Norfolk icecream company Parravani’s have the kind of back story of passion, obsession and love that Häagen Dazs executives would kill for.
In 1898 Giuseppe Parravani stumbles ashore from Italy with only a piece of paper with his brother’s name on. Miraculously, through the power of word of mouth about good icecream, he finds said brother in Norwich, where he has already opened up an icecream business in Ber Street.
They work together and Giuseppe saves up enough to buy a horse and cart and starts selling delicious ice cream village to village around Bungay. Meets an italian girl (fleeing icecream unfriendly famine back home)? They fall in love, marry and settle down near Bungay and raise dairy cows to continue making fabulous quality ice cream. Giuseppe dies young (from overwork possibly, after rising every day before dawn to collect ice from Lowestoft and coming back from his rounds after dark) but his family continue his legacy and eventually horse-drawn carts give way to motorised ice cream vans. Several generations of Bungay area families grow big and strong on the delicious stuff.
These days you don’t just have to live on one of their routes, they do wholesale around East Anglia too. I came across their wares in an unlikely little icecream parlour in Framlingham called the Lions Den and fell in love. You will too. Rich creamy ice cream married with perfect grownup flavours – I had maple and Walnut, but could easily have gone for Italian Marmalade, Stem Ginger or any one of about thirty others.
Seek it out.