Nothing Like Ice Cream From Home

by Allison Yan ’19

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What makes some ice cream better than others?

Since arriving at Harvard, I’ve realized that Cantabrigians, and Bostonians at large, sincerely appreciate their ice cream. JP Licks is a staple, a place that locals and college students alike frequent, even when the weather dips. Lizzy’s is a less bustling, more intimate alternative to JP Licks. And then there’s the lovely Toscanini’s, for the rare