Nothing says “summer” more than two scoops of ice cream on either a cone or in a cup. Nothing sounds like “summer” more than waves crashing on the beach, and the sun’s rays streaming down in Florida. The two have now combined, and it is not ocean-flavored ice cream.
Straight out of the rich and colorful community of Little Havana is Azucar Ice Cream. Although Little Havana lies 1,300 miles west of Dallas, the Cuban-inspired ice creams can be bought, tasted, and enjoyed right here in the Bishop Arts District. Owner Suzy Batlle, the mastermind behind the shop and ice cream aficionado, satiated her Cuban community’s, “obsession for the cold stuff [ice cream]” while bringing them back home with flavors like the ones Batlle and many others grew up with in Cuba, surrounded by family recipes and traditions. In the magazine Saveur, Batlle says, “The Latin people want their Latin food…and Cuban people love their ice cream.”
As the owner, it is Batlle’s job to create a multitude of flavors. She serves traditional, all-American flavors as well as flavors with a Cuban flare. Batlle provides a rich stream of flavors reminiscent of her home, such as Guarapiña, a flavorful mix of sugarcane and pineapple; Mexican Vanilla, a smoky take on your classic vanilla; Cuatro Leches, the ice cream adaption to the cake; Dulce de Leche, a classic caramel ice cream; and Noche Buena, consisting of spiced sugar plums. Batlle also includes flavors to be enjoyed seasonally or year-round: Zapaticos de Rosa, or rose petals, rich Belgium chocolate, Nutella, Birthday Cake, Coca Cola and several flavors of sorbet. Azucar is also the home of their homemade Abuela Maria ice cream, “premium vanilla ice cream mixed with bright jewels of ruby red guava, rich cream cheese and crispy, sweet galletas Maria…a Cuban Classic.”
Batlle does not just create her own recipes, but also looks to others for her inspiration. It is not uncommon for members of her community to request childhood flavors, keeping her on her toes as she whips out more delicious and nostalgic flavors for, and inspired by, her community.
After traveling between Miami and Dallas, Batlle found Bishop Arts to be Azucar’s second home. “It has a Coconut Grove vibe to it,” she says to the Miami New Times.
Batlle will keep churning out these homemade, nostalgic flavors 1,300 miles west of Little Havana at 269 N. Bishop Arts. While Azucar is closed on Monday’s, you can pop by for sweet treats and a variety of toppings from Tuesday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and even for an after-church treat on Sunday’s from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. If Bishop Arts is too far of a drive for you, Royal Blue Grocery in Highland Park carries a selection of six rotating flavors.