Photograph courtesy Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
Can’t handle the Cincinnati heat? Head to one of these regional creameries for a made-from-scratch scoop.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Jeni Britton Bauer opened her first ice cream shop, Scream, in Columbus when she was 22 years old. Almost 20 years later, her second store, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, has now taken off, with shops in six cities around the Midwest and the South, and pints filling freezer aisles across the nation.
Her first flavor, Queen City Cayenne, was the result of an informal experiment: Cayenne essential oil poured onto chocolate ice cream. Friends rated the flavor a wild success, and it has since evolved into Chocomole, a combination of a corn chip gravel, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and creamy milk chocolate.
That was only the beginning of Jeni’s adventurous, made-from-scratch flavors. The Salty Caramel (which includes house-made caramel that adds just a tinge of burned sugar flavor) and Brambleberry Crisp (made with a tart blackberry and black currant jam) are the most popular flavors around the shop. But sample for yourself—you really can’t go wrong. To start, celebrate National Ice Cream Sandwich Day on August 2 by biting into one of Jeni’s concoctions. Go for the Orchid Vanilla: purple almond meringue cookies sandwiching vanilla ice cream with a pop of black currant jam in the center. jenis.com
Traders Point Creamery
Taste the cold stuff right at the source. This family-owned organic dairy farm, with a herd of more than 120 100-percent grass-fed cows on 400-plus acres, emphasizes a transparent pasture-to-plate process. The very first USDA-certified organic dairy farm in the state of Indiana, they use only all-natural ingredients—including in the flavorings, such as Dutch cocoa and organic fruit puree.
Visitors can drop by The Loft Restaurant to dine on house-made cheeses or fresh-from-the-garden produce before heading upstairs to the Dairy Bar for ice cream. The creamery also operates a second, open-air Dairy Bar where visitors can get a homemade waffle cone full of the signature Dutch chocolate, raspberry, or vanilla. Seasonal flavors and frozen yogurt, made fresh from Traders Point organic yogurt, are also on the menu—for a little variety in that second (or third) scoop.
The perfect way to spend a summer evening in the Indiana countryside? Visit on a Friday night in August to enjoy Dinners on the Deck with live music, an entrée from The Loft Restaurant (incorporating fresh produce from the Summer Green Market), and a scoop from the Dairy Bar to top it off. tpforganics.com
Chaney’s Dairy Barn
Chaney’s family farm has been producing dairy for more than 70 years, though only selling ice cream since 2003. A big red barn on a wide stretch of rolling Kentucky farmland, Chaney’s Dairy Barn lets visitors feel part of a quintessential, old-fashioned family farm experience. Sign up for a farm tour to see cows being milked, pet a Jersey calf, take a wagon ride, and (obviously) finish the adventure with ice cream.
Although Chaney’s boasts two high-bred Jersey cows, Althea and Topsy, the ice cream isn’t made from milk produced on the property due to its low fat content. Instead, Chaney’s orders in cream to mix up its frozen treats. With flavors such as Wow Now Brownie Cow (brownie bits and chocolate fudge swirled into chocolate ice cream) and Bourbon Crunch (vanilla ice cream with wafers soaked in bourbon and a fudge ripple) Chaney’s ice cream menu should manage to satisfy your palate. Bring a blanket on the evenings of August 8, 9, 22, or 23 to enjoy a family-friendly movie projected right onto the side of the barn. chaneysdairybarn.com
Originally published in the August 2014 issue.
Photographs courtesy Chaney’s Dairy Barn & Restaurant, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams