Metatalktail Hour: Saturday & Sundae January 21, 2023 2:49 AM   Subscribe

Happy weekend, friends! Now that we are allowed to do it legally, let's all scream about ice cream! For today's metatalktail chat, I'd like to know your thoughts on the cold sweet stuff. What's your favorite flavor, brand, dessert, concoction? Do you have a sweet ice cream memory or experience to share? What goes on your Sundae? Are you an ice cream maximalist or an ice cream minimalist? Do you ever whip your own concupiscent curds?

And, critically ... Chocolate or Vanilla?

Or just talk about what's happening in your life, what's on your mind, what you've been doing — but just no politics, please!
posted by taz (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 2:49 AM (56 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

My husband is not overall a big sweets person, but ice cream is the pinnacle of dessert for him. Otoh I looove sweets but ice cream is fairly low on my dessert rankings. I need it to have a lot of chewable STUFF in it to be satisfying to me. I like Ben and Jerry’s Tonight Dough (plant based if it’s around).

I generally prefer vanilla. I find most chocolate flavored things (cake, ice cream, hot chocolate) have a really inadequate chocolate flavor that makes them kinda bland.
posted by obfuscation at 4:41 AM on January 21, 2023

And, critically ... Chocolate or Vanilla?

There is an ice cream shop here in Austin -- Amy's Ice Cream -- that is absolutely top drawer. (This isn't real well known outside of Christian scholarly circles but word there is that Jesus intends to go to Amy's first thing when he makes it back; he'll be all "Verily, verily, this here is some rockin' ice cream.") One chocolate is so rich that it's truly decadent. They also have this Mexican vanilla bean ice cream that gets my eyes rolling back in my head. But they have maybe thirty or forty other flavors and they are also really high quality They will of course mix in broken M and M bits or nuts or any of two hundred and forty three thousand other add-ins they have there -- they intend for you to be happy, and you will be.

There are often long lines of people waiting to order their favorite. I'm not interested in long lines for ice cream, I'll be going past of an afternoon and see no one there, whip the steering wheel and park that pickup and go and get whatever it is that blows my skirt up on that day. It is often -- not always, but often -- that incredibly rich chocolate or that outlandishly good vanilla. i don't buy a huge tub of it, mostly will get the smallest cup they serve, because it's so good that a little bit is plenty enough. It is expensive, and worth it.

Blue Bell ice cream is somewhere close to the middle of the pack as far as quality and price. Cookies and Cream often for me, or butter pecan, or that one green minty ice cream with bits of chocolate mint mixed through it. Blue Bell is about equivalent to a person who loves fine scotch also buying Budweiser beer; sometimes cheap beer will do the deal for even the fussiest of snobs.

Häagen-Dazs* isn't worth it IMO. It's good stuff but not great, Blue Bell almost certainly wins out when I'm standing at the ice cream case and look at the price -- nope. Especially given that we have that really great stuff available.

*In order to get the spelling right I puncbed up a little search and found out the following:
Häagen-Dazs has all the qualities of a storied European company. Perhaps it began in a quaint Danish village, from a recipe passed down through the Häagen family. Or perhaps Häagen-Dazs translates to something decadent, like “Delicious Memory” or “Pint of Happiness.” Maybe it’s Danish for “Screw Your Diet.”

Nope, nope, nope, and nope.

Turns out, the official ice cream of binge-watching Netflix on the couch began not in an Alpine village but in the Bronx. And that fancy name with the umlaut dangling over it? Completely meaningless.

posted by dancestoblue at 4:50 AM on January 21, 2023 [1 favorite]

Best ice cream I've ever had was Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel from a local dairy/ice cream company. I used to buy handpacked quarts as special treats. Soooooo smooth and rich! Alas, they discontinued the flavor a few years ago. WHY??
posted by bookmammal at 6:58 AM on January 21, 2023 [1 favorite]

A few years ago AWAD A-Word-A-Day featured:
Fribble: A wasteful or frivolous person or thing.
My comment:
Wrong wrong almost right. As anyone from New England will tell you, Fribble is the name used by the restaurant chain Friendly's for their milkshakes. As the standard portion of this beverage is 22oz = 600g = 510 kCal the result is a waist-full person.
. . . won the comment-of-the-week prize.
tbh, I never piffled with Fribbles but cut straight to a "Very Berry Hot Fudge Sundae". We didn't stop having occasional trips to Friendly’s even after being surprised by cockroach skitterin' across the counter-top as we waited for service . . . because that was 'normal' at home. The management of our Boston apartment complex never seemed to be able to get on top of the vermin.
posted by BobTheScientist at 6:58 AM on January 21, 2023 [1 favorite]

I'm a fan of cheap mint chip, own-brand supermarket stuff. Electric green, if possible.
posted by chavenet at 7:26 AM on January 21, 2023 [1 favorite]

For years I've been saying that Ample Hills is the best ice cream in NYC. But - alas - it looks like it's in some trouble.

