Now, I know I just suggested yesterday for you to go and get some great vanilla fudge ice cream from Eddie’s Sweet SHop. But when two sweet national food holidays come up back-to-back like this, who are we to question or complain? It’s National Vanilla Ice Cream Day, one of the most popular, and underappreciated, ice cream flavors ever. Everyone wants all these bells and whistles in their ice cream these days, swirls of fudge, nuts, even popcorn pieces and Red Hots; and when they want a plain, unadorned flavor, most head to the prettiest girl at the ice cream social, chocolate, because hey, it’s chocolate. But vanilla has so many great properties to it, and it’s why I love the crap out of vanilla: it can be creamy and rich, so full of yummy dairy fat it melts like a full milkshake on your mouth. One of my favorite brands of vanilla ice cream is Breyers, because they use real vanilla beans in their ice cream that you can actually see and taste, those little black specks that indicate a natural, expensive, and wholly tasty ingredient was used to bring you this scoop of ice cream. It’s just the tiniest bit gritty on my tongue, something about the texture of real vanilla ice cream that makes me feel both satisfied and refreshed. And let’s not even talk about soft-serve: the right vanilla soft serve is like eating a cold vanilla cloud! Does anything bring back memories of childhood summers better than light, airy vanilla soft serve sitting atop a candy cone?

Well, New York City definitely has you covered on that aspect of National Vanilla Ice Cream Day. Flag down one of those fantastic Mister Softee trucks for some vanilla soft serve, or maybe even a vanilla ice cream milkshake (one of my favorites!). Or, you can stand on a street corner and wait for a Pimp. πŸ˜‰

A Salty Pimp, that is! Over the past few years The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck and its new brick-and-mortar store have stirred up huge waves in the New York ice cream scene, and we’re all the better (and probably fatter) for it. Their specialty is soft serve ice cream offered in new and interesting flavor combinations, with outrageous and memorable names like Bea Arthur and, of course, the Salty Pimp. Living up to its name, the Salty Pimp incorporates creamy, sweet vanilla soft serve ice cream and blends it with an unusual, salty taste: dulce de leche and sea salt top the ice cream cone, which is then dipped in chocolate. The resulting flavor is something completely out of this world, and definitely like nothing they’ll be serving you at the Mister Softee lines. The sweet and salt combination has become hugely popular among Big Gay Ice Cream Truck’s fans. Even Gail Simmons, special projects director of Food & Wine Magazine and judge/host of my favorite cooking show on TV, Top Chef and Top Chef: Just Desserts can’t stop raving about the Salty Pimp: she’s even gone so far as to call it the best street food she’s ever eaten. So today, forget the regular vanilla and go for something a little less, well, vanilla for your ice cream!

Big Gay Ice Cream Truck

“What makes the combination of vanilla soft serve drizzled with thick dulce de leche, sprinkled with crunchy sea salt, and dipped in chocolate so good? I shouldn’t even have to explain why. It’s salty, sweet, creamy, and crunchy all at once, and if you’re anything like me it will make you go, “Oh god, this is good,” after every bite.”–Serious Eats

“What initially got the attention of NYC foodies are the creative toppings they come up with, as well as the funny names given to the cones. One of our favorites is the Salty Pimp – vanilla ice cream with dulce de leche squirted into the ice cream, dipped into a chocolate shell and sprinkled with sea salt before the shell hardens.”–New York Street Food

“Playful banter with a super nice guy could be reason enough to visit this sweet oasis, but the ice cream creations are not to be missed. The Salty Pimp is a customer favorite, consisting of vanilla soft serve, dulce de leche, and a sprinkling of sea salt, all dipped into a chocolate shell. I am a confirmed addict of sweet and salty desserts, so this is the perfect ice cream cone for me.”–One Good Scoop

Some reviews from

“The Salty Pimp is anything but a plain vanilla cone. It’s this dense, creamy vanilla soft serve with caramel piped INTO and ONTO it, sprinkled with fresh sea salt, and then dipped into chocolate. What you get is this incredible chocolate shell that kind of cracks as you bite into it. You get a taste of the salted caramel and it’s just divine. Plus, the guy puts caramel and salt into THE CONE before he puts the ice cream in so you get that salted caramel goodness all the way down to the very last bite.”–Ji Hae P.

“The salty pimp is quite the creation. As much I love savory, the pimp does not hesitate its salty backhand and you definitely taste the huge granules of salt. The caramel obviously compliments the salt well. This ice cream is not for the dainty tongues. The flavors are strong and bold, heavy on the salt, heavy on the sweet. Considering how a scoop of ice cream at many places is almost $5, paying $5 for the large salty pimp is quite cheap.”–Darwin G.


Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!