I'm new to Chowhound and was stunned to find that there was virtually no mention of Graeter's Ice Cream in Cincinnati. This ice cream is without comparison in the U.S. I have tried ice cream across the country and nothing compares (I have not eaten enough different ones from other countries to make a definitive statement about the planet). There's good reason for the excellence. Graeter's uses a unique way to make ice cream called the french pot method. I remember going to the factory more than 20 years ago to watch the stuff being made -- by hand !! Imagine a giant copper kettle spinning in a supercooled brine solution. The ice cream mix is poured into the kettle and men beat the mixture by hand up the sides, where it freezes. They scrape it down and back up until a batch is completed. Each day begins with Vanilla and moves through the other flavors and ends with double chocolate.
A few items of note. First, the ice creams that contain chocolate chips are reknown -- vanilla, chocoalte, peanut butter, mint, raspberry, mocha, YUM!! It's like eating fine chocolate, because that's what it is. They use fine dipping chocolate for candies and pour it as a liquid into the ice cream. It breaks up into chunks that can fill the mouth. Whew!!!
Second, they use fresh peaches to make peach ice cream in the summer and can the peaches for the peach ice cream the make the rest of the year.
Third, the peppermint ice cream contains little hard candy "pillow-shaped" peppermints like we got when we were kids.
The flavors are wonderful, but without the texture, which is astonishing, I couldn't say any of this. Go try it. It is the very best.
Oh, did I tell you they also make there own pastries? It won't surprise you that I also think they are among the best I have had. Try especially the Double Butter Coffee Cake. It's wonderful and really a mystery when you think about how they make it.
And on and on and on. . . .
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