One thing I loved about them was that each scoop shop had a site-specific flavor that you could only get at that one place; and each flavor was developed to pay homage to the surrounding neighborhood; there's a shop in Astoria, Queens thats 2 blocks from a historic Greek bakery, for instance, and that shop's flavor was a cinnamon-honey flavor with chopped bits of baklava mixed in, and they recently opened a location in Queens near a famous "Pepsi-Cola" sign and came up with a cherry coke flavor. One I was surprised I liked was connected to a diner that made its own root beer in-house; they came up with a root beer flavor that had marshmallow swirl mixed in.

They're having some major financial trouble right now and it looks ominous. The original owners had to sell (they grew way too fast, alas) and fortunately just started over with a more modest single location still in Brooklyn. Not quite so many flavors, but they still have the sort of Willy-Wonka level whimsy. And they also have donuts.

But when they were still running Ample Hills they released a cookbook, and I got a copy of that and it got a workout when I treated myself to a compression ice cream freezer this summer. (And honestly, that kind of home ice cream maker is a GAME CHANGER.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:33 AM on January 21, 2023

Ice-cream sandwiches are GOATed.
posted by Fizz at 7:52 AM on January 21, 2023 [2 favorites]

Oh, quick recipe from this summers' experimenting - I tried making this sorbet when I got a huge canteloupe in the CSA box, and when the lemon verbena in the community garden was going nuts. It is absolutely delicious.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:10 AM on January 21, 2023

Ice cream is my very favorite dessert.

Ben and Jerry’s mint Oreo (BFF and I still call it that though it hasn’t been Oreo in years), shared with same BFF in front of tv. I mine out the Oreo chunks and she smoothed. Sadly, this one is getting hard to find around here.

A chocolate malt, made with vanilla ice cream and choc syrup. Too chocolate-y if you make with choc ice cream.

Homemade ice cream is the best-grandpa used to make one freezer full of vanilla and one of marionberry, which we’d have at family gatherings. I can eat enormous quantities. His recipes always included rennet-and I say “his” but we all know grandma made it, he just froze it.

I have the Ben and Jerry’s recipe book, though it’s completely fallen apart. All time favorite from that, which I make on our Donvier freezer, is orange cream dream-vanilla base with oj concentrate added.
posted by purenitrous at 8:22 AM on January 21, 2023 [2 favorites]



I have a lot to say on this topic but I will keep it brief.

1. the best kept secret in ice cream is Trader Joe's. Their regular flavors offer the highest quality available, for the lowest price. But it is a limited range: vanilla; chocolate; coffee; mint chip.

2. B&J still makes the best "chunks of stuff" product. I don't think anyone's really improved on their Fudge Brownie, however long that's been on the market, and ditto the Coffee Toffee and (yeah I like sugar, don't @me) Phish Food.

3. even if you are a goat cheese lover, don't believe the folks who try to make you believe that goat milk ice cream is a good idea.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:35 AM on January 21, 2023 [2 favorites]

Chocolate for sure, but lemon gelato in a chocolate dipped cone is probably my favorite
posted by thivaia at 9:02 AM on January 21, 2023 [3 favorites]

- vanilla ice cream that I add my own mini chocolate chips to, premixed isn't as good
- cherry garcia
- caramel cone
posted by phunniemee at 9:17 AM on January 21, 2023

I don't have much of a sweet tooth, so I eat ice cream very rarely. (I almost never crave it)
so if I am craving it there is only one ice cream I am going for (the absolute bestest flavor EVAR)

Ben & Jerry's Vanilla Caramel Fudge

it is SOOO GOOD.
posted by supermedusa at 9:34 AM on January 21, 2023

I love winter holiday flavors such as pumpkin and peppermint. Peppermint should be pink with little pieces of candy in it. As for pumpkin, I like highly commercial ones such as Baskin Robbins that have a lot of flavor.

I like gelato even better. When I lived in Rome I got gelato di riso, rice pudding gelato, almost every day. That is absolutely splendiferous. Sometimes I'd get a scoop of another flavor on top, or sometimes the rice pudding gelato was flavored with something like saffron or rosewater. But always some variety of riso. I really miss that.

