Thursday, April 21, 2011

Graeter's Ice Cream- a Cincinnati Treasure!

Some of you may not be aware of my very first career.  It was, as may be expected, as an ice cream scooper at the local ice cream place in my home town.  Now this place wasn't your typical place to enjoy ice cream.  No it was quite literally, a stand- made out of an old barn complete with a silo- where windows had been cut out and the workers would sling over sized cups, cones, and sundaes through these little openings at rapid pace during the hot days. We were all (basically) high school kids who worked there, trying to save up for a car, or college, or whatever struck our fancy, and so we gathered each day, to spend the glorious summer months trapped behind flimsy screen windows.  We would perfect our scoops to overflow the cups. We would sing badly and loudly to the radio that was a permanent fixture.  We would laugh at the corny jokes our customers would tell ("Would you like nuts on that?" "No I'm nuts enough") all for the hope of a $.50 tip once the order was complete.  We would wow these same customers by remembering their entire families order, and charm them by granting their request for extra hot fudge.  We would remember which flavors were too soft to be able to make a perfect cone (though customers never believed us) and we'd perfect the art of swirling soft frozen yogurt onto the side of a soda cup for the calorie conscious consumer who desperately wanted an ice cream float.  We would bark at each other, make fun of our customers, and in general- have a grand old time in the stand creating friendships that withstood the test of time.  Make no mistake- it was THE place to work in my town, and I was a proud member of their work force.  

Now, as the sun begins to warm and the trees are budding what will be their summer shade leaves, my thoughts turn again to my time surrounded by ice cream.  In an event of perfect timing, earlier this week I accepted an invitation from Jen, the genius behind Beantown Baker, to try out 6 flavors of Graeter's Ice Cream that had been sent to her.  Graeter's is a Cincinnati institution, a place where locals, when they return home, have to hit and often regale others with their tales of fantastic ice cream.  They boast making their product in small batches to ensure quality, and using only the best ingredients.  We gathered on a chilly, rainy evening, just five of us ladies- Aimee, Amanda, Renee and of course Jen to delve into the ice cream and treat ourselves to some sundaes as well.  Graeter's had generously sent Jen 6 pints- Vanilla, Strawberry, Caramel, Mocha Chip, Mint Chip and Black Raspberry Chip.  

We began our exploration of Graeter's with the tried and true- Vanilla.  Opening the container the delicate creaminess was apparent simply at sight and pits of vanilla bean suspended in the frozen treat promised good flavor.  I was actually a bit let down-while it was rich and decadent, the vanilla did not have the strong flavor I was hoping and so I had my small taste and was ready to move on.  However, for all that as lacking in the vanilla- the Strawberry more than made up for it.  Big pieces of sweet tart strawberries showed off their bright red hue in the stained pink ice cream.  Their flavor was strong and perfect letting me know that very fresh strawberries had been used.  I must say- I am not a regular fan of strawberry, always opting for the more exotic flavors, but this was a flavor I would gladly sit down to a whole bowl of!  Next up was the Mocha Chip, the base providing that wonderful strong coffee flavor, its bitterness offset perfectly by the sweet ribbons of chocolate chips.  Mint Chip was our next try- again another perfect pairing of just enough mint, with it's cool refreshment offset by those same ribbons of sweet chocolate.  Finally we turned our attention to the highly acclaimed Black Raspberry Chip- a flavor that our native Cincinnati pal Jen proclaimed to be her favorite.  It was easy to see why, the same perfect balance of flavor, sweet tart berries enhanced by the decadence of dark chocolate- I couldn't find a thing wrong with this flavor-aside of course that they only sent a pint and I was trying to be polite to the rest of the girls and not hog it.  I tried...

I think it is safe to say that Cincinnati has a real treasure in Graeter's, and luckily they can ship their luscious ice creams anywhere in the US for your enjoyment.  For more information please check out their website.  Also- the lovely Jen is hosting a Graeter's give away- check out her site for details!      

3 comments:

Jen said...

What a great write up. I seriously love the way you describe things. I felt like I could see the ice cream stand you worked at, including a bunch of high school kids having a blast working behind the counter. So glad you could make it to taste the ice cream the other night. See you soon.

kitchenmisfit said...

YUm. I still have some leftover mocha chocolate chip in the freezer. So good!

Megan said...

It sounds like you guys had a great time and really enjoyed the ice cream. I have to try that black raspberry chip at some point!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...