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Ice Cream Week: Carmela Ice Cream

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Photo by Jessica Ogilvie/LAist
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I've been looking for an excuse to drive to Pasadena and check out Carmela salted caramel ice cream every since I saw a photo of it at local lifestyle blog Oh Joy back in January. Finding myself recently in the area, I decided to swing by. Carmela, it turns out, straddles the border between Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre, and is in so nondescript a location that if you weren't looking for it you would most certainly drive right by.

The shop itself is tiny, with a small freezer for prepackaged ice cream and ice cream sandwiches. Two women were working behind the counter when I walked in, and since I got there a bit before they opened (and they were still nice enough to let me in, thank you, and always look things up before you go, lesson learned), there was no wait.

Their ice cream is served in either a cup, a cone, or a cup cone, the latter of which is clearly the best of both worlds, and doesn't require that you purchase ten times more ice cream than you want in order to experience the joy of the cone. So that's what I did.

My wait to go to Carmela was 100% worth it. The salted caramel achieved a number of things: 1. It actually tasted like salted caramel. It was salty and sweet (like kettle corn!), and didn't shy away from a difficult flavor by being overly saccharine. 2. The texture was perfect -- velvety smooth, thick and creamy. 3. It had a cone in the cup.

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This, I hope, beings a long love affair between Carmela and myself. I plan to go back soon.