Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Signs of Summer: Family-Owned Ice Cream Stands

Despite the agonizing fact that the official start date of summer isn’t until June 23, we’ve already had a few waves of summer-like weather in my neck of the woods. Its days like these that energize and invigorate the lion’s share of us who live in areas with over 225 days a year of “gray” weather, and these nice days deserve their due.

With that said, every Tuesday and Thursday until the official start of summer we’ll bring you an ode to the signs of summer, one marvelous item at a time. And PS - we would love it if you would pepper in your thoughts as well.

Today we pay homage to family-owned ice cream stands.

If you don’t enjoy ice cream in the summer, my bet is that you may be a member of a terrorist organization… Ok, maybe that’s a little extreme, but seriously, ice cream is the best. And part of what makes it the best for me is the fact that aside from that mediocre stuff you can get in the freezer section at your local wholesale grocer, ice cream stands are only around for a few months out of every year.

Now I realize that most Dairy Queens, Baskin Robbins (who?), Coldstone Creameries and Bruster’s are open year-round, but they just don’t have the same feel as the mom and pop ice cream shops that turn up in late April/early May. I really get the feeling that these folks care about the product they’re peddling a little bit more than the big boys. And that feeling makes my tasty treat taste so much better.

How about the generic replacement names these guys come up with for Blizzards? Arctic Swirls, Arctic Blasts, Twisters, Mix-Ins… all awesome and all just within the parameters to avoid a copyright infringement. That’s America, man.

My top 5 “Arctic Swirl” flavors in no particular order:

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
Thin Mint
Coffee w/ fudge brownie bits (you have to ask for this one, it’s not on the board)
Heath Bar

New flavor suggestions would be appreciated - I get into a rut where I’ll order the same five flavors over and over again; although I did try a Birthday Bash Arctic Swirl the other night and my-oh-my was it delish.

Now who’s hungry?

Come back for the Ride at 4 p.m. guys and gals. Hearts.

(The Internet loves kitty pictures, right?)


  1. I'm a cookie dough girl myself...but I've rarely come across any type of ice cream I didn't like. Any type of cake flavored ice cream is also amazing...and you were right - I do like your blog! Thanks for the comment on mine...it's frustrating being mature but some of us have to do it :)

    oh and p.s. - I shamelessly look at those kitty pictures each day in the newsroom. They are hilarious haha

  2. Cookie Dough is great, good call. And I agree that most any ice cream is awesome, although I've never had any of those freaky flavors you see on the Food Network (like Cinnamon-Cayenne and stuff)... they sound gross.

    And see, I wouldn't steer you wrong! Thanks for the comment back. :)

    PS - Anyone who says they don't love internet kitty pictures is a liar.

  3. Butterfinger blizzards rule all. I have a hard time getting anything but that flavor.

  4. I feel you on the Butterfinger, simply outstanding... it's funny though, because I don't really like Butterfingers when not mixed with soft serve ice cream.