What tastes better on a hot summer day than locally made, handcrafted ice cream? Whether you prefer a cup or cone, travel writer and ice cream sweet tooth Heather Larson dishes up the scoop on some favorite Northwest shops that churn their own.
by Heather Larson | photo by Allen CoxMallard Ice Cream, Bellingham, WA
Ben Scholtz bought and revived Mallard in 2001. Four years later he moved to a larger space, improved the product with better quality ingredients, more efficient procedures and made a profit. Scholtz says he serves 28 flavors at a time, but has recipes for more than 500 to always keep his customers guessing.
Experiment with strawberry rhubarb, raspberry mint basil or stinging nettle lemon sorbet. Visit the shop at 1323 Railroad Avenue, Bellingham,WA; (360) 734-3884; www.mallardicecream.com.
Snoqualmie Gourmet Ice Cream, Maltby, WA
Barry Bettinger and his wife, Shahnaz, purchased this company 15 years ago because they wanted to work together and he had managed dairy plants most of his career. Now they make 140 flavors for restaurants and ice cream parlors and will soon be using eggs, honey and fruit from their own farm in their custom flavors. Of course they dish it up in their Maltby shop.
Flavors to try? Mukilteo mud, island coconut and French lavender. Stop by for a scoop at 22106 86th Avenue SE, Maltby, WA; (360) 668-2912; www.snoqualmieicecream.com.
Tillamook Ice Cream, Tillamook, OR
The Tillamook Cheese Factory has dabbled in ice-cream making since the 1930’s. When they expanded their Visitor’s Center in 1979, adding a dipping counter that held 16 three-gallon tubs seemed like a natural. It proved so popular it’s been expanded, moved and a second dipping counter has been added.
Some sweet picks? Vanilla bean, chocolate peanut butter, Tillamook mudslide. Stop in for a tour and a scoop at the source at 4175 Highway 101 North, Tillamook, OR; (800) 542-7290; www.tillamook.com.
Reed’s Dairy Ice Cream, Idaho Falls, ID
As a child, Alan Reed loved his grandma’s homemade ice cream. When his dairy farm produced more cream than he could sell, he decided to make premium ice cream in 1982. If it wasn’t really good, says Reed, his grandma would come back to haunt him.
Flavors rotate, but some greats if they have them are huckleberry, licorice and rocky road. Sample grandma’s recipes at 2660 West Broadway, Idaho Falls, ID; 208-522-0123; www.reedsdairy.com.
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