Port Townsend, Mora sells its rather pricey ice cream by scoop rather than weight--but that's admittedly nit-picking.  Their pricing policy is in line with almost every other ice cream shop on the planet, and Mora is almost outrageously generous with samples.  I once asked my server what was the record number of samples ever dispensed to single patron; she said that it wasn't unheard of for a customer to sample every available flavor--usually because he or she was conducting "research".  (Why didn't this ever occur to me???)

As of earlier this summer, Mora is also available at a new shop in Kingston--a short, scenic ferry ride from Edmonds.   

139 Madrone Lane
Bainbridge Island, WA

11250 State Hwy 104, 
Kingston, WA 

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