Daily flavours (ranging from standards like strawberry and vanilla to the more exotic liquorice and rhubarb, or foie gras and lavender) depended on the fresh ingredients available. For many years it was Berthillon’s habit to get up at 4.30am every day to take delivery of fresh milk, cream and eggs from Normandy or visit the wholesale market at Les Halles (later Rungis). It was also his practice, on Bastille Day (July 14), when Paris begins to get hot and demand for ice cream soars, to shut up shop and take his family on holiday for two months, reopening only in mid-September when the warm weather was almost over: “I am not interested in people who come here during a heatwave. I like them to come when it’s snowing and zero outside. Then they come to enjoy my fine ices and not just to cool themselves.”
And of course it’s quite delightful to have a sprinkling of such in a country. But when the whole damn economy is run on such lines it can become more than a tad tedious.
Perhaps Tim Newman can do a tasting run for us….in September, of course.