Graeter’s Ice Cream

I don’t usually make a habit of talking about things here on BAH unless I have known and loved them.  I respectfully decline many “opportunities” to feature products or talk about brands because I don’t already have a personal relationship with them.  Recently I was approached to try a product.  The folks who contacted me don’t know me.  And they could have no idea that I am inherently weak and lacking in self control when faced ice cream.  But here they were asking if I would like to try a new brand of ice cream that is launching in the B’more Metro area.  It was that weakness that made me hit the Google to find out exactly what it was about this particular ice cream that makes it so special.  A few keystrokes and clicks later, after reading the story behind the product and about their small batch process, I said yes.  Actually, I think I said yes, please.

142 years is a long time for a family to be making ice cream.  But that’s exactly what the Graeter family of Cincinnati, Ohio have been doing. Rich, creamy ice cream.  With or without chunks of chocolate.  I don’t know how they manage to keep the chocolate chunks tender during the freezing process, but they do.  Must be a bit of family magic passed down from generation to generation.  I am picturing a special ceremony on the production floor where the title of ‘secrets of the ice cream keeper’ is passed to the next generation, and the final part of the ritual is learning how to prevent the chocolate chunks from turning in brittle shards of sadness.

And even though I don’t live in any of the cities where they operate ice cream shops, I can now get my Graeter’s on anytime I like.  In addition to their mail order operation…that’s right, I can get ice cream delivered to my door (you can too!)…I can now pick up a pint or two at my grocery store.

Of the flavors I was able to try – Vanilla Chocolate Chip, Mint Chocolate Chip, Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate Chocolate Chip – Chocolate Chocolate Chip was my personal favorite.  The chocolate flavor is milky and rich but not overly sweet, and just a small scoop or two is enough to make me happy.  I shared the Vanilla with my coworkers and only got a small taste of that one.  But the fact that the pint was decimated in about twenty minutes leads me to believe that they liked it.  The Mistah is a sucker for Mint Chocolate Chip but I did manage to sneak a scoop or two from that container.  I enjoyed it but the mint flavor is a little subdued. While I was excited to dig in to the Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip, it wasn’t my favorite.  To me, the essence of the berry flavor gets completely lost.

Looking at the list of flavors that Graeter’s produces, I’ve got my eye on a few that I want to get to know better….I’m talking to you Caramel and Buckeye Blitz.  So the next time I’m dashing through The Fresh Market, I’m going to have to make a point of actually looking at the ice cream case.  It’s a spot that I try and avoid, or at least turn my head and avert my gaze as I go by.  But I’m willing to make an exception every once in a while.

Disclaimer:  I received a selection of ice cream from Graeter’s.  All opinions expressed are my own.