I don't make sundaes that much, but one of these days I'm going to use chili crisp as a sundae topping; it looks so good in the online ads.
posted by BibiRose at 9:40 AM on January 21, 2023 [3 favorites]

I had a (chocolate) gelato in Bologna that was so rich and dense I am pretty sure it was bending the fabric of space-time. there is a fab pic of me looking like I'm wearing some very dark lipstick...
posted by supermedusa at 9:41 AM on January 21, 2023 [4 favorites]

This may be up your alley, icecream nerds.

I've wanted to get a pacojet for a long time now, to make restaurant grade smooth ice-cream from all kinds of weird combos that aren't amenable to an ice cream maker. You freeze your base - of any kind into a solid block in one go in specialized cylindrical container, and then the machine uses ULTRASHARP, highspeed blades to puree the frozen lump into the finest paste possible, with no ice crystals. It's beloved of restaurants everywhere - if you've had a particularly smooth icecream (or pate! not just limited to icecream) at a tony place it was probably made by a pacojet.

The catch: The home version - $4k. The Pro $7-8k. So - nope!

Then last night I learned about the Ninja Creami. Which is a home version that costs ~$200 ! , and by all accounts (50 - page egullet thread, many discussions on r/icecreamery) does an excellent job - almost as good as the pacojet if you use it right.

Here's to weird icecream soon!
posted by lalochezia at 10:09 AM on January 21, 2023 [3 favorites]

A popsicle memory from my African bike trip, back in 2000.

My traveling companion and I were in a city in Sudan. We were going to do a bit of train travelling and our plan was to catch the freight train in the evening. But it was still afternoon, so we had plenty of time to wander around. We left our motorcycles in the front yard of the police office, so we could walk into town and not worry about them. The officers kindly promised they'd keep an eye on them.

In town, we found someone selling bright pink popsicles! That made our mouths water, so we wanted to get some. But the money we had was too much, and the seller couldn't make change. So we simply bought as many as one bill would buy: ten. And then we hurried back to the police office, and handed them out before they'd melt.
The police officers appreciated a cool treat, and it was a wonderful sight to see all those heavily armed uniformed men, most of them wearing dark sunglasses and camouflage, taking the time to enjoy a pink popsicle. The popsicles almost seemed to light up... the contrast was quite striking.
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:06 AM on January 21, 2023 [15 favorites]

I love nuts in ice cream! I usually go for a butter pecan turtle sundae at our local creamery, so pecans two ways.
posted by waving at 11:11 AM on January 21, 2023

This may sound... insane. But some years ago I lost my taste for ice cream. I had been struggling to lose weight for awhile so I had avoided the stuff. More recently, I thought I'd try some Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and after one spoonful I tossed it out. Even less "exotic" ice creams like regular ol' chocolate and vanilla taste off to me, like it's just a mouthful of chemicals. I had eaten quite a lot of ice cream as a kid (hence, weight loss struggle), but now it has no appeal at all.

By way of comparison, my favorite thing today is a chocolate banana protein shake (one banana, one scoop whey protein, two tablespoons cocoa powder, 3/4 cup water, 6 ice cubes; blend on medium for one minute). I understand it's mostly water and air, but I find it delightful. I suspect the absence of refined sugar or HFC is part of the reason, but I dunno.
posted by SPrintF at 11:30 AM on January 21, 2023 [2 favorites]

I suspect the absence of refined sugar or HFC is part of the reason, but I dunno.
This, a thousand times - since we left the US, going back the food is always a shock - So. Much. Sugar. Everywhere. It's brutal, and if you're not used to it, not pleasant. You can't get any processed food whatsoever and it's kind of a pain in the ass. I think the best and only effective weight loss efforts we've ever made was leaving the US.

That said, I freaking love ice-cream and we get a pint or two of B&J or Häagen-Dazs every couple weeks. Of course, since we have two teenagers living with us, the ice-cream last as long as it takes to read this sentence. In the spring and summer you can get ice cream (here, in Berlin) almost everywhere. You get a modest scoop (like, half your fist? I dunno, but not big) for like 1.25 and it's the perfect amount. There's a place one neighbourhood over, Jones Ice Cream, that has a bunch of good, interesting flavours that are always changing. Good cones, too, home-made. There's an ice-cream... stand (?) shop on the nearest, uh, market square - run by a rotating squad of desultory Italians workers (there was one guy, healthy black almost-pompadour and a gregarious, jovial way about him (always gave the kids sprinkles for free)- we all assumed he owned the place. His wife, blonde, not as gregarious, in fact kind of put upon by her own beauty and the weight of carrying it around so many dull Germans. They had kids, and you would see him bring them to kindergarten around the corner on his bike. Come to think of it I haven't seen him in a while. Someone asked him, when he stopped showing up at the stand who his new employees were and he didn't know, it wasn't his shop.) They have steadfastly mediocre ice-cream and yet, they do crazy good business.

