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Ice Cream Month

While enjoying vacations this month, don’t forget to celebrate the one thing for which we love to scream.

Who among us doesn’t remember family summer vacations, suitcases packed in the back, children complaining about being either hot, bored or both? Finally–probably to give himself a break more so than the whining brood in the back–dad pulls off the road at an ice cream stand for a quick repast, purchases cones for everybody, and then all is back in balance. The road trip continues in peace (well, relative peace).

July officially is National Ice Cream month, with July 19 being National Ice Cream Day. When President Ronald Reagan in 1984 made the official designation, he may have had the long-suffering road warrior parent in mind, or maybe he simply knew ice cream had been a part of our culture for so long, it was high time Americans be given the green light to enjoy.

According to the International Dairy Foods Association based in Washington, D.C., the first recorded advertisement for ice cream in this country dates to May 12, 1777. Merchant records from New York show President George Washington spent approximately $200 for ice cream during the summer of 1790.

Until 1800, ice cream was a rare dessert enjoyed mostly by the rich, but that changed once insulated ice houses were invented, and manufacturing ice cream soon became an American industry pioneered in 1851 by Baltimore milk dealer Jacob Fussell.

In 1874, the American soda fountain emerged, offering a new treat called an ice cream soda. In response to religious criticism for eating such a sinfully rich treat on Sunday, the merchants began to leave out the carbonated water and invented the ice cream “Sunday” in the late 1890s.

Although the ice cream cone was patented in 1903 in New York by Italian immigrant Italo Marchiony, the ice cream cone appeared with great fanfare at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Mo. Here, concessionaire Ernest Hamwi combined his waffle-like pastries with another vendor’s ice cream and it was a hit. Hamwi would go on to open the Cornucopia Waffle Company and in 1910, founded the Missouri Cone Company, which later became known as the Western Cone Company.

So there’s a little sprinkle of ice cream trivia for those long car trips. To accompany the fun facts, we’ve compiled a list of great ice cream stops you might consider while traveling throughout the South this summer. Don’t forget the extra napkins.

Arkansas

enjoying shake

Above: A couple enjoys some of the ice cream treats at Woods Soda Fountain. Arkansas Department of Tourism photo

Below: The ice cream shop is inside The Green Corner Store in Little Rock. Loblolly Creamery photo

store

Woods Soda Fountain, 301 W. Main St., Mountain View, (870) 269-8304. No Web site, but the business has a Facebook page. Open from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday–Saturday; closed Sunday.

Old-fashioned soda fountain is located inside a pharmacy. Sit at the marble counter or at one of the booths to enjoy shakes, malts, sundaes, or a chocolate phosphate. Order a piece of pie and top with your favorite ice cream.

Shakes, 2797 N. College Ave., Fayetteville, (479) 444-9777, www.shakesfrozencustard.com. Open daily at 11 a.m.

Tasty custard in the form of cones, sundaes, concretes, and more are found at the four Arkansas locations. the Big Bopper, introduced in 1991, is vanilla custard, fudge, and salted pecans.

Locations also are in Alabama, Florida, Missouri, and Texas.

Loblolly Creamery, 1423 Main St., Little Rock, (501) 374-1111, www.loblollycreamery.com. Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday–Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

It’s fitting that an ice cream shop that’s located inside Little Rock’s ecology-minded retailer, The Green Corner Store, would use all natural ingredients. Commendable and delicious.

Sugar, cream, butter, chocolate, and vanilla are churned daily to customers’ delight. Fair-trade chocolate, farm-fresh dairy products, and locally sourced fruit are used. Pull up a stool at the counter and sample an ice cream soda, cone, sundae, or sandwich, proving that being environmentally friendly doesn’t hurt.

louisiana

enjoying shake

The ice cream treats are back in Slidell. Slidell Soda Shop photo

Borden’s Ice Cream Shoppe, 1103 Jefferson, Lafayette, (337) 235-9291, www.bordensicecreamshoppe.com. Open 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday–Friday; 10 a.m. to 10 pm. Saturday and Sunday.

Who remember’s Elsie the Cow? Well, this little ice cream store is Elsie’s last haven as the country’s only remaining Borden’s retail store.

Established in 1940, Borden’s has seen its share of change over the years, but old-fashioned ice cream treats have remained the constant. Order a sundae, cone, shake, malt, freeze, or frappe. Yes, Borden’s Gold Brick is here, as is employee Ella Meaux, who was first hired at this location in 1961.

Creole Creamery, 4924 Prytania St., New Orleans, (504) 894-8680, www.creolecreamery.com. Open noon to 10 p.m. Sunday–Thursday; noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

An award-winning ice cream shop–most recently named the best in Louisiana by Business Insider–Creole Creamery has enough sweets to satisfy the worst sweet tooth. Ice cream flavors are as plentiful as the number of notes coming out of the Quarter’s Preservation Hall, but New Orleans visitors have to tri Bananas Foster. Surprising combinations, such as avacado and mint, are combined with ice cream, and there also are sherbets and sorbets.

Those with a big appetite can try the Tchoupitoulas Challenge, a monstrous sundae with eight scoops of ice cream and eight toppings topped with whipped cream and cherries and served with wafers. Eat the whole thing and your name will join the 600 others on the Hall of Fame plaque.

Old Town Slidell Soda Shop, 301 Cousin St., Slidell, (985) 649-4806, www.slidellsodashop.com. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

The story behind Slidell’s soda fountain is a sweet one.

Closed in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina flooded the shop with six feet of water, previous owner Frank Jackson had no plans to reopen his business. In fact, the day after Katrina made landfall, he returned to the building and painted a fish and a boat on the siding to show the waterline.

But neighboring businessman Morris Hawkins approached Jackson with a plan to reopen the soda fountain and use it to give job training to individuals going through his drug and addiction recovery program. They agreed on a partnership and in 2012, the soda shop reopened. It resembles the 1960s era soda fountain and serves the much-loved ice cream, candy, sodas, and snoballs. Even Jackson’s signature red antique firetruck is back in front of the shop.

Hot fudge and ice cream aren’t the only winning combination at Slidell’s Soda Shop.

Mississippi

yogurt

Scoops Ice Cream and Grille, 800 Highway 1 South, Greenville, (662) 335-1677, www.scoopsicecreamandgrille.com. Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday–Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday (summer) serving only ice cream.

Daughter-mother team Kelley Blalack and Annie Parker opened Scoops in 2011. Ice cream and ice cream cakes are the cool part of the menu, which also includes burgers and sandwiches. But take note that the ladies shut the grill 30 minutes before closing.

Bop’s Frozen Custard, 1173 E. County Line Road, Jackson, (601) 952-0661, www.bopsfrozencustard.com. Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday–Saturday; 1–10 p.m. Sunday.

A Jackson original, Bop’s opened in 2000 on County Line Road. Today, there are 11 locations throughout Mississippi that serve rich frozen custard treats, including the best-selling Snappy Turtle (custard, hot fudge, caramel, and roasted pecans).

Frozen custard, introduced on Coney Island in 1919, by definition has to have at least 10 percent butterfat and 1.4 percent egg. From there, it’s up to your imagination and the number of toppings.

Friendly City Yogurt, 200 Jeff Davis Ave., Long Beach, (228) 284-1748. No Web site, but find them on Facebook. Open noon to 9 p.m. Monday–Thursday and Sunday; noon to 10 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.

For those who seek a lower-fat treat, frozen yogurt is trending right now as a tasty alternative. Variety of flavors to enjoy plain or with fruit, candy or cookie toppings.

July/August 2015 Issue

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