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General Discussion

What's actually going on with "homemade" ice cream places

yrpopqueen | Aug 12, 201503:27 PM     6

I have a question about the term "homemade" in regards to small scoop shops. I'm not questioning the tastiness of their ice creams, but at at least 4 small places in New England that claim to be "homemade" ice cream establishments, I've tried a flavor of ice cream invariably called Graham Central Station, which consists of a honey/vanilla-y flavored ice cream base with pieces of chocolate-covered graham cracker and sometimes a graham cracker crumb swirl in it. It is an awesome flavor, but all 4 places had the same flavor under the same name, and it tasted the same great taste at all of them.

I understand a catchy name is a catchy name, so if each had its own graham flavor, it wouldn't be a stretch for each to independently come up with the same name. But how do 4 separate places make the same taste with the same tasting add-in? I see using Google images that Friendly's and multiple other shops across the U.S. have the same flavor, so my question is, is it truly homemade or is it a flavor concept like Moose Tracks that scoop shops can license?

I worked at a fancy ice cream place that truly invented its own flavors, and we explicitly did not use pre-bagged milk blends or flavor mixes in our ice creams, so when I see places calling themselves homemade but including Moose Tracks and Graham Central Station and the like on their menu, are they demonstrating that "homemade" in the ice cream world is about as meaningful as "natural"?

I guess my larger question is, in this context, does homemade mean "we get a bag of milk mix and flavor mix and run it through the freezer on premises and call it homemade" or are they actually creating flavors from scratch? I'm just wondering if anyone with experience in a small ice cream shop has any insider info. Thanks!

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