You might have missed it, but somewhere around 2019 Brunswick quietly became perhaps the best place in Melbourne to eat ice-cream and gelato. This despite missing the two Ps: Pipapipo and Piccolina.

Still, we have Bico scooping faultless Italian classics; Beku churning Malaysian and Indonesian flavours you can’t get anywhere else in Melbourne; Billy Van Creamy with nostalgia on lock; plus Zero Gradi, Gelobar and Lagom. There’s even a Messina hidden on Weston Street, which hardly anyone seems to know about – at least compared to its Richmond and Fitzroy locations.

This being my neighbourhood, I buy at nearly all these places semi-regularly. I’m opportunistic about it – I’ll be out walking, picking up a pizza or driving home from the beach, and the mood will strike. I stop wherever’s closest and offer my silent thanks to Carpigiani Gelato University that I live where I do.

Broadsheet Access members get special tables at busy restaurants, tickets to exclusive events and discounts on food, coffee, brand offers and more.

Find out more

Or that’s how it used to be.

Everything changed this summer, when I discovered the butterscotch-ripple flavour at the one-year-old Luther’s Scoops. I’ve stopped visiting other shops and begun making one or two special trips a week to Luther’s, plotted out right as I’m finishing the last few bites of dinner at home. And I don’t mess with single, double or triple scoops anymore. I only buy pints. My promiscuous opportunism has become calculated monogamy.

“Whenever I make an ice-cream, I always add a pinch of salt,” celebrated chef Danielle Alvarez told us last year in an episode of Broadsheet podcast FYI. “Because sometimes sweetness can become just too cloyingly sweet. But a little pinch of salt will bring out the flavours of whatever you have mixed in with the sugar – it brings out that flavour of vanilla, it brings out the flavour of lemon in a custard or whatever dessert you’re making.”

Yes, yes, yes. If you need proof just how on-point these words are, look at salted caramel. When it blew up a decade ago, it was everywhere: on doughnuts and cupcakes, on French toast and pancakes, in milkshakes and frappés, even on fine-dining menus. It was that bloody versatile and that bloody good – until we collectively overdid it and chose to move on.

The butterscotch ripple at Luther’s takes me back to those days. But better. So much better.

The ice-cream itself is like edible velvet, thanks to St David Dairy milk and 55 per cent fat double cream from Inglenook Dairy. And the glossy, brown, slightly salty butterscotch swirled through has depth to rival the Mariana Trench. Each bite punches like an entire roll of Werther’s Original. The key, I’m told, is cooking brown sugar, butter, cream, sea salt and high-quality Indonesian vanilla for more than an hour to achieve max caramelisation. (Caramel is made the same way, but with white sugar.)

Depending on the exact temperature of the ice-cream, the butterscotch ripple can be firm or flowing. I like it both ways and tend to put my pints deep in the freezer, letting them warm gently as I eat, until the butterscotch runs through every crevice in the ice-cream and glazes every surface in my mouth. And there’s so much of it!

“I think if you’re buying an ice-cream with a ripple, there should be plenty of it,” Christian Williams, the owner of Luther’s, tells me. Hear, hear. He also says the butterscotch ripple is his personal favourite, plus the most popular flavour among customers, and the only one that’s never left the menu. Seems I’m not the only one with an obsession here.

“I think some people overlook the butterscotch,” he says. “Maybe it sounds a bit old-fashioned? But once people try it, they seem to keep coming back for more. It’s a classic for a reason.”

luthers.com.au

“I Can’t Stop Thinking About” is a series about dishes Broadsheet’s editors are obsessed with.