Summer! It’s finally here! And what comes to mind when you think of your perfect summer day? A relaxing day at the beach? A picnic in the park? Grilling up barbecue favorites on the patio with friends and family?
Whatever your favorite summertime entertainment, there is one thing that unites young and old alike—ice cream! And not just that half-empty container you discovered in the back of the freezer, but the real deal—homemade, expertly crafted decadent ice cream scoops sitting perilously atop a specialty cone. Ice cream in the summer is all about the experience—the anticipation of walking to the local ice cream shop or pulling up in your car, already agonizing about which flavors to try. And how to choose the right combination of flavors and toppings. Then with cone in hand, you walk away realizing you are holding a masterpiece… a masterpiece that begins to drip. But it’s worth it!
Find a Local Ice Cream Shop
Wherever you live, there’s a local ice cream shop just waiting for you to discover it! Look for shops that reign supreme in your city—there’s a reason why they have lines around the block. When you are craving a mixture of artistry and ice cream, not only are you benefiting from hand-crafted, indulgent flavors, but you are also supporting an industry that got hit hard during the pandemic. Many little shops—some family-owned for generations—have struggled to stay afloat and keep employees on. Unlike takeout food, ice cream is not an easy item to order and have delivered right to your door. Ice cream is meant to be eaten right away, in a relaxed, casual environment, sitting at a picnic table enjoying a summer evening with the kids or cooling down with a milkshake after a weekend bike ride. There’s really no setting in the summer where ice cream isn’t appropriate! So indulge and support your local establishments.
And if you’re bringing Fido along, just make sure the shop is dog-friendly.
Locally sourced ingredients in hand-crafted batches of ice cream make all the difference. When ice cream is made in small batches, your tastebuds know it. Organic ice cream sustainably made from scratch using fresh, in-season, and locally sourced ingredients means you can feel great about eating it (in moderation, of course!). Fresh foods always taste better, and that includes fruits harvested in their peak season. So you may not find strawberry ice cream in October—and for good reason. It’s just not going to taste the same as it would in July from freshly picked, ripe strawberries bursting with flavor. Ice cream shops that purchase ingredients locally and in season help to support farmers and the local economy.
One of the best things about standing in line at the ice cream shop is that it gives you time to read the list of flavors! It’s exciting to contemplate all the different offerings. And then the anticipation shifts to feeling pressure to have to decide as the line inches forward, robbing you of precious decision-making time. While you may have one or two in mind that you know you’ll love and won’t be disappointed with, why not open yourself up to something completely new—flavor combinations you’ve never dared to try? Like cilantro lime, honey-rhubarb, or goat cheese with red cherries that taste exactly like cherry cheesecake. Who knows? You may just find your new addiction!