This post is a little more personal than usual, on a topic near and dear to my heart: ice cream. I can eat it at as a snack, a meal replacement, or dessert; it is good any time of day or year. It is my go-to comfort food, my favorite indulgence. As a kid, I wanted to have my tonsils taken out because I thought I could have all the ice cream in the world.
But some of my favorite teammates are lactose-intolerant and others are vegan (which is a feat in and of itself with a sport as intense as rugby), so we’ve struggled to find places where we can all indulge. Up until recently, we thought J.P. Licks and Veggie Galaxy were our only options in terms of dairy-free dessert choices. Thankfully, we were wrong.
FōMū (pronounced faux moo) opened their first store in Allston in 2012, and has since opened locations in the South End and Jamaica Plain, as well as recent pop-up stores on Newbury Street and in the Fenway area. Deena Jalal and her husband Hin Tang decided to leave their corporate jobs and start FōMū around the same time that they began thinking about starting a family. Their mission? Creating the best tasting product with real, true ingredients.
“We’re huge ice cream fans and we’re always looking for the most unique flavors and the best ice cream wherever we went,” said Jalal. “One of the things that was always a big shortfall for me—particularly at the time looking to start a family and having kids now—was finding ice cream that wasn’t made with any type of artificial sweetners or flavors or things like that.”
Everything at FōMū is plant-based, from their coconut milk ice cream, drinks and baked goods to the cups and utensils. My girlfriend Molly and I dropped by the Jamaica Plain location on Friday night for an impromptu-date night and at Jalal’s suggestion, ordered the Apple Cider Donut and Malted Cookie Dough ice creams as well as a peanut butter cookie-wich. While the Malted Cookie Dough is a staple flavor, the Apple Cider Donut is a seasonal flavor so definitely get it while it lasts. It has chunks of real cider donuts in it, finishing with a smooth cinnamon note that covers the coconut taste. The cookie dough does taste like coconut, which some people might not be fans of, but as a coconut-lover, I enjoyed it.
As for baked goods, I wouldn’t call myself a connoisseur: I ate a lot of those PathMark peanut butter cookies as a kid, but even more gourmet peanut butter goods, like Molly Yeh’s peanut butter snack cake, are heavy. Yet FōMū perfectly creates a peanut butter cookie that doesn’t hit your stomach like a brick. Pairing the cookies with a peanut butter cream spread, then dipping the sandwich in chocolate before sprinkling it with chopped peanuts beautifully combines the textures and flavors of the cookie, cream, chocolate shell and the nuts themselves. Just like FōMū’s ice cream, the cookie-wich reminds us that you can have it all.
The JP store is located at 617 Centre Street, right next to the Centre Street bus station (35, 39 and 41 buses) and half a mile from the Green Street orange line stop. It is open 12pm-10pm Monday through Thursday, 12pm-11pm on Fridays, 11am-11pm Saturdays and 11am-10pm on Sundays. The shop is wheelchair accessible.
Not in the Boston area? You can get FōMū in specialty food stores and select Whole Foods stores in New England, as well as online. In the future, Jalal hopes to open stores in cities like New York and D.C.
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