For years I was an enormous fan of the "Italian ices" you could get at the pizza shops in Brooklyn; for about the same reason, they were kinda modest portions. The chocolate and lemon were the best. About five years ago we were back there and I wanted to get one for one of the kids and - it's like the whole "Italian ice" thing disappeared. I was seriously disappointed and started scheming to get out to Corona, Queens, to the Lemon Ice King.

A very good ice cream flavour, if you haven't tried it already, is cinnamon. (Real cinnamon, not some chemical flavouring stuff. Just dust it over some vanilla - very satisfactory.)
posted by From Bklyn at 12:44 PM on January 21, 2023 [3 favorites]

Ice cream! I could eat ice cream every day (though in the winter I usually go for something warmer.) I could probably eat ice cream for every meal. One of the very best meals, suitable for breakfast, lunch or dinner, is ice cream with peanut butter and sliced bananas.

A few years ago I started making a lot of homemade ice cream in the summers and now a lot of commercial ice cream hardly seems worth eating. Chocolate ice cream is better than vanilla but most chocolate ice cream isn't strongly better because it doesn't really taste much like chocolate. You can make homemade chocolate ice cream that really is chocolatey. Vanilla ice cream tastes too strongly of vanilla. I think plain ice cream should be a thing - like vanilla but without the vanilla. The best ice cream flavor of all is quite possibly chocolate chip. But not with big chunks of chocolate. Big chunks of hard stuff ruin ice cream. You need little flecks of chocolate. You can achieve this when you make your own ice cream by mixing a bit of oil with melted chocolate and drizzling it in during the last few minutes of ice cream making.

I have gallons of pleasant ice cream memories! Family trips to Baskin-Robbins when I was a kid. (I always got a double dip of chocolate chip.) Riding my bike to the library and stopping by the Thrifty Drug Store, where you could buy ice cream for 5 cents a scoop. (The scoops were cylindrical. This is the type of scoop they used.) Purity ice cream in Ithaca. (Bittersweet is Purity's name for chocolate chip, and it has little flecks of chocolate just as it ought to.) The wonderful ice cream (probably gelato) in Buenos Aires.
posted by Redstart at 1:31 PM on January 21, 2023 [1 favorite]

There's an ice cream related question I've often thought of asking on AskMeFi, but haven't because I don't think anyone will know the answer: Why is black raspberry a popular ice cream flavor, much more frequently seen than red raspberry ice cream, when everywhere else red raspberries (and their flavor) are much more common and popular than black raspberries and their flavor?

I've done a fair amount of googling myself, trying without much success to find evidence to support any of the possible answers. I imagine it might have started with one popular manufacturer or retailer and was then copied by others. Maybe they wanted something that looked visually distinct from strawberry. Anyone have any relevant information or interesting hypotheses?
posted by Redstart at 1:46 PM on January 21, 2023 [1 favorite]

Since Marianne's is now too far away, Tillamook for Chocolate and Umpqua for Vanilla. And Ben and Jerry's Pistachio Pistachio.
posted by Rash at 2:13 PM on January 21, 2023

My wife is from Ohio, and while she's partial to Jeni's, I'm on team Graeter's because I'm dubious of all ice creams that contain tapioca.

Chocolate, coffee, mint, or some kind of berry are all my favorites, as long as the ice cream is buried under warm chocolate sauce.
posted by emelenjr at 3:27 PM on January 21, 2023 [5 favorites]

There is a drive through frosty place here and you can buy a waffle cone with chocolate soft serve ice cream, chocolate dipped for ~$3.50. I am always happy to be driving down the road, with one of those. None too often.
posted by Oyéah at 3:47 PM on January 21, 2023 [1 favorite]

My favorite ice cream is liquid nitrogen, milk and creme, and five-spice. Hot sauce, curry powder, ground clove, or american peppers are also very good. Just milk, creme, and real vanilla extract is also fantastic, with Brandy in the past.

I hate crunchy stuff in ice cream, or frozen yogurt, or tea, or pudding. I guess I'm a minimalist. When it comes to stuff you can buy in stores, I'm always down for pistachio or chocolate and most of the multi-flavor things that don't have candy in them. I cannot tolerate most of the flavors that have solid things in. (I'll pay you hundreds of dollars ransom to avoid eating ice cream that has peanut butter ever again. Cheers to those who like crunchy stuff.)

