Travel, scoop, repeat

Travel, scoop, repeat

Ohio Ice Cream trail features 20 unique shops

By Sarah Allen

Photos courtesy of Young’s Jersey Dairy, Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl, Graeter’s

By Sarah Allen

Photos courtesy of Young’s Jersey Dairy, Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl, Graeter’s

Many foods are synonymous with Ohio: buckeyes, chili and … ice cream?

Yes, Ohio has become a destination when it comes to any “screaming” for ice cream. In fact, OhioTourism has outlined an Ice Cream Trail with 20 stops throughout the state. And with each stop comes not only a variety of flavors, but also a variety of experiences.

The Creamery

Dating to 1982, this ice cream stand in little Delphos, Ohio, has earned a following in the area for its vast menu of hard dip, soft serve, fat free and sugar free ice creams as well as homemade novelties and simple sandwiches.

“The thing is, we serve the best quality at the best price possible,” said owner Dan Warnement.

One scoop really means two scoops, the young women working the windows warn customers — many times, to no avail. People come to The Creamery for its large portions of deliciousness.

“You kind of get what you’re paying for,” Warnement said with a laugh.

The most popular is butter pecan, he said, with close runners-up being chocolate peanut butter, moose tracks and chocolate chip cookie dough. There are plenty of fruit-filled choices on the menu as well as regional specialties like Superman. Picnic tables on neat patios encourage lingering to eat. The drive-thru lane is often long, as is the walk-up service line, but don’t let that deter you.

“A lady was trying to decide what she wanted the other day,” he said, explaining he gave her a sample of the new Puppy Chow, a vanilla ice cream with hot fudge ribbon. “She was like, ‘Oh my Lord, that’s good!”

The store has been in Warnement’s family since 1995, with several family members involved in running it since then. He purchased the store in 2012, and he is nearly ready to open a second store in Kenton.

The Creamery is located at 252 N. Canal St., Delphos, and a second location is coming soon at 836 E. Franklin St., Kenton. To learn more, follow on Facebook.

Young’s Jersey Dairy

Young’s Jersey Dairy, in Yellow Springs, offers not only ice cream, but a “fun, family, memory-making … experience,” according to Chief Ice Cream Dipper (or CEO) Dan Young.

“We create fun for our customers,” he added.

The ice cream found at the dairy is all made on site. “We’re a working farm,” Young said, adding that the dairy also makes cheese.

Along with many traditional ice cream flavors, Young said, the dairy also has seasonal flavors, such as pumpkin, cinnamon, peppermint stick and eggnog.

In addition, the dairy likes to “experiment around,” he said. As an example, Young described Farm Sunrise — a flavor that is brand new this year.

The ice cream is cake batter-flavored, with blue and red cookie dough pieces.

“I know kids are going to like it,” he said, adding that it is “so bright and colorful.”

Young also described flavors the dairy creates for special events, such as the annual Wool Gathering.

Entering its 24th year, the Wool Gathering is “all about natural fibers,” Young said.

Wooly Wonka is the flavor made just for the Wool Gathering. This caramel-flavored ice cream has marshmallows and chocolate chunks.

“We made it up because it was a fun name, but it turned out a lot of people really liked the flavor,” Young said.

He added that the dairy will also be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Ohio native Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon.

Moon Rocks, he said, will be a caramel-flavored ice cream with chocolate covered malted milk balls and marshmallow. The dairy will also feature an Over the Moon sundae, which will have chocolate ice cream, marshmallow and a mini Moon Pie (as well as the usual sundae toppings).

However, Young said, the flavor that the dairy is most famous for is Cow Patty, an extreme chocolate item.

Young said that, the No. 1 question dippers are asked is: “What’s Cow Patty?” He said that he usually responds by asking, “Do you like chocolate?” When patrons say that they do, he replies: “Then you’re going to love this.”

