Now is the winter of my very contented taste buds. As much as I hate the cold, I love stuff flavored with pumpkin. The pumpkin pancakes at IHOP? I eat roughly my weight in them from October to January. Ben and Jerry’s Pumpkin Cheesecake? I would take a pint from a baby and not even feel bad about it. On the suggestion of paperispatient, we’re going to take a magical trip around the USA, visiting all the most delightful places to find the most (and least) delicious (sounding) seasonal ice creams.
1. Baskin Robbins‘ Winter White Chocolate (nationwide) – Described as a vanilla based ice cream filled with chocolate covered cherries and a cherry swirl, this one actually sounds a little gross. I think chocolate covered cherries are right up there with candy corn and circus peanuts in terms of Stuff That Isn’t Real Candy, so I may be biased.
2. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream‘s Sweet Potato with Torched Marshmallows (Columbus Ohio and vicinity) – Columbus is only three hours from me. Is it foolish to plan a road trip around an ice cream flavor? This sounds like the stuff of legend.
3. Jeni’s (again) Spicebush Apple Butter – Okay, everybody in my car, we’re all going to Columbus. This treat is made with fresh, homemade apple butter, honey baked apples and Appalachian (pronounced App-uh-LATCH-in) allspice, which is dried and ground spicebush berries, and has been used since the Civil War.
4. Jake’s Pumpkin Piescreamâ„¢ (Atlanta, Georgia and vicinity) – I once spent a horrible weekend at a conference in Atlanta that was only saved by Cuban sandwiches and Jake’s Ice Cream. This delightful flavor mixes pumpkin pie, crust and all, with nutmeg into a creamy vanilla base. There is honestly no such thing as a bad Jake’s flavor. Lucky Atlantians.
5. Graeter’s Pumpkin (midwest, inc. OH, KY and IN) – Simply divine vanilla ice cream blended with pumpkin pie filling. I can get this pretty easily, but if you’re ever trapped in a flyover state it will help you fight off angry tea partiers with a beatific grin.
6. Cold Stone Creamery – You can do better, readers. Cold Stone ice cream tastes like corn sugar solids and wax, no matter what you mix into it. They do have an assortment of seasonal crap to try and disguise the abomination they’re using to try and kill America, but stay away.
7. Calabash Creamery‘s Sweet Potato Souffle (Brunswick County, North Carolina) – Sweet potatoes, brown sugar, spices and praline pecans. There’s really nothing else to say, plus I’m drooling all over the keyboard and it’s getting hard to type.
8. Conrad’s Pomegranate (Westwood, New Jersey) – This may just have to become the official ice cream of Persephone Magazine, can any Jersey readers confirm it’s existence and tell us what it tastes like?
9. Ben and Jerry’s Pumpkin Cheesecake (nationwide) – You know that episode of Malcolm in the Middle where the family attends a company picnic and Dewey goes feral from eating too much candy? Yeah, that’s me after a pint of this magical stuff.