This week I bought a box of the Trader Joes tiny cones and then realized I had also previously bought them and not eaten any. Now I have two boxes. It'll take two months to finish them.
posted by eotvos at 6:00 PM on January 21, 2023 [2 favorites]

Jeni's is the best nationally available ice cream. Their High Five flavor in Whole Foods is the only chunky ice cream I like (Take 5 bar in ice cream form) and their fruit flavors are excellent. I also really admire the way they handled their listeria scare a number of years back.

In my area of New Jersey, the best local spots are The Bent Spoon (gelato-like artisanal fancy flavors, extremely well executed) and Gabriel's (homey and family friendly, but consistently put out inventive and delicious seasonal flavors like local Jersey cornbread, honey-orange collab with a local brewery, and cinnamon bourbon).

My favorite ice cream memory is not one specific memory, but a tradition/sense-memory: walking off the hot sand at the Jersey shore onto the hot wooden boardwalk and waiting in line at Kohr Brothers for one of their perfect creamsicle swirls in a cone. I can smell the sausage and peppers sandwiches from the sandwich steak nearby, and see the tacky airbrushed tee shirts, and hear the the jangle of the arcade machines. The folks leaned up against the railings of the boardwalk, eating slices of pizza off white paper plates, looking out towards the ocean. Savoring the icy cold creaminess of the cone while people-watching. Close to 30 years I've been doing this, and it never gets old.
posted by rachaelfaith at 8:00 PM on January 21, 2023 [5 favorites]

Tillamook or GTFO, as far as national brands available up in Alaska. We have lots of good local options, though- my favorite is when the one I can bike to (yay, also next to a brewery, I make good choices) does a just-barely spicy mango flavor as their flavor of the week: divine.
posted by charmedimsure at 9:53 PM on January 21, 2023 [1 favorite]

As it so happens, I'm planning a drive tomorrow to try out a drive-in that's known for its ice cream, and the more I look at the menu, the more excited I am getting. I'm leaning toward the Larch Mountain because I cannot resist honeycomb, but it will be a gametime decision...
posted by hydra77 at 10:36 PM on January 21, 2023 [1 favorite]

I worked in a an ice cream shop for a bit in high school. Since then I don't really eat much ice cream. I just got sick of it. The owner was a weird lady. I was able to choose the music while I worked as long as it was non-offensive but as soon as we closed and it was time to clean up she switched to the radio and would listen to Delilah doing dedications between couples. "This one is from Mike to Tammy in Des Moines. He knows how hard it is to be away on work trips but he's thinking of you every second and can't wait to return." etc, was mind numbing. But I was only there for a year and then got a better job. Free ice cream though.
posted by downtohisturtles at 11:06 PM on January 21, 2023 [2 favorites]

Both members of my household are at least somewhat lactose intolerant these days, so we mostly go for vegan ice cream. The Ben & Jerry's non-dairy flavours currently available in the UK are generally our favourites, and the one I like best right now is the tie-in with Tony's Chocolonely. It's incredibly densely chocolatey with pockets of salted caramel, and a generous amount of Tony's chocolate pieces. I've had a tub in the freezer for a few weeks now but it's been persistently too cold over here for us to be in the mood for ice cream, so we've been eating through the leftover Christmas pudding pile instead.

When I have lactase pills to hand and I'm willing to chance it, the plain Mackies is exceptional. I'm still on a quest to find my dream hot fudge sauce recipe and my next move will be to make this sticky toffee pudding sauce with a splash of bourbon and some dark chocolate melted in.

I'm also fortunate that Jack's Gelato exists in our nearest major city; last summer their peanut butter & raspberry ripple was a particular standout.

Fuck me I love ice cream. I wish it wasn't -2°C outside right now T_T.
posted by terretu at 3:44 AM on January 22, 2023 [2 favorites]

I've actually hit my personal Daily Ice Cream Intake only three times; meaning, the point at which I have eaten so much ice cream that if someone offered me more I would actually actively say "no" for appetite reasons alone.

Most recent time: in 2019, Ample Hills did a special promotional thing through the summer called the "Tour De Hills". There were 11 or 12 scoop shops spread throughout New York City, and one in Jersey City; and the challenge was to visit ALL of them in A SINGLE DAY and get a small scoop at each location, and if you did that you got to pick one free item of whatever you wanted from their souvenir swag shop. I did that - you had to pre-pay in advance and pick up a punchcard at the first location you visited, but then at all the other locations after that, if you brandished the punchcard when you walked in you got served immediately. (Two places even gave me a free bottle of water "because you gotta stay hydrated!") I opted for the smallest possible scoop at each location, but still after about the 4th scoop I was opting for sorbet for my servings. But I did it! I started at sometime like 10:30 in the morning and was done at 7 pm. I chose a little insulated carrying case just big enough to fit 3 pints, and then I went home and ate a carrot and went to bed.

The time before that: I visited Florence, Italy in 2014 for a couple days, and the night I got there I signed up for a cheeseball "pizza and gelato cooking class" for the following night, the night of my first full day there. I woke up that morning planning to just walk around and explore - but discovered that it was the same day as a city-wide gelato festival, and that buying a pass for about 10 Euros would entitle me to about 8 free scoops from any of the fancy festival booths they'd had set up throughout the city. I bought that and hit up the booths where the little indie artisanal gelato makers were showing off some new flavors; I remember one guy who was capitalizing on the whole single-origin coffee trend by doing single-origin coffee gelato flavors, so it wasn't just "coffee" gelato, it was "Honduras" or "Sumatran" or whatever. There was also a pumpkin flavor that had candied walnuts and blueberry sauce swirled through (and I have been meaning to recreate that, only with cranberry sauce). ....And then I went to the pizza-and-gelato class after that and had chocolate gelato fresh out of the churn along with a homemade pizza. I still had two coupons in my book after the class, but when I considered hunting for a place to spend them, I thought "Nope" and went back to the hotel.

And then the time before that: back in 1992, Ben and Jerry's had a contest to promote their "Vermonster" sundae. It was a nationwide thing - for the two months of the contest, if you (alone or as part of a group) managed to finish an entire one of their Vermonster sundaes at one of their shops, your name was entered into a raffle at that shop. Each shop then drew a name at the end of the promotion, and if you won that, you got a big apple basket of Vermont food products and Ben and Jerry's swag. Your name was also entered into the drawing for the grand prize - a Vermont vacation and a tour of the Ben and Jerry's plant.

This was when I was a senior in college, and there was a Ben and Jerry's shop about 2 blocks from my dorm. So my college crowd and I decided we would go in on trying this - there were six of us, it should be easy! We all picked a night and head over to the scoop shop; I think we even talked about how we could go out for tacos after.

But then we got there, and then they started making the sundae for us. And here is what's in a Vermonster:

* 20 scoops of ice cream
* 4 whole sliced bananas
* 3 chocolate chip cookies, chopped
* 1 brownie, chopped
* 2 servings' worth of hot fudge sauce
* 2 servings' worth of caramel sauce
* a cup of chopped walnuts
* an inch of whipped cream
* 2 spoonfulls each of 4 different toppings - sprinkles, M&Ms, crushed oreos, Reeses' Pieces, etc.

....They bring it to you in a BUCKET.

It took us an hour and a half, during which other customers would walk by our table and gawk at us. The first of us to drop out did so after only 20 minutes. Then another person tapped out 20 minutes after that, and a third after an hour and change. By the end of the bowl the only 3 of us still eating were pouring splashes of water into the bucket and stirring it into the melting ice cream so we could drink it through straws. We finally finished, logged our names into the drawing, and then walked out. Whoever had suggested we get tacos after said "forget that." We went back to our dorm, and didn't even have the energy to head up to anyone's room - we went into one of the lounge rooms in the lobby and all just sat there for a good couple hours, staring at the wall and concentrating on digestion.

.....And then about a month later I got the call that I had won the draw at that scoop shop. I got a pretty wooden apple basket full of stuff like soda crackers, Vermont cheese, a salsa from a Vermont company, some of Ben and Jerry's own hot fudge sauce and a copy of their cookbook and a t-shirt. I still have the shirt and the cookbook, and the apple basket is at the foot of my bed holding spare blankets as I type this.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:05 AM on January 22, 2023 [7 favorites]

Fuck me I love ice cream. I wish it wasn't -2°C outside right now T_T.

Russian ice cream carts have heaters (photo halfway down that article) so they can sell ice cream that's still malleable, instead of solid chunks that have to be turned into portions using chain saws, angle grinders and axes, even when it's -30°C outside.
posted by Stoneshop at 7:11 AM on January 22, 2023 [2 favorites]

For those of us who follow the Lunisolar Calendar, today is

🎇🎇🎇New Year's Day! 🎇🎇🎇

There will be much merriment and dumplings today for me!

