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Nobel Ice Cream

October 8, 2012

Our third day of the cruise was also the first port day, which we were very much looking forward to.  We would be spending the day in Stockholm, Sweden, and our plans for the day were very ambitious.  However, I made sure to plan for some time in the afternoon to have a little treat.

During our day in Stockholm, one of the things we toured was the Stockholm City Hall.  While City Hall is a working government building, it’s probably best known as the site for the annual Nobel Banquet held every December in the Blue Room at City Hall for 1,300 honored guests including the Royal family.  The Nobel Banquet is a prestigious event for the city of Stockholm which continues to honor those whose outstanding achievements make a difference in the world, as was the vision of Alfred Nobel when he left the majority of his vast fortune to the establishment of the Nobel Prize as stated in his last will when he passed away in 1895.  Since 1901, the Nobel Prize has been awarded to individuals and organizations 853 times.

While the Nobel Banquet is held at Stockholm City Hall, in another part of the city, near the Royal Palace, the Nobel Museum has been established as a place where visitors can come and learn about the life of Alfred Nobel, the Nobel Prize itself and the honorees who have received the award, and the various achievements of different Nobel Laureates throughout the years.

The Bistro Nobel occupies a small corner of the Nobel Museum, and serves a very famous dessert that you can only find here at the Nobel Museum.  This was my planned afternoon treat for our day in Stockholm.  And the treat didn’t disappoint in the least.

In 1976, during the Nobel Banquet, a special dessert was created for the occasion and dubbed the Nobel Ice Cream.  It was served to guests at every Nobel Banquet until 1998.  Today, the ice cream is made only for the Nobel Museum and Bistro Nobel.

My husband and I just had to each order the Nobel Ice Cream and give it our own taste test.  First off, it’s visually stunning.  Scooped into wine goblets and served right at your table, all you want to do is dig into it.  The dessert itself is berry ice cream topped with vanilla bean ice cream which is then topped by whipped cream, sliced strawberries, a gooseberry and a chocolate covered Alfred Nobel coin.  The Alfred Nobel coin is the symbol of the Nobel Prize organization and the museum itself.

Before having the Nobel Ice Cream, I had never had a gooseberry before.  In fact, my husband had to pressure me to give it a try (though he didn’t know what it was either).  It actually wasn’t bad.  It’s a little tart with a waxy exterior, and when you bite into it, its soft inside.  The texture reminded me of a cherry.  But the tartness of the gooseberry actually went really well with the sweetness of the dessert.  And the blend of the berry ice cream with the vanilla ice cream was also a good mix as the berry ice cream’s tartness balanced out the sweet of the vanilla bean.

The Bistro Nobel is modeled after Cafe Museum in Vienna.  Cafe Museum is well known as an informal meeting and gathering place for intellectuals during the turn of the century.  To celebrate and honor the Nobel Laureates, every Laureate who visits the Nobel Museum is asked to sign the underside of the wooden chairs used at the Bistro Nobel.  So, while you’re sitting back and enjoying your delicious Nobel Ice Cream, you never know what great chemist, physicist, peacemaker, or literary genius may have sat in the very same seat.

My husband and I really enjoyed our break at the Bistro Nobel eating our Nobel Ice Creams.  After a long morning of what felt like trekking through half the city, it was nice to take a break in the cool cafe (since it was hot and humid outside) and enjoy a refreshing dessert that also had a little bit of historic value to it.  I would definitely go back to the Bistro Nobel to have the Nobel Ice Cream again the next time I find myself in Stockholm.

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