Memories of making Ice cream on the kitchen table, mixing the powders and adding the milk and sugar and queuing up to lick the whisk are what gave me the desire to continue this great tradition of making Ice Cream. For years and years we continued to make our own ice cream and like our great following of customers loved it but then we all modernised as we thought, and with the invention of the washing machine and dishwasher and microwave you could buy ice cream already made and we like everyone else used this ice cream. We continued to keep our very loyal customer following by doing the simple things right, strict hygiene and very regular washing and good value ice creams kept Butlers name famous with Ice Cream in Dungarvan and for miles around.
In 2000 I made my first trip to Italy to a town called Laono half ways between Genoa and the French border town of Menton. It is a Mecca for Ice cream making and a place to truly learn the craft. I spent 3 days at an Italian speaking Ice cream course with my trusty interpreter. I was the first ever English only speaking person to attend this course and was complimented for doing so. The course was very informative and very detailed and was the first time I truly knew I wanted to follow this through and return to what I did as a kid and make my own Ice Cream, but not just any Ice Cream, the best Ice Cream following the exact traditions of Italian Ice Cream methods. If I was ever to make Ice Cream properly it would have to be like the Italians. On that first course I was bemused by the regular quick ‘coffee’ breaks and then back to class, but it was at these breaks that I got a chance to questions other artisan ice cream makers about why they do what they do. My first impression of traditional ice cream making was the time involved and I felt it took way to much time to make homemade ice cream and I said this (through my interpreter) to the other participants to be told ‘someday you will understand’.
And yes one day 9 years later I did understand when I made my first ice cream in my own shop and saw for myself exactly what they said to me. They told me on that course all them years before ‘when you make homemade ice cream and after taking so much care and effort to make the best ice cream with the best possible local ingredients and use the skill that you were thought and they ‘watch’ someone eat it and ‘see’ their face light up as they taste what ‘real’ ice cream is all about!! I could clearly see that what they told me was correct and every time I see someone enjoying our Ice cream I am so pleased that I listened and now understand that each time I make Ice cream I am passing on not only a Butlers tradition but an Italian way of making Ice Cream
We now make the ice cream in our shop in Dungarvan just inside the door where you can see use making the ice cream daily. We have an 18 flavour display cabinet where you can buy to take away or eat at your leisure at the tables and chairs provided. So come along and taste for yourself what real ice cream is about.