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A Treat To Be Cold – 32degree Italian Ice Food Review


As I’ve said in past music reviews, Temecula, CA, is a trendy place. As such, it has developed a happening music scene, is a hot bed of myspacers and myspacees, and enjoys attracting a variation on a theme. The theme here is frozen treats. For many readers out there, this may mean popsicles and Dairy Queen. For a chosen few in the Midwest, you can add in a Whitey’s, but here in the land of pastel colored, showroom fresh ’55 Chevy’s and other street rods you only see in a magazine (we just had our semi-annual Hot Rod Run in Old Town Temecula with hundreds of such cars), we have a number of small parlors located around the valley that make their own ice cream, like little ice cream delis. The latest of these popular ice cream cafeterias is 32degree ITALIAN ICE, located at the corner of Winchester and Margarita roads, in the Ralph’s Center (951.296.6466). They’ve been open a month today and Apryl Lynn and I are being driven over to toast the occasion. I pull out a free ITALIAN ICE coupon and hand it to her; “Hummm” is the reply. For a trendsetter of four, she enjoys being on the ‘A’ List.

Walking in the door, which is just two down from the Taco Shop, you notice the pastel purple/sky blue décor accented by bold yellow and you know you’re not in your grandfather’s dairy queen. Italian ice is, well, think Bart Simpson’s ‘Squishy’ done handmade style but a lot more filling. Having twelve different flavors to choose from, a decision is not reached lightly, or from floor level. Getting hoisted into the arms of her Dad, Bill, Apryl Lynn is ready to sample each frozen taste treat offered to her by another April, who works behind the counter. What a cowinkiedink!!

Apryl Lynn: Pineapple, “Tasty”; Strawberry, “Sweet”; Lemon got a point to the lemon case icon; Blue Raspberry, “Kinda cold”; Orange Cream, “Ummmm”; Chocolate, “It was chocolate”; Pina Colota, which drew a perplexed expression until I reminded her that flavor went well with rum, which got an ‘Oh, really?’ expression; Cherry, “sweet”; Raspberry, “berry”; Watermelon drew a point to its case icon; Mango got her wide-eyed, but it all came down to a chocolate/chocolate chip (see photo).

Although 32degree ITALIAN ICE is owned by Greg and Nancy Dunlap, an elementary teacher in Lake Elsinore by day, it is April, their 21 year old daughter who provided the inspiration for this venture. “I worked at a place like this all through high school back in New Jersey,” says the attractive brunette behind the counter. When questioned as to why she has no ‘Jerwsey’ accent, she’s quick to point out, ”I’m not from there, I just lived there” and brought back this variation of the frozen treat theme. Along with the idea, April designed the tastefully different décor that features a simple picture item menu done on foil colored squares, giving it an East Coast flair and breaking up the usual boring line item billboard menu look. Besides the various flavored ices, smooth, creamy, old-fashioned styled frozen Custard is offered in Vanilla and Chocolate. A combination treat of Custard and Italian Ice is named Gelati, with my personal favorite being the cherry/vanilla, so far. For those who desire to chew, fat salty pretzels that are freshly baked hang on display.

“I’m sending for some new flavors, working on some new ones too, but they’re not for the public yet”, April informs me as some Midwest 80’s play list pumps out JOURNEY at a discreet level from the ceiling speakers. Turns out she also downloads and burns the CD music selections that you hear in the shop. “We’re really happy with the location,” April continues, “we have a lot of regulars and we get new people in every day. When the weather is good, then (business)’s been good, but it’s been such a weird winter. We’re really looking forward to summer.” With two ‘Aprils’ in the same place, can summer be truly far behind?

As we start to leave, our Miss Apryl is heard to say as she somersaults toward the van with a finale look back, “Yummy for the tummy”. 32degree ITALIAN ICE  -  ‘You’re Hot, We’re Cool!’

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