Happy first day of summer!
To my young self, summer meant a few things: hitting the beach or pool, Mom's newest list of staycation plans, rolling down the neighborhood golf course and planning out a birthday party (usually involving some source of water, followed by a sleepover.)
The best part of summer, of course, is still to this day the frozen delicious goodies that are perfect for those days when the humidity envelops the town in a thick layer of fatigue. While I absolutely eat the following year-round, there's just something extra special about digging into the dessert in summer time.
So, in the celebration of Summer, I have compiled a list of my top beloved frozen treats and the best places I personally have found for each of them.
1. Pineapple Whip
By far my fav dessert this side of the Atlantic, the one and only Pineapple Whip can be found in Springfield, Mo. Sorry, Disney, but the Dole Whip just doesn't compete.
This dairy-free whipped ice-cream thing has been a Springfield staple since 1974, when Dan Fortner began the family-owned business at the annual Ozark Empire Fair. Upon request, he created additional locations throughout several Springfield streets. Each location offers a different flavor of Whip.
I always opt for the twist: Pineapple with either Grape, Nanagranate, Kiwi Strawberry or Mango-Peach. (We don't talk about that other one.) The Whip is $2.50 and is often open by Memorial Day or slightly earlier, with a few scattered throughout the winter season.
Pineapple Whip is closed on Sundays.
Pineapple Whip and gelato both compete for the number one spot in my heart. Italian for ice-cream, the best gelato I've ever tasted was, none too surprisingly, in Italy. However, I also have a favourite local spot for this creamy delicacy.
Venice, Italy: While Rome had an incredible cupful of artisan gelato, I immensely enjoyed the one we bought in Venice. Although I can't remember the name of the stand, I can say that you'll find this particular gelato after successfully locating the sign that indicates the stand has been around since 1990. I highly recommend the melon.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Across the ocean, it's easy to pass the time sitting outside Aura Espresso Room, located in downtown Lancaster City. Friendly service, delectable quenchers and a discount for government employees has made Aura one of my beloved spots here in Lancaster. Of course, this could have something to do with its European-style set-up. In particular, the rasberry gelato is delightful.
5. Frozen custard
It's difficult to choose between ice-cream and frozen custard, but I've got to go with the latter for the next choice. There was a local restaurant in Ozark with the best frozen custard, but they went out of business years ago. So really, the only answer now is Andy's. Mostly located in the Midwest and the South, Andy's does have a few spots in Arizona.
The obvious go-to, this is certainly perfect for any occasion. There's no need to save it only for summer, but regardless, it is a frozen treat. I'm becoming quite partial to Turkey Hill ice-cream and I love that ice-cream they sell in Aldi back in Cork. Outside of the grocer, I choose:
Braums. With the number of times my family has visited this fast food chain for celebrations, I can't select anything but Braums. I especially enjoy the egg nog around Christmas and the pumpkin in autumn. Similarly, Dairy Queen follows as runner-up, though the first choice for ice-cream cake. Lastly is Steak 'n Shake, but only for its special holiday milkshakes. And since the Knickerbocker Glory includes ice-cream, I'll throw on Wetherspoons, simply because I've yet to have the Knickerbocker Glory anywhere else (and I LOVE the Knickerbocker Glory.)
7. Frozen butterbeer
This hits the spot on a hot, humid July day in Orlando. You'll have to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for this delightful drink.
What is your favorite frozen treat, either in the summer season or year-round? Where do you recommend to buy this dessert?
*Edit: Happy second day of summer in the East, as this post didn’t upload quickly enough...
A p r i l D a w n
Writer and video editor with a passion for history, culture, food. Often seen creating pictorial etchings. Past writings can be found in the Cork Independent and on the website Forever Twenty Somethings.