It’s functional. It’s economical. It’s American. But as much as I appreciate the smell of fresh waffle cones, I prefer to eat my ice cream from a dish. How odd, since I grew up near Doumar’s
Waffle, cake, cookie, sugar—cones come in many forms. Okay, maybe just four forms. To me the taste takes away from the main event, the ice cream the cone contains. Yet, it is a tradition so revered the cone taste is considered by some to be a vital part of the ice cream experience, not just a nostalgic scoop shop delight. Some companies now make flavors with cone pieces mixed in to the ice cream, such as Stephen Colbert’s Ameri-cone Dream (Ben & Jerry’s) and Caramel Cone Crunch (Häagen-Dazs).
The one occasion I have consistently sought out a cone was the summer after my freshman year college when I interned at a theatre in Chicago. One of my favorite stops was Windy City Sweets on Broadway. They had a flavor, Rainforest Crunch, which had chocolate-covered cashews! But what made this experience all the better was a dark-chocolate dipped waffle cone. Mmm…
The only other time I consider coning is when I order soft serve ice cream, in which case the only acceptable cone for this cheap excuse for ice cream is the cake cone, the cheapest quality of cone (AKA the one you get at McDonald’s).
What’s your opinion: To cone or not to cone?
P.S. Cone politics aside, I still heartily recommend Doumar’s in Norfolk, VA, one of the contenders claiming to have
first developed the ice cream cone. (There is no hard and fast evidence
to confirm anyone as the first.) Stop in for limeade, minced North Carolina-style barbecue and one of their ice cream concoctions if you’re in the ‘hood! You can also see the “original” waffle cone machine.