The Ultimate: Strawberry Ice Cream
* * * * * Toscanini‘s
Our exhaustive search for strawberry ice cream exemplars—with fresh dairy taste, balanced berry flavor, lively tang, and luscious texture—yielded two standouts: Toscanini’s and J. P. Licks. It was such a close call that it required repeat tastings, all in the name of, you know, due diligence. But the bright fruity notes and dreamy creaminess of the Tosci’s version broke the dead heat. Owner Gus Rancatore’s flawless formula consists of a custard base blended with sugared strawberries and a handful of raspberries for complexity, punched up with lemon or orange zest, or, when the mood strikes, a dose of limoncello. Toscanini’s, 899 Main St., Cambridge, 617-491-5877, tosci.com.
Pink-Slipped [The Runners-Up]:
* * Herrell’s: Nice and tangy, yet lacked the rich mouth-feel we crave.
155 Brighton Ave., Allston, 617-782-9599; 15 Dunster St., Cambridge, 617-497-2179; herrells.com
* * Lizzy’s: A vibrant taste burdened by chunks of unnaturally sweet berries.
29 Church St., Cambridge, 617-354-2911; 367 Moody St., Waltham, 781-893-6677; lizzysicecream.com