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The savory ice cream from the Village Cheese Shop (credit: Felicia LaLomia).

I am not a dessert person. Even as I write this, I recall being in elementary school and the words ‘desert’ and ‘dessert’ being on the spelling list one week.

“Dessert is always spelled with two s’s,” my teacher would say. “Because you always want two desserts.” 

Not me, I would think. I’m good with more dinner.

On my birthday every year, I never wanted a traditional cake. I didn’t like it, so instead I would get a cookie cake, because I liked it minimally better. But even so, it was more for the 15 other screaming sugar-rushed children at my party than it was for me.

So when I heard the Village Cheese Shop in Mattituck had ice cream, my interest was piqued. I’m a regular there for their cheese of course, but savory ice cream, as they call it, sounded, well, interesting. And I rushed in to the Love Lane store to grab a pint.

The cheese shop has three flavor options: Tartufo honey, lemon ricotta and chocolate marcona almonds. Michael Affatato, the owner, was in there, and so I asked him for his recommendation. He said the chocolate marcona was his personal favorite, but the tartufo honey had to be tried. So I went with both for $12.99 a pint. 

I got home and almost immediately dug right in. I had to try the tartufo honey. If you’re unfamiliar with what tartufo means, after one taste, you’ll know exactly what it is — truffle. With a simple base of milk, cream and sugar, the poignant flavor of truffle immediately comes through. Once it’s in my mouth, my brain has a hard time deciphering what I’m eating. So often, truffle is made with savory dishes — ravioli, foie gras, potatoes — so to have it with something so sweet felt a bit short-circuiting. 

However, it was by no means bad. There was something about it that kinda worked. Think about foods that go with truffles — they are rich and fatty and decadent. Know what else is rich and fatty and decadent? Ice cream. Every bite, my face scrunched up in confusion, trying to decipher what I was eating, but I kept going back for more. Tiny bits of truffle cheese were laced throughout the ice cream too. Yes, cheese, like cookie dough chunks. It was chewy, but it didn’t upset me. 

Overall, I’m a fan. With its sweetness and richness, it’s definitely still a dessert. The unique flavors give it the savory title, but I won’t be reaching for it pre-pasta anytime soon. But as someone who is hard to please in the sweets department, I would buy it again if only for its strange flavor. 

If you are a dessert person, try the chocolate marcona almond, which tastes much more like traditional ice cream — chocolate-y and nutty. I didn’t try the lemon ricotta, but I imagine it tastes like lemon cheesecake. 

The savory ice creams are available at the Village Cheese Shop, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.