Every state, it seems, has a beloved old-school ice-cream brand. Here are a handful of favorites from around the country:
BLUE BELL ICE CREAM, BRENHAM, TEXAS (BLUEBELL. COM): Founded in 1907 and selling in 23 states, this place is almost too big to be considered regional. But Southerners swear by a bowl of vanilla as the standard-bearer of great ice cream.
MITCHELL’S ICE CREAM, SAN FRANCISCO (MITCHELLSICECREAM. COM): Although some say Swensen’s remains the city’s quintessential old-line ice-cream shop, Mitchell’s handmade product, in flavors like macapuno (coconut) and fresh cantaloupe, make it a standout.
SHUBERT’S: CHICO, CALIF., (SHUBERTS. COM): A small, hometown ice-cream parlor straight out of central casting, it has been in the same spot since 1938. Fans return for Chico mint and almond fudge.
Most Read Stories
MOORESVILLE ICE CREAM CO., MOORESVILLE, N.C., (DELUXE1924. COM): Operating since 1924, the company recently introduced the Front Porch brand, based on Southern flavors like banana pudding, sweet tea and fried-apple hand pies.
WHITEY’S ICE CREAM, MOLINE, ILL., (WHITEYSICECREAM. COM): A profoundly Midwestern brand with continuous family ownership since the 1930s, Whitey’s concocts all-American flavors like Sgt. Camo, day-camouflage ice cream made with graham-cracker ice cream, a light green marshmallow swirl and fudge.
UMPQUA DAIRY, ROSEBURG, ORE., (UMPQUADAIRY. COM): Though the regional and critical goliath is Tillamook, Umpqua has devoted fans from the eastern side of the state who like the lower prices, basics like chocolate and vanilla and flavors like Beaver Tracks and Duck Tracks, proceeds from which support the state’s college football teams.
BRAUM’S, TUTTLE, OKLA., (BRAUMS. COM): Another big company with a small-town appeal, Braum’s has punctuated childhoods in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Missouri and Arkansas since it began in the 1960s, but its roots come from a 1930s shop in Kansas.
GRAETER’S, CINCINNATI (GRAETERS. COM): Started in the late 1800s, Graeter’s is considered by loyalists to be the best ice cream the United States has ever produced (though partisans of its crosstown rival, Aglamesis Bros., will dispute that). The chocolate chunk versions are a particular draw.
TOSCANINI’S ICE CREAM, BOSTON (TOSCI. COM): New England is awash in ice-cream shops, dairy bars and custard stands, and all have their supporters. But Toscanini’s, with its doctoral-student scoopers and its eccentric maestro at the helm, turns out endless dips of Gingersnap Molasses and Burnt Caramel.
LONGACRE’S MODERN DAIRY, BARTO, PENN., (LONGACRESDAIRY. COM): In a state with deep allegiance to brands like Bassetts, Longacre’s has been making ice cream and building a wide-reach fan base since the 1940s. Many childhoods have hinged on efforts to finish the 10-scoop, 10-topping Garbage Sundae.
WILCOXSON’S ICE CREAM, LIVINGSTON, MONT., (WILCOXSONSICECREAM. COM): For more than 100 years, Wilcoxson’s has been a favorite of Big Sky country, with flavors appropriately named Mountain Berry, Buffalo Chip and Chocolate Runs Through It.
ANGELO BROCATO, NEW ORLEANS (ANGELOBROCATOICECREAM. COM): Invoking the elegance of Sicilian ice cream parlors, Brocato’s has defined ice cream in New Orleans for more than 100 years. After it flooded during Hurricane Katrina, its reopening was cheered as a sign that the city was recovering.
ROSELANI TROPICS ICE CREAM, WAILUKU, MAUI, HAWAII (ROSELANI. COM): Ice cream and shave ice are big in Hawaii, and residents of the various islands will argue over which is the best. On Maui, the locals are loyal to Roselani, where a third-generation ice-cream maker, Cathy Nobriga Kim, churns out flavors like chocolate macadamia nut and haupia (coconut pudding).
STROH’S ICE CREAM PARLOUR, WYANDOTTE, MICH., (STROHSICECREAMPARLOUR. COM): Michiganders grew up on Stroh’s, considered by many to be the originator of the Superman flavor, a mix of Blue Moon, Red Pop and lemon ice creams. The brand is no longer made in state, but a few ice-cream parlors, like the one in Wyandotte, still exist.
— Kim Severson, The New York Times