Okay, I admit it: I love ice cream. So sue me. I’d rather eat it than sip a fancy merlot, eat hoity-toity food, or swill back a couple of cold ones. At times, I try and sneak some out of the freezer before dinner, a habit of which my wife is quite adept at discovering. The telltale signs of drops on my t-shirt or the bit I didn’t quite clean at the corners of my mouth are dead giveaways. When I’m subjected to her skilled prosecution, I usually break under the cross-examination.
Still, my theory is that I am not alone and that there are millions of you out there who have the same obsession. Along with magazines like Cigar Aficionado, why isn’t there an Ice Cream Aficionado? Well, I for one am going to do my part by revealing my all-time top five list. The downside? You might have to spend a small fortune to travel to some of these places and put on a few pounds in the process, but how can you put a price on memories like these?
#5 Leopold’s Ice Cream, Savannah, Georgia
I knew there was something special about this Savannah ice cream hot spot when I first walked in. There’s a black marble soda fountain, wooden telephone booth, and a bunch of movie props lining the walls. As it turns out, one of the current owners is a big-time producer from Hollywood who, like me, happens to love ice cream.
The Leopold family has been making homemade ice cream and sauces from scratch since 1919. All of their flavors are made from top secret recipes in small batches. Legend has it that their Tutti Frutti flavor was the inspiration for the song of the same name by Johnny Mercer, a loyal customer of Leopold’s. Their chocolate-chocolate chip ice cream with hot fudge was, well, heaven. Do you suppose they will have ice cream there by the way? Who knows, but this is as close as you will get here on earth.
#4 Moomers Homemade Ice Cream, Traverse City, Michigan
Voted the Best Ice Cream Shop in America by the viewers of Good Morning America, Moomers is located just outside of town and worth the drive. Started by a first-grade teacher in 1998, this family business now serves more than 120 flavors and has lines queuing up in the summertime for their cold, creamy confections. My favorite was the Cherries Moobilee, made with black cherry ice cream, chocolate fudge, cherries, and bits of chocolate brownie — not for the calorie conscious faint of heart, I admit, but then, I am a professional!