Exotic Ice Cream Flavor Quest Ends with a Hot Tip on a Cold Treat, in "Just Desserts"

In the end, we get what's coming to us. Let's hope it's sweet.

According to Sunset magazine, cupcakes are out, and exotic ice cream flavors are in. After visits to Mary Coyle and Pink Spot, delicious, creamy pay-dirt (and a hot tip) was unearthed at Sweet Republic.

For those who have been on an underwater research mission for the past three years, Scottsdale's Sweet Republic, which prides itself on all-natural artisan ice creams made from scratch, was named one of the 10 best ice creams in the nation from Bon Appetit and recently was picked up by Whole Foods.

Alongside crazy-good classics like (real) mint chocolate chip and salted butter caramel, specialty and limited-time flavors beg to be sampled. Bananas Foster, featuring slow-roasted bananas and a touch of brown sugar, was light and pleasing. And who knew lavender flowers could taste as sensational as they smell in the ice cream version of this flowering plant? The best-tasting of the bizarre: bacon maple. Made with Sweet Republic's homemade bacon brittle (also available as a topping) and maple ice cream, this sowbelly sweet treat is made in small, time-consuming batches, making it an ask-for only by those in-the-know.

The exotic ice cream flavor quest ends, enjoyably, at Sweet Republic. A cool shop where a hot tip can send you to frozen felicity.

Sweet Republic 9160 East Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale 480-248-6979 www.sweetrepublic.com

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