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Byline: Jessica Yadegaran and Joan Morris
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. _ If there's one complaint about ice cream, besides the occasional brain-freeze, it's the lack of vibrant flavors to slap your taste buds to attention. Chocolate ripple and Jamoca Almond Fudge are all well and good, but the creamy standards sing the same old mellow tune.
But there's another song starting to play, an old tune with a new listening audience. You've heard the screams for chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, but wait until you hear the shrieks for blackberry cabernet, Croccantino al Rhum and avocado.
While ice cream continues its reign as frozen king of the desserts _ we consume about 1.4 billion gallons each year _ some of us are seeking that elusive 32nd flavor.
The International Dairy Food Association says that vanilla ice cream and novelty products remain the top sellers, but the industry has noticed what it calls a "strong trend" toward adventurous and seasonal flavors.
It's hard to get more unique than with gelato, the classic Italian dessert known for its dense texture, vibrant colors and astonishing flavors.
You won't find Cookies and Cream on the menu of most gelaterias, but you're likely to find Tiramasu, Biscotti and Ferrero Rocher. Any flavor you can think of can be translated into gelato, and competitive gelato masters scan the public venues for new ideas.
Jeff Hren, corporate chef for Caffe …