Cool Off with These Best Ice Cream Shops in America
Ample Hills Creamery, in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Courtesy: Ample Hills Creamery)
By Carol Reed
Over the past couple of decades, there has been an ice cream renaissance in the United States. In a country where 90 percent of the population consumes this frozen confection, impassioned ice cream lovers and chefs have opened shops, equipped small production facilities, or kitted out trucks to make the stuff of memories – artisanal ice cream bursting with flavor these aficionados feasted on as kids that was a joy to eat and free of chemical additives.
Much of the best ice cream is made only in small batches from the milk and cream of regional farms. A lot is made with organic dairy and ripe, seasonal fruit. Many flavors are brand new. Most producers make their own custard-style base with eggs, which helps avoid large ice crystals and keeps the texture smooth and creamy, the taste rich and delicious.
We found notable producers committed to high-quality, small-batch ice cream all over the United States. But Brooklyn, N.Y., emerged as a kind of modern ice cream mecca, with a clutch of new, imaginative, and skilled ice cream producers. Everywhere, demand for premium ice cream is growing – and with it, new shops that are worth a visit. Here is a sampling of what we found.
Ample Hills Creamery (Brooklyn, New York)
Named for a line of poetry by Brooklyn denizen Walt Whitman, the Ample Hills retail store has been called Brooklyn’s “most beloved ice cream shop” by the New York Times T Magazine. The company handcrafts small-batch ice cream from fresh, natural ingredients brought down from upstate farms. There’s a rotating roster of 16 incredibly delicious flavors such as Salted Crack Caramel, Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, and, of course, Leaves of Grass – a mojito sorbet with organic lime juice, fresh mint, and a splash or two of rum. amplehills.com
(Courtesy: Amy’s Ice Creams)
Amy’s Ice Creams (Austin, Texas)
Established in 1984, Amy’s is this capital city’s favorite excuse to indulge in super premium, handmade ice cream, fruit ices, and frozen yogurt. There are seven standard flavors that are always available, including Mexican Vanilla, which in Austin is even served fried, tempura style. The more adventurous look forward to Ancho Chocolate and Guinness, along with about 350 other rotating flavors. amysicecreams.com