To answer the ice cream prompt, I'm a vanilla ice cream girl all day long. Given the full range of ice cream choices in the world, I really enjoy a cherry gelato or Cherry Garcia. Loved the B&J story about the Vermonster sundae from EmpressCallipygos above.
posted by honey badger at 7:18 AM on January 22, 2023 [3 favorites]

The only ice cream I'd go out of my way for is the liquorice gelato you can get in Italy. That's fine stuff.
posted by pipeski at 9:12 AM on January 22, 2023 [1 favorite]

Black ice cream, eh? Liquorice, no thanks but Black Sesame is the best.
posted by Rash at 9:31 AM on January 22, 2023

We used to have a ton of ice cream around. Late last year I got tired of the chest freezer being full to the brim of old stuff we weren't eating, because it was making the damn thing more or less unusable for me as chief cook; so I put a moratorium on buying new ice cream until we'd exhausted the supply of aged sweets. Little e has been raging at the unfairness now for weeks. Anyway, last night we brought up this homemade black raspberry stuff that must be eighteen months old at this point. (Redstart, this probably does not answer your question about commercial flavors, but in our case we made black raspberry because the house came with black raspberry bushes, which in turn is probably because they're invasive and easier to let alone than rip out.) The flavor is still tops, but the texture was kind of weird and too-creamy, hence its sitting around for an age. I made some lemon-almond cake to go with it, and Mr. e made some super tart berry sauce out of some long-frozen fruit, and altogether it turned a selection of just-okay things into a reasonably tasty dessert.
posted by eirias at 9:32 AM on January 22, 2023 [1 favorite]

I used to go crazy for the flavors at Berthillon on the île Saint-Louis every time I visited Paris. The vanilla was superb, and the chocolate was the best flavor I had ever had, and I loved them (still do).

However, then I moved to Barcelona, and discovered Cacao Sampaka, the chocolate shop opened by Albert Adrià (Ferran's brother and head patissier at El Bulli) - and then chocolate ice cream became a revelation. In this temple to cacao they had single-origin dark chocolate ice-cream so wonderfully made that, despite the cold, you could taste the difference between the ecuadorian, venezuelan, and Papua New Guinean cacao.

so good.
posted by alchemist at 1:02 PM on January 22, 2023 [3 favorites]

damn, another reason I need to get my ass to Barcelona!
posted by supermedusa at 1:12 PM on January 22, 2023

As a kid I loved Baskin Robbins Daiquiri Ice. It made me feel all adultish. Too bad they don't carry it anymore. But there is a recipe to make it yourself.
posted by Splunge at 1:29 PM on January 22, 2023 [3 favorites]

Best B-R flavor is Musk Melon but I've only found it at Baskin-Robbins in Japan.
posted by Rash at 1:58 PM on January 22, 2023

First off, the obvious response to icecream tainted with any form of mint is just no. I also don't like chocolate-flavoured icecream but will tolerate its presence as long as I don't have to eat it. I'm definitely a big fan of icecream and, although I usually go for vanilla at home, love me some rum 'n' raisin or hokey pokey in a big double cone that ends up dripping all the way to my elbow in summer.
posted by dg at 2:09 PM on January 22, 2023

I grew up in a town with a few too many ice cream places.
Favorite flavors were Dutch orange chocolate from Barts and Chocolate pudding from Herrells.
posted by sciencegeek at 4:14 PM on January 22, 2023

When I was a kid I loved Blue Bell, which in the days before luxury ice cream was a thing was the best you could get at the supermarket. The taste of a Blue Bell Cookies and Cream sandwich was the taste of summer. Now I'm a grownup and I'm immunosuppressed and can't have it any more because I don't trust that it's not contaminated by listeria.

I've been to the little creamery in Brenham three times for the tour and one of my favorite pictures of Mr Epigrams is one I took of him with the little ice cream hat. The fact that I can't eat Blue Bell any more makes me super sad.

These days I eat Talenti Raspberry Gelato from the supermarket when I really need a cold bite from my own freezer. In Austin I used to eat Amy's ice cream and here in Dallas we have Paciugo gelato places. Within walking distance of my house is an Andy's Custard, which we sometimes pick up on the way home from somewhere. And there's a Marble Slab around the corner, which is one of those "right back in time to the mid 80s" things that I have not yet taken advantage of. But I will always want a Cookies and Cream sandwich when it's the height of summer.
posted by gentlyepigrams at 4:37 PM on January 22, 2023

Our local drugstore used to have Champagne Sherbet and I thought it was the most sophisticated ice cream choice around!

