Everyone has a food item that is tied to a special memory.
For Anaheim Fire & Rescue (AF&R) Battalion Chief Brent Faulkner, his special food happens to be passion fruits.
Although this might seem like a unique choice, considering passion fruits are hard to come by in the United States, Faulkner worked as a missionary in Brazil for two years. While he was there, Faulkner fell in love with the sweet and tangy passion fruit which in Spanish is called maracuyá.
When a new ice cream shop, called Tocumbo, opened up at 956 S Euclid St. in Anaheim, Faulkner (who was a Captain at the time) decided to take his crew to check it out.
“The first thing that caught my eye about this place was that they had passion fruit ice cream,” Faulkner said. “So I’m guilty, I’ll come in frequently and I really like Ricardo (the shop owner), he’s super nice.”
The sweet and smooth taste of the homemade maracuyá ice cream, which comes packed with a crunch thanks to the edible passion fruit seeds left in the frozen treat, was just what Faulkner had been searching for.
Tocumbo soon became the firefighter’s choice for a sweet treat.
“They started coming in frequently and I was like, ‘you know? We got to do something about this,’” Ricardo Quiroz, co-owner of Tocumbo said. “Brent loved the passionfruit, but it was a seasonal flavor, so we decided to keep it year around and name it after them.”
Thus, the bombero (Spanish for firefighter) ice cream was permanently put on the menu year around.
In addition to the beloved bombero ice cream, Tocumbo also makes other well-known and specialty flavors such as guanabana (a Spanish fruit), Bubu Lubu (a Spanish chocolate bar), nutella, vanilla, and mint chip to name a few.
The ice cream shop’s name comes from the small town, Tocumbo, which is located in the state of Michoacan, Mexico. In Tocumbo making all-natural ice cream and frozen treats that are flavorful is a way of life for most families.
Holding that same tradition close to heart, Tocumbo, the ice cream shop, strives to make ice cream
that has a sweet, thick, and creamy texture while mixed with generous chunks of fruit, nuts or chocolates.
On the electronic menu, visitors can find a picture of the ice cream inside an upside-down firefighter hat with the caption, “What is the favorite flavor of our Anaheim firefighters? El Bombero.”
Besides offering a frozen treat to those with a hot job, the time outside the station provides firefighters with an important opportunity to mingle with some of Anaheim’s residents.
“It’s really a treat after a hard day’s work and we will have ice cream together which is really nice,” Faulkner said. “It’s usually packed in here, so we get to talk to all the kids and the community, so we also use this time as an opportunity to reach out to them too.”