With National Ice Cream Month upon us and July temperatures at their peak, the sweet treat is more of a necessity than an indulgence for children and grownups alike. Although my love for ice cream is innate, much like the love of a child, it was nurtured from a young age by my grandfather. Every evening after dinner, like clockwork, the assortment was unveiled; the first scoops went to the dogs and the remainder to us – nobody was left out. Mint chocolate chip was my favorite. There was, and apparently still is, a company called Schwan’s that delivers prepared meals to your doorstep! As I child I only had eyes for the Silvermint Bar, but looking at their website now I see how this service, much like Blue Apron today, must have saved our parent’s generation.
Nowadays the array of flavors is so vast and far-reaching that, as with the scoops in your cone, I doubt you could choose just one. I wonder what my grandfather would think of all the options and, more so, I wonder what family rituals and individual characteristics will stand out to my son as he grows older. Sometimes I worry that we’re so intrigued by the new, new places, new recipes, new experiences, that it will be a blur of memories for him. Like that of my grandfather’s love of ice cream, my memories are clear. My childhood was filled with new things, yes, but also much repetition. As years compile, it is not the singular experiences that comprise my history, but the family trips to visit grandparents, stuffed shells on my birthday, and long walks down the same beach. I hope that in my constant quest to do and try new things, I don’t lose sight of favorites and all they have to offer.
July is National Ice Cream month and the 17th, in particular, is National Ice Cream Day! As such, I have compiled a list of must try creameries for you and your little ones. While I’ve noted some of my favorite flavors, many change with the season. Be it a local ice cream shop, Saturday breakfast, or nearby hiking trail, make sure to include some constants in the lives of your little ones – things for them to look back on and remember with sweet memories and sticky fingers.
ITP Ice Cream Parlors:
- Honeysuckle Gelato – Honeysuckle Gelato began as a food truck before moving into specialty food stores and now, finally, a brick & mortar location in Ponce City Market. If you, too, have been spoiled by this Italian-style ice cream while abroad, give Honeysuckle a try. I love the Fig & Honey flavor for something different.
- Morelli’s Ice Cream – For your classic creamery try Morelli’s on Moreland in Little Five Points. It’s the rich & decadent ice cream that won us all over as kids, but with a few flavor twists. I love the Elvis Lives, which was my son’s first cone on his 9 month birthday; the peanut butter and banana combination seemed appropriate for a baby and, luckily, proved him to be nut allergy-free.
- Butter & Cream – This is another Atlanta-based shop that is newer to the scene than the others but still scooping up delicious, from scratch ice cream in the Decatur square. In addition to the classics, you can find decadent flavors like Butterscotch Brownie and Cashew Creme Brulee.
- Vintage Frozen Custard – If you’re more of a purist, or just love custard-style ice cream from NY, you have to try Vintage Frozen Custard. It, too, started as a food truck before opening their parlor in West Midtown. Try it plain, over a waffle, in a sundae, concrete, or float. The sky’s the limit for you topping lovers!
- Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream – Jeni’s hails from Ohio but has made a large footprint on the Atlanta scene with its three locations in Westside Provisions, Krog Street Market, and the Decatur square. You can count on them for unique seasonal flavors, quality whole ingredients, and plenty of samples! Current favorites include Atlantic Beach Pie, Brambleberry Crisp, and Brown Butter Almond Brittle.
OTP Ice Cream Parlors:
- Sweet Treats (Marietta Square) – No limits here. With their special hand-dipped ice cream machine, you can let your creativity run wild (or choose a store favorite from their long list of combinations). Fruit, nuts, candy and even syrup choices like amaretto and Kahlua make for some non-traditional cool treats. Our favorite is chocolate with amaretto. They will also make a special treat for your four-legged kids too!
- Frozen Cow Creamery (Kennesaw) – New to the scene, this spot is not only located
in a cute house near downtown Kennesaw, with a precious front-porch and rocking chairs but it is like watching a science experiment! They start with sweet cream, add your flavors of choice and use a nitrogen cooling system to make your scoop right in front of you! We opted for a mint-chip on the hot afternoon visit, but we also hear the banana-pudding is a fan-favorite.
- High Road Ice Cream & Sorbet – High Road first opened business as a wholesaler churning out specialty flavors for local chefs and restaurants. Lucky for us, they became so popular that their pints are now sold at specialty food & grocery stores. You can also order online and by the pan, which was a huge late night hit at our wedding.
- Chloe’s Soft Serve Popsicles – I have to give a special mention to Chloe’s, founded by a mompreneur in NYC who wanted something better for her pregnant self and future baby. Ice cream, no, but good enough to feed your little ones everyday, yes! Since every day can’t be National Ice Cream Day, I highly recommend trying her soft serve popsicles which contain only three ingredients, are vegan, gluten and dairy-free.
Where will you be celebrating National Ice Cream Day?