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Best ice cream in the country.

rsanders99 Jan 17, 2013 12:51 PM

I was introduced to Graeters ice cream about a year ago. Graeters is a small Ohio manufacturer that makes ice cream using a traditional French pot process. It is carried in limited flavors by Publix and Fresh Market. Their ice cream is really the best I have ever had.

  1. biondanonima Jan 19, 2013 07:32 PM

    I had some terrific ice cream this summer when I was doing a gig in upstate NY, from Battenkill Dairy. It was Philadelphia style (no eggs), which isn't usually my favorite, but theirs was really terrific. Not terribly expensive, either, at about $6 for a quart.

    1. l
      Lmrbest Jan 19, 2013 06:33 AM

      If any of you live in the Cincinnati area, you really should try Aglamesis Brothers Ice Cream. They have been around since about 1920 or so, and have two stores, the original one in Oakley, and another in Montgomery. IMO, Graeters can't hold a candle to them. No, they don't sell their ice cream pre-packaged in grocery stores, but it's worth a trip to go to the shop, especially in summer when they make peach ice cream and sorbet.

      1. ipsedixit Jan 18, 2013 09:42 PM

        Graeter's is probably the best within the region bounded by the 65, 77, 70, and 64.

        But outside of that region, no.

        The double chocolate chip is quite fucking good, however.

        1. c
          CathleenH Jan 18, 2013 09:30 PM

          Definitely not Graeters. I thought it was cloying. Fair, but not something I would ever buy again. It displaced my favorite supermarket-available brand, Organicville, which made a less sweet ice cream with a very pure chocolate flavor.

          1. s
            sandynlevine Jan 18, 2013 05:37 PM

            The best I've ever had was from Mitchell's at 29th and San Jose in the Mission district of San Francisco

            1. globocity Jan 18, 2013 05:19 PM

              Slightly tangential question: When did Häagen Dazs start using HFC syrup? Major buzz kill.

              1 Reply
              1. re: globocity
                Jay F Jan 18, 2013 08:11 PM

                I don't know the answer, but it's a question that deserves its own thread.

              2. Chemicalkinetics Jan 18, 2013 05:12 PM

                I don't know what is the best, but I remember this following experience. During my last or second last year in California, I bought a pot of ice cream which is made locally in San Francisco. It was the best ice cream from a supermarket. I then read the nutrient information and still clearly remember that its fat content is significantly higher than Beyer's or Dreyer's. I wanted to say twice as higher, but that sounds a bit crazy high. Anyway.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                  ferret Jan 18, 2013 09:46 PM

                  To be called "ice cream" the product must contain at least 10% butterfat. Superpremium brands can exceed 14% and go up to 16%, but that's about it at the top end.

                  1. re: ferret
                    Chemicalkinetics Jan 19, 2013 06:15 AM

                    Thanks. So maybe it wasn't double the fat, but it was significantly higher if I remember correctly.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                      Roland Parker Jan 19, 2013 04:24 PM

                      A good test for comparing the quality between two ice creams is to pick up two equal size containers. The heavier one is the better one.

                      Yep, it's from the butterfat. Lower quality ice cream has a lot of air whipped into it which is why it's lighter.

                      1. re: Roland Parker
                        Chemicalkinetics Jan 19, 2013 04:56 PM

                        Oh. I didn't know that.

                        But I do know Dreyer's low fat ice cream is based on breaking up the fat particles into smaller bits, so our tongues will feel the same amount of fat, but in fact there is less. SLOW CHURNED or something.

                2. r
                  Roland Parker Jan 18, 2013 05:11 PM

                  Hmm..... this is like saying "so and so is the best potato chip in America!"

                  My vote goes to Antietam Dairy, an old fashioned ice cream dairy in small town Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. I personally have never had ice cream better than theirs although a few other places come close.

