With temperatures nearing triple digits in Ohio, this feels like a good week to think about something cold. There are not many things better on a steamy day than a little bit of ice cream. For some in Columbus, that could mean a trip to Graeter’s or Jeni’s. For others, all you have to do is wait for the music from an ice cream truck that frequents neighborhoods around Columbus.
While there are probably Buckeye-related questions that people want to chew on this week, we’ll get back to Ohio State content next week. Today we are going to keep things very simple. We want to know what your favorite brand of ice cream is, and what your favorite flavor of ice cream is. We aren’t going to require that you keep the ice cream manufacturer specific to the Buckeye State, since there are plenty of great ice cream manufacturers throughout the midwest and country.
My worlds collided when Perry’s was named the official ice cream sponsor of the Columbus Blue Jackets. I grew up eating Perry’s ice cream, since their headquarters are in Akron, NY, which is only a couple of hours from where I grew up. With the company being so close to Buffalo, they also have similar partnerships with the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres, two teams that I was a huge fan of growing up.
I swear that I’m not being paid by Perry’s or the Blue Jackets to name Perry’s and 5th Line Crunch as my favorite manufacturer and flavor. If I was being paid in any way by either, I’d have better seats as part of my quarter-season ticket package that I have for Blue Jackets games. I just love the flavor they created as the “5th Line Crunch”. Sea salt caramel ice cream with peanut butter swirls and fudge-coated pretzels; the only thing missing is throwing a couple of buckeyes in there. I’m about to venture out into the heat to grab a pint since just talking about it has me craving some.
I know I probably should be a fan of Jeni’s or Graeter’s since they are more local, but I’ve never been a fan of Jeni’s, and that feeling grew more after they had the listeria issues. Graeter’s would be my choice when it comes to Ohio ice cream manufacturers, but I just love the flavors that Perry’s has even more. But let’s get real, there is no bad ice cream, especially with temperatures where they are this week.
Chicago was a balmy 75 degrees yesterday, but is also set to approach the mid-90s this week, so ice cream is definitely in my future. This is a tough call, and I am going to opt for a Central Ohio brand because, as my darling Iowan husband has extolled on many occasions, Ohio knows how to do ice cream. He’s even down for Buckeye Blitz, because who wouldn’t be into the perfect combination of peanut butter and chocolate?
My favorite ice cream of all time — and one I could be just as happy eating on a hot summer’s day as cold winter’s night — is Graeter’s Cookies and Cream. While folks love to pontificate on the virtues of the Black Raspberry Chip with its giant chocolate chunks, we must recognize that there are actual whole cookies in the Cookies and Cream. It’s a simple flavor that’s elevated with quality cookies and executed to perfection. Throw it in a pretzel cone and I’m a happy camper. Fortunately, there is a Graeter’s ice cream shop in the northern burbs of Chicago (in fact, the building can be seen in the holiday classic, Home Alone, when Kevin is running from the police officer after stealing a toothbrush), so the fix is not far away.
Of course, we must also acknowledge that Jeni’s has become a national sensation. Since there happens to be a scoop shop just down the street, I’ve already had my fair share of Brambleberry Crisp + Gooey Butter Cake this summer. It’s also always fun to let the Chicago natives know that their favorite summer treat is in fact an Ohio produce at every given opportunity.
source: Land-Grant Holy Land