Perhaps you didn’t know this, but I am an ICE CREAM JUNKIE. I love it, love it, love it. In fact, in 2007 I committed to eating ice cream a minimum of once a day from Memorial Day to Labor Day (successfully completed)! I also allow myself to eat ice cream for all 3 meals on my birthday (July 9th – perfect timing). And so I’ve tried quite a bit of ice cream in my day. In order to get the rest of you as excited about ice cream as I am, we’re going to go over a few of my recommendations in various categories.
And the winners are….
For the Store-Bought Category: Edy’s Slow Churned Ice Cream. Top Flavor Picks: Peanut Butter Cup, Mint Cookie Crunch and Raspberry Chip Royale. What makes Edy’s so fantastic is that it’s softer and creamier than any ice cream I’ve ever purchased from the grocery store. It’s easy to scoop and easy to eat, making it a sinful delight at only 120 calories per bowl (it has 1/2 the fat and 1/3 less calories than typical ice cream). How often is it that you find a light variety that’s better than the full-fat version?? Get out and buy some NOW!
Largest Cone for your Money: Nelson’s Ice Cream in Stillwater. Nelson’s is a MN institution, especially in the summer. Their cones are gigantic! Honestly, I usually get a child’s size! The single often makes me a teeny bit sick as it’s just so much to consume in one sitting. But how can you fault them for providing good value, especially with the ridiculous prices they charge? A bit of history: Each year I’d put together a group to go canoeing down the St. Croix River from Taylors Falls to William O’Brien State Park and on the way home we’d drag our exhausted bodies into Nelson’s for a pick-me-up. Knowing that cone was coming got me through the 20 miles of paddling…
Best Fast Food Ice Cream: McDonald’s Cone. Some of you may be shocked at this one, but I must say that it fits the value criteria ($1) and it’s reasonably healthy (150 calories per cone). I do have some complaints to file with McDonald’s though, specifically: Why did you reduce the size of the cone? AND What happened to chocolate? I miss twist cones! I’m still recommending it though, because I haven’t found anything more worthy.
Best Locally-made Ice Cream: Izzy’s Ice Cream. Mmmmm, Izzy’s. Good stuff. Not overly cheap and most likely not healthy (I’d rather not know) but such a treat. They make over 200 flavors throughout the summer and have that cute little Izzy “sample-size” scoop that you get on top of every cone. (I always use mine to try a flavor I haven’t sampled yet!) I like to think of Izzy’s as the “Special Outing Destination”. It’s not somewhere I’d go to every week, but it’s the one thing I’d choose to have on a special day (such as my wedding).