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Last Add for Ice Cream

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Thursday, August 30, 2007, at 08:29AM
Carm Ed Fuentes

It's not often when the City, the State, the County, the Feds and the LA Times agree on something, but most concur that the Little Tokyo / Arts District Farmer's Market to City Hall move was a good one. Under the mature trees of the South Lawn, the newly named City Hall Farmer's Market has some of the best shade Downtown, and the bustle has made an actual Town Square.

Now the market provides a late add to the downtown blogger ice cream anti-social held two weeks ago. With forecasts saying it's going to be a scorcher again today, the debut of Carmela Ice Cream Company at the City Hall Farmer's Market is definitely worthy of a mention.

The specialty-flavored Carmela Ice Cream Company is owned and operated by founder and "flavor developer" Jessica Mortarotti. "I love the farmers' markets. I always knew I wanted to launch my product there," Mortarotti says, "It's a great way to get face to face with customers and an affordable way to try out different parts of the city for a storefront down the line."

The name of the company and the logo (done by her sister who is a graphic designer) catches your eye, as do the flavor names. Carmela was the name of Mortarotti's grandmother and it translates to "garden", both the source and inspiration of ingredients using flowers, herbs and spices, nuts and fruits. The handmade ice cream ends up sporting such names as Lavender Honey and Basil. Even the sorbets are part of the garden party with selections that include Spiced Strawberry and Cucumber. And if you choose a pint over a 4-oz single serving, a good looking reusable thermal shopping bag will transport your ice cream to the office freezer.

According to Mortarotti, Carmela Ice Cream started as a personal experiment to try new flavor combinations. The self-taught ice cream developer did extra research, having attended the Ice Cream Short Course at Penn State in 2006, the same place that Ben And Jerry got their start before making classics like Cherry Garcia.

Which of course, makes it tempting to start naming ice cream flavors after politicians. Anyone for StrawPerry?

City Hall Farmer's Market


Thursdays from 10am to 2pm
1st St between Main and Spring

Pictured: Jessica Mortarotti at the Los Angeles City Hall South Lawn

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