As the temperatures hover around the triple digits in many parts of the U.S., I imagine all the ice cream shops are doing brisk business. Did you know that Americans eat more than a billion gallons of ice cream and frozen desserts every year? I am quite contribute that I more than my fair share to that figure.
Last night CB and I could not stand the heat any longer, so we ventured out in search of something cold and creamy – ice cream, gelato, or frozen yogurt would all hit the spot. We headed to an ice cream parlor called Fosselman’s, which has been family-owned and operated since the 1919. Fosselman’s has a charming old-timey feel and very generous scoops – 2 handmade scoops plus a waffle cone only cost $6. It also has a 4.5 star rating from 1,200+ reviews on Yelp.
When CB saw the prices, though, he said, “oh, that seems more expensive.” Which made me think – what’s our reference for “expensive” or “a good deal” when it comes to ice cream? (CB’s reference, apparently, is the Baskin Robbins – Fosselman’s is more expensive, but only by about 20-30 cents a scoop. And I suspect the scoops may be bigger. It’s certainly cheaper than Coldstone Creamery). I am a sucker for cold, sweet and creamy on a hot day, and so have never thought of ice cream pricing too much. As long as it seems reasonable (under $4 or $5 a person), I don’t pay much attention to the prices.
Last summer we were frequent visitors to a place called Handel’s, which has been written up in National Geographic as one of the best ice cream shops IN THE WORLD. Some Handel’s locations have $1 scoop days, and if you are willing to wait in line with half the population of Southern California, it’s one of the best deals – best things – ever – on a hot summer night. I am too afraid of the crowds, however, and gladly pay $2 per scoop with only a 10 minute way during the normal price days.
I’ll be the first to pay extra for organic, handmade, artisanal ice cream that tastes amazing. After all, ice cream is a once-in-a-while treat, and it’s not more expensive than a Starbucks drink. Your direct pay-for-happiness ratio is pretty high with ice cream, in my humble opinion. But I probably wouldn’t hand over my money for something that’s more gimmicky or designer. A blogger, All That Glitters, mentioned a designer ice cream shop called Ice Cream Lab in Beverly Hills that cost $5 for a 5 oz. ”small” and concludes it was pretty expensive. I agree - $5 can get me a pint of Haagan Daaz!
It’s cheaper to just buy a pint of ice cream, even from a smaller shop, than buying scoops. But I’ve discovered – the hard way – that I can’t keep pints in my fridge. They’d all be gone in a day.