It will not come as a shock to most of my friends and family that I really like ice cream. Don and I like it so much we toyed with making a stop at Thomas Sweets on our wedding day in our tux and gown. Unfortunately the logistics were not quite right. A day without ice cream is a sad day indeed.
I was amused when I recently read a list put out by Travel and Leisure of America's Best Ice Cream Shops and realized we have eaten at 3 of the 20 this summer.
The link above will bring you right to our local ice cream winner: the bent spoon in Princeton, NJ. The bent spoon uses all locally grown foods and creates non-traditional ice cream flavors such as sweet corn and basil, as well as the favorite dark chocolate. They bill themselves as a "farm to spoon" ice cream parlor.
My second favorite place on the list is jeni's. Jeni's is based out of Columbus, OH. Unlike the bent soon, jeni's (no idea why both places use lower case letters in their name) has multiple locations, and sells their ice cream in grocery stores, as well as in a vending machine at the airport. Once their website is back up and running I'll fill in more details about the place.
The third place we've tried is Salt and Straw located in Portland, OR. They bill themselves as a farm-to-cone ice cream store specializing in using "the best local, sustainable and organic ingredients that Oregon has to offer." Their line is always at least 30 minutes long. They have three locations in Portland, and will be expanding to the LA area soon, where they will use the best, local, sustainable and organic ingredients that CALIFORNIA has to offer. After waiting in line for so long, we wished we were ho-hum about the ice cream. Not ho-hum enough to not give it a try in a different location, but it wasn't jeni's or bent spoon. Must be because they capitalize their name while our top two choices do not.
Here's to wishing future vacations bring me close enough to try the other 17 best ice cream spots.
UPDATED: I found another list. This one includes locations in Paris, Rome and Australia, as well as Cleveland, NY, and Chicago: http://www.buzzfeed.com/samstryker/we-are-all-screaming-for-ice-cream?bffbfood#