                  My favorite Antietam Dairy flavors are French Vanilla (a richer version of vanilla) and Bittersweet. The latter is essentially finely grated bittersweet chocolate flakes folded into a plain ice cream batter. I have never come across anything like this flavor elsewhere. Peppermint, Butter Brickle and coffee are also excellent choices.

                  Trickling Springs in nearby Chambersburg is a close contender.

                  Franklin County, the location of these two dairies, is a great dairy county for the soil is apparently chalky, which adds a slight, fresh flavor to the milk.

                  1. tim irvine Jan 18, 2013 05:00 PM

                    I recently made salted caramel sauce, which has caused me not to focus on the ice cream. Here in Texas we love Blue Bell, but I prefer using my home ice cream maker to make vanilla gelato to any of the boutique pints I have tried.

                    1. globocity Jan 18, 2013 04:56 PM

                      Anyone here know the name of the popular ice cream joint in State College, PA? It is on Penn State campus. My bf took me there several times and it was well worth the wait. And weight.


                      2 Replies
                      1. re: globocity
                        gaffk Jan 18, 2013 05:48 PM

                        It's simply the Penn State Creamery.

                        I think the "best" ice cream spots are always the local spots attached to local dairy farms, with some of these better than others.

                        Best national brand would be a different discussion.

                        1. re: gaffk
                          globocity Jan 19, 2013 06:26 PM

                          Ah thank you, gaffk. Simple name that I could not remember!

                      2. hyacinthgirl Jan 18, 2013 06:56 AM

                        I've had better one location ice cream, but I would agree that Graeters is the best pre-packaged ice cream I've had, specifically the black raspberry chip. That said, I think the best part of it are the chocolate chunks and the way they work with the ice cream. The ice cream alone probably wouldn't make the absolute best list.

                        1. Jay F Jan 18, 2013 06:55 AM

                          I've seen Graeter's at the store (Pittsburgh), but I've never tried it. Does it have guar gum, carrageenan, taro root, whatever?

                          I didn't think Jeni's ice cream was that good. I mean, it's not bad ice cream, but I just can't pay $10 a pint for ice cream, particularly ice cream made with cornstarch.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Jay F
                            Jay F Jan 18, 2013 10:52 AM

                            I went shopping and checked out Graeter's. It was $5.99 (non-sale price), and it had both carob gum and guar gum. Not gettin' my six dollars.

                          2. t
                            thimes Jan 18, 2013 06:50 AM

                            Since I live in OH now, of course Graeters is great ;)

                            Seriously it is very good ice cream. But we also have Jenny's ice cream here in Ohio, she does incredibly good ice cream - much more expensive, better ingredients, more unique flavors, its really very very good stuff, better than Graeters in my opinion.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: thimes
                              Crockett67 Jan 18, 2013 07:13 AM

                              Jeni's is mine. I love her seasonal selections. While it's nice in the pint, it's better in the dip shops since you can try all you like. :)

                            2. v
                              Violatp Jan 18, 2013 03:36 AM

                              I'll give you that it may be the best you've tasted so far. I'll give you that. The Jewel stores here in Chicago carry it and I've had it and my reaction is...it's good. But my favorite ice cream that I've tasted so far is Bi-Rite in San Francisco. I will allow that there may be better than Bi-Rite (that I've yet to taste) but Graeters is in no way better than Bi-Rite.

                              1. f
                                ferret Jan 17, 2013 02:41 PM

                                Graeters is good, but hardly "best in the country." (I do like their black raspberry chip flavor for uniqueness, but their other flavors are just okay).

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: ferret
                                  DonShirer Jan 17, 2013 03:55 PM

                                  Second the motion. I've visited Graeters near Columbus, and know of several stores in CT that are comparable. Since I don't think anyone can pick "the best in the country" I won't bother naming them. Now if you want to say "best in county", that might just be doable!

                                  1. re: ferret
                                    rsanders99 Jan 18, 2013 03:10 AM

                                    Please list ice creams that you feel are comparable.

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