There are few foods I enjoy more than ice cream. The melt-in-your-mouth sweetness and silky-smooth mouthfeel of quality ice cream puts it in a class by itself — especially when that ice cream is creatively hand-crafted by artisans devoted to quality ingredients and purity of the process.

Of course, I am referring to the way French Broad Chocolate does ice cream — with the same loving care used to craft its mouth-watering bonbons, caramels and truffles.

Yes, French Broad Chocolate makes chocolate confections, baked goods and ice cream — like no one else on this planet. Its mission statement tells all: “We make awesome chocolate — pure, beautiful and delicious — sourced with integrity, crafted with love, and served with gratitude.”

No doubt, you have visited the FBC’s popular Chocolate Lounge on Pack Square in downtown Asheville. It’s one of our favorite places, and I always order the same ice cream flavor — Salted Caramel.

We also enjoy FBC’s artisan Chocolate Factory on Riverside Drive, where the tour really opens one’s eyes to the meticulous artisanal process of chocolate making “The FBC-Way” — where it’s a true labor of love.

It’s often said that good things come in threes. Well, French Broad Chocolate opened the dedicated Cookies & Creamery at 21 Buxton Ave. (in the heart of Asheville’s South Slope Brewing District.)

It’s in the original building where French Broad Chocolates made its chocolate confections. Now it’s home to making FBC’s ice creams, under the creative hand of head pastry chef, Beth Kellerhals, who is really pushing the envelope with innovative ice cream flavor profiles.

For example, you may have had biscuits hot out of the oven with butter and jam. It inspired the FBC ice cream flavor of Biscuits and Jam Swirl.

For another example, take the sweet richness of roasted ripe bananas and pair it with the tangy flavor of sour cream. It’s a flavor I recently chose over my go-to Salted Caramel — it’s FBC’s Roasted Banana and Sour Cream.

Another taste pairing that delights and surprises is FBC’s Sweet Thyme Blueberry Jam ice cream. It’s both sweet and savory — and surprisingly delicious.

French Broad Chocolates Cookies & Creamery is a family-friendly spot, offering comfort desserts, house-made ice cream sundaes, ice cream sandwiches, liquid truffles and (of course) the bars and bonbons FBC is known for. I also recommend FBC’s Cookies & Creamery brownies and blondies — rich enough by themselves, but like all things, made better with an accompanying scoop of ice cream.

Do your sweet tooth a favor and visit the French Broad Chocolate Cookies & Creamery, where the adults can enjoy a variety of local craft beers on tap or indulge in milk stout floats or a glass of wine; and the kids (of all ages) can savor ice cream that is out of this world. BTW, FBC co-owner, Jael Rattigan, recommends the wine floats. I’ll have to give that a try.

For information, visit www.frenchbroadchocolates.com, or call 828-348-5323.

Paul Viau is an award-winning creative director, with a 30-year career in advertising and marketing. Originally from Denver, Colorado, he met his wife, Carol, when they worked for rival advertising agencies in Miami, Florida. They became permanent residents of Haywood County in 2008 and reside in Waynesville. 

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