Janet Christie: My Week - Dundee’s ice cream tradition is still giving it big licks

There's a whole world of flavours at Vissochi's, aka Viso Gelataria Ristorante, Broughty Ferry, Dundee. Pic: Lisa FergusonThere's a whole world of flavours at Vissochi's, aka Viso Gelataria Ristorante, Broughty Ferry, Dundee. Pic: Lisa Ferguson
There's a whole world of flavours at Vissochi's, aka Viso Gelataria Ristorante, Broughty Ferry, Dundee. Pic: Lisa Ferguson
Viso Gelataria Ristorante, aka Vissochi’s, in Broughty Ferry has been serving up sublime ices for generations

The queue for ice-cream to take away from Viso Gelataria Ristorante, aka Vissochi’s, in Dundee’s beach suburb of Broughty Ferry snakes out of the door, down Gray Street and round the corner. On a sunny day like today it will stay there all day as gelato fans flock to buy the cones, wafers and tubs. But it’s coffee, a snack and a seat we’re after first following our trip to the spectacular Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk exhibition at Dundee’s V&A, so we slip past the queue and into the familiar interior of the cafe restaurant.

There a menu of crowd pleasers including pizza, pasta, pastries including bombolini and cannolo Siciliano, salads, soups and ice-cream in every possible flavour or form grab our attention as they have been doing for Dundonians for decades, ever since the Marco Ciara and his wife Filomena Visocchi opened their doors in 1954, the family originating from Atina near Cassino, Italy.

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For me no visit to Dundee is complete without a pilgrimage to Vissochi’s, after dropping in to another Dundee institution, Braithwaite’s tea and coffee merchants which has supplying the city with its caffeine fix from Castle Street since 1868, to stock up on this month’s coffee of the month, the Ethiopian organic Sidamo. But I’m taking that home with me and right now it’s time for one of Vissochi’s creamy cappuccinos.

Viso Gelataria Ristorante, Broughty Ferry, serves ice-cream as well as pizzas, pasta, burgers, salads, pastries and desserts. Pic: Lisa Ferguson.Viso Gelataria Ristorante, Broughty Ferry, serves ice-cream as well as pizzas, pasta, burgers, salads, pastries and desserts. Pic: Lisa Ferguson.
Viso Gelataria Ristorante, Broughty Ferry, serves ice-cream as well as pizzas, pasta, burgers, salads, pastries and desserts. Pic: Lisa Ferguson.

After filling up on piping hot cheese and tomato ciabattas we beat the queue as we pay and order ice cream cones to take away.

“No blue ice-cream for you,” says my pal Dundee Woman who had seen me eyeing up the kids’ party at the next table tucking into some piled high in glass boats and doesn’t want me racing off along the now upgraded prom that stretches from the city to Monifieth, in a sugar frenzy.

Instead I check out the multiple, multi-coloured flavours in the glass display. Until 1975 Vissochi’s stuck to making vanilla but since then it’s been an explosion of tastes, with an estimated 700 flavours on offer over the years, everything from Scottish tablet to watermelon to liquorice. But I’m old skool, my tastes formed back in the days when an Artic Roll was the height of ice-cream dinner party sophistication, and a scoosh of red sauce and if you were lucky a Flake to make a cone a 99 were as far as it went. In addition, such is the throng around the glass counter I can’t see the names so opt for an outmoded rum and raisin, to the amusement of my pals – too eighties. Is tutti frutti still a thing? No matter, in panic I opt for vanilla - they’ve been serving it here since 1975 so I know it’s good. In my opinion and no doubt everyone else in the queue that’s showing no signs of abating, possibly the best ice-cream in Scotland.

Plus it leaves me with the perfect excuse to head back to Dundee another day to dive into a whole new world of flavours.

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