And ice cream truck favs—
Drumsticks &
Orange 50-50 bars!
posted by calgirl at 7:09 PM on January 22, 2023 [2 favorites]

Redstart -- I just heard a podcast episode about why black raspberry ice cream is so readily available but black raspberries are not! (On mobile so can't link, bit it was from season 3 of Last Seen). The jist is that black raspberries are harder to pick, harder to pack into pints, don't travel well, and so are more often preserved via ice cream.
posted by too bad you're not me at 8:19 PM on January 22, 2023 [2 favorites]

Since going dairy-free a few years back, my favorite ice cream is homemade from a base of coconut milk (Serious Eats recipe). Even though it's winter, I've been dying to make a batch and this thread isn't helping with that craving! I'll have to pick up some coconut milk and cream next time I'm at the store.

Chocolate or go home.
posted by too bad you're not me at 8:24 PM on January 22, 2023

My biggest gelato regret in this life is the time I was in Rome and went to a gelateria that had a buffalo mozzarella/tomato/balsamic vinegar flavour on that day. Normally that would have been 100% my jam, but I'd just eaten an enormous pile of cacio e pepe (plus a bit of my mother's giant pillow-like truffle ravioli) and I was Cheesed Out even by my own standards. I had a very boring scoop of pineapple instead and it was extremely meh.
posted by terretu at 6:15 AM on January 23, 2023

Too Bad You're Not Me: David Liebovitz has a GREAT recipe for chocolate sorbet in his book The Perfect Scoop.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:20 AM on January 23, 2023 [2 favorites]

Splunge, I love B-R Daiquiri Ice, but the local store closed ages ago, so thank you for the link.

The chocolate chunks in Graeter's ice cream are better than anybody else's. I dislike the hard waxy chocolate bits in other ice cream. B&J's Coffee Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz has espresso chocolate fudge chunks and is the ice cream of choice when I decide to eat dairy even though it's bad for me.
posted by theora55 at 8:28 AM on January 23, 2023 [1 favorite]

Growing up, my favorite treat was riding my bike up to Baskin Robbins with my best friend. Every time, I'd get chocolate peanut butter ice cream on a sugar cone. If I was feeling it, maybe a double scoop with another flavor. Their chocolate peanut butter ice cream is a strange one (the peanut butter isn't really like peanut butter), but it still hits all the right notes for me.

Nowadays, I like ice cream with all the chunks and candies in it. Coffee Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz from Ben & Jerry's is great, but I never see it in my store. Anything chocolate-y, caramel-y, or nutty is fine in my book. Bring on the mint chocolate cookies and cream. I'm a big fan of Talenti gelato, but not their layered concoctions - I want my chunks mixed in!

When I'm ready to splurge though, McConnell's is where it's at. So smooth and delicious.
posted by hydra77 at 8:47 AM on January 23, 2023

For a long stretch, my son and I would get gelato Saturday mornings as tradition when visiting our local farmer's market/downtown. Then our schedules changed and it morphed to Culver's for lunch on Saturdays. Each has a different flavor of the day for their frozen custard and it's fun to map out the four locations close to us so we can pick our favorites each week.

My dessert of choice is overwhelmingly cake, but no complaints with this arrangement.
posted by Twicketface at 10:01 AM on January 23, 2023

I worked at a Häagen-Dazs scoop shop when the company was bought by Pillsbury -- which was less tha a mkle where we were located. We wondered whether the Doughboy himself would come to visit and welcome us onboard, but nothing really changed.

My manager there, Emie, was possibly the best boss I ever had: forgiving, patient, and flexible. She trusted me as a 16-year old kid to close up the entire business on weekend nights. I got in touch with her last summer, and she was funny and gracious even after 30+ years.

Now I own two ice cream makers (plus a third backup bowl), and we make ice cream all the damn time. The recent surge in the price of heavy cream made us take a break but we still had like seven different tubs in the freezer at Christmas, and served three flavors (coffee chip, s'mores [experimental], and chocolate M&M) last night for my daughter's birthday.

God bless ice cream.

(pipeski, I have made anise ice cream before, and it was wonnnnnderful.)
posted by wenestvedt at 11:11 AM on January 23, 2023

Also, The Ice Cream Barn in Swansea, Mass., is likely the best ice cream in southern New England.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:19 AM on January 23, 2023

posted by JSM at 11:45 AM on January 23, 2023

I am thinking of Buenos Aires right now, because when it comes to ice cream, absolutely nothing I’ve ever experienced has come even remotely close to the breadth, depth, and quality of the insanity of Argentinian ice cream culture.
posted by dbiedny at 2:52 PM on January 27, 2023

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