Also a major player on the French dessert scene is the glace, or ice cream. Nice has a famous gelateria called Fenocchio, which, funnily enough, has a rival gelateria called Pinocchio. The rivalry converges at Place Rosetti in the Old Town, where Fenocchio has its flagship location while Pinocchio has two across the way from each other. We all benefit from ice cream wars, don’t we? I only went to Fenocchio, and what an abundance of flavors– 96 to be exact! Of the many delightful parfums, imagine verbena (a flower), beer, vanilla-rose-pepper, thyme, Coca-Cola, Grand Marnier, jasmin, and chocolate-ginger. French ice cream is delicious and often comes in the form of complicated and expensive sundaes. I saw a few in Nice that cost 25 Euros! Yes, they came with seven scoops of ice cream, several toppings, and whipped cream, and probably should be shared, but wow, what a price. I accidentally purchased one of these while asking for an iced coffee in Lyon. I said café glacé, which literally means “iced coffee,” and was brought a monster of a sundae featuring several scoops of coffee ice cream, cookies, nuts, and whipped cream for 8 Euros. It was expensive, but very satisfying. After consuming this, I became sleepy, so I then purchased a regular coffee. This is the kind of mindless eating and drinking that you get in France, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I also tried an iced nougat at Brasserie Georges in Lyon, just for scientific study. It really wasn’t tough or chewy like you’d imagine a real frozen chunk of nougat would be, but rather had that nutty flavor and candied fruit, but with a decidedly ice creamy texture. It was tasty and a nice antidote for a rich meal. Our evening was punctuated with the waiters firing up an old-timey barrel organ to play Happy Birthday, which would be followed by a baked Alaska-type dessert garnished with a live sparkler being placed in front of a lucky birthday boy or girl.