Young said the flavor is double dark chocolate ice cream with chocolate chips, chocolate cookie pieces and chocolate-covered toffee.

In addition to ice cream, the dairy also has miniature golf, batting cages, a giant slide, a driving range, plus a farm animal petting area and barn.

“We strive for everyone to have a fun experience while they’re here,” Young added.

Young’s Jersey Dairy is located at 6880 Springfield Xenia Road, in Yellow Springs. To learn more, visit www.youngsdairy.com.

Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl

Heading east, another stop on Ohio’s Ice Cream Trail is one that has been nationally recognized for its frozen treats.

In 1998, Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl was featured in USA Today as the No. 1 ice cream shop in the country. Then, just two years ago, the shop was highlighted on the Food Network show “Ice Cream Nation.”

Owner Bill Sullivan said it feels “unique” that a store in a “little place like Zanesville” is known nationally.

Sullivan has been the owner of Tom’s since 1984, when Tom Mirgon retired and sold it to him. Mirgon, along with Jack Hemmer, were cousins who first opened the restaurant in 1948. Back then, it was called Jack Hemmer Ice Cream and was located on Linden Avenue. In 1950, the restaurant outgrew that location and moved to McIntire Avenue, where it still stands today.

In 1957, it became Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl — and has been a must-stop for ice cream lovers ever since. The restaurant has stayed true to its history, Sullivan added, saying, “When you walk in the door, it’s like walking back in time (to the 1950s).”

He described the ice cream, saying that it is homemade and “made fresh.”

“We use the best ingredients we can find,” Sullivan said, adding that the recipes are the same ones that have been used for about 70 years. “The consistency of the quality of our ice cream,” Sullivan said, plays a role in setting it a part, as does the restaurant’s “very large portions.”

But the item that put Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl “on the map,” Sullivan said, is its banana split.

“We don’t make them the conventional way,” he said. Banana splits, like all ice cream at the restaurant (except for small sizes), are served in soup bowls. The banana split is then made from the bottom up, with sliced bananas first, then ice cream, then toppings. “It’s all you can do it eat one banana split,” Sullivan added.

In addition to ice cream, the Bowl also serves homemade soups and sandwiches.

Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl is located at 532 McIntire Ave., in Zanesville. To learn more about the restaurant, visit www.tomsicecreambowl.com.

Hyde Park Graeter’s

From Zanesville to the Queen City, another stop on the Ice Cream Trail is the Hyde Park Graeter’s.

“It’s our oldest continuously operated store,” said district manager Brian Packert. “We’ve been there for a really, really long time.”

Graeter’s produces about 30-40 flavors a year, Packert said. However, their most popular flavor is black raspberry ice cream. “We’re known for (that),” he said, describing it as a “signature flavor.”

“We make more of that than anything,” he added.

Packert also described how Graeter’s ice cream is made, saying, “We use what is called a French pot process.”

Made in a cylinder, the ice cream ingredients inside freeze and churn. As the cylinder spins, air is pushed out. Most modern ice creams, Packert said, are made in a whipping process rather than a churning one. As a result, air is brought in rather than pushed out, like Graeter’s.

Graeter’s ice cream, he said, is about 10% air, whereas most of its contemporaries are about 50%. He added the butterfat content is higher with Graeter’s, at 18% (as compared to a typical 12%).

Overall, Packert said, making the ice cream is a “very crafty process.”

The Graeter’s factory, Packert added, has about 32 machines that make ice cream for 56 stores, as well as stock freezers in over 4,000 groceries. He also said that the ice cream is made in small batches — about two gallons at a time.

And while the business has grown, the original Graeter family is still a part of the business. Packert said that they still live in Cincinnati. In fact, the family is in its fourth generation of business.

Graeter’s Hyde Park location is at 2704 Erie Ave. in Cincinnati. To learn more, visit www.graeters.com.

___

SWEET SUMMER

To learn more, visit http://trails.ohio.org/ice-cream/

Salt Magazine