|A blurry beacon of brumal bounty.|
Graeter's has many shops, but we targeted this particular location because it offered free self-guided tours of the factory. Driving up, it was immediately clear that the parlor might actually be larger than the factory. Still, after a painstaking amount of consideration was put into sampling and ordering, the tour provided all the information I needed to better understand the happy dance happening in my mouth. Here, I'll let you copy my notes:
Their ice cream is made using the French Pot process, which is a small-batch method similar to home ice cream makers. The main benefit of this inefficient process is a denser, creamier ice cream with less air whipped into it. Tasting the product, I couldn't deny that the texture of Graeter's ice cream was different, smoother and more stuck to itself. But even better than the texture of the ice cream was that of the chocolate chips. I read that instead of using solid chunks of chocolate, Graeter's pours in liquid chocolate. By doing this, the chocolate chips in flavors like Black Raspberry Chip (my favorite) and Chocolate Chocolate Chip are soft, yielding and far more flavorful than the chalky snap of most chocolate chunks.
After my foray into speed learning, I treated myself to a second helping of ice cream, effectively making myself both the last and next-to-last customer before closing for the evening. As we made our exit, Boren and I pumped some Kanye and sped our way to Akron.