Since we entered Florida back in June we had been looking forward to a trip to Gainsville. Not for the University of Florida campus, the natural history museum or the 120-foot sink hole that you can walk down. Instead, our hearts or rather stomachs were hoping for the chance to visit a vegan ice cream parlor called Karma Cream.
As vegans we are most often asked how we can live without ice cream. And while we enjoy making our own vegan ice cream at home or picking up a pint on the go, we really miss making trips to an ice cream shop. When Five String discovered Karma Cream while searching the web this past spring we were awestruck: an actual establisment where we could choose from multiple varieties of vegan ice cream with toppings to boot! However, as yummy as this sounded we couldn’t justify driving to Gainsville just for ice cream (though Five String sure did try). Thankfully the stars aligned this past Sunday and we found ourselves driving from the Gulf Coast to Jacksonville putting Karma Cream directly in our path.
We had really hyped up a visit to this little piece of vegan heaven and we are happy report that it far surpassed our expectations. When we first walked in the door we were immediately drawn to the ice cream case that housed over ten different flavors of vegan ice cream. Plus there was a second case with just as many flavors of organic dairy based ice creams. A place where vegans and non-vegans alike can sit down to enjoy a treat definitely deserves two big thumbs up. After reading the unbelievably scrumptious and varied choices (fair trade coffee, S’Mores, chocolate cherry, just to name a few) we then turned our attention to the vegan cone and topping choices. Getting to select a scoop of vegan ice cream on its own is pretty special, but getting to decided between a cone, a sundae or even an ice cream sandwich or float almost brought tears to our eyes. There were over 15 different vegan toppings, many of them homemade, and vegan brownies or cookies that could be selected. The possible combinations boggled our minds and it took some serious thought before we could place our order.
In the end we all opted for sundaes over cones. Most of us put ours on brownies, and we all went for the vegan hot fudge and whipped cream. The younger Fives were delighted to have their sundaes topped with cookie dough while the adults tried out the vegan caramel sauce. Five of Hearts was the most adventurous choosing the cardamom flavored ice cream, while the boys chose triple chocolate and mint. Of course Five String couldn’t pass up a scoop of the pumpkin which didn’t disappoint. We finished up feeling very jealous of the University of Florida students who can take advantage of Karma Cream’s late hours and snack some on some incredible food up until 1am. We left wondering if picking a school based solely on nearby eateries is crazy and pondering enrolling Five String in a U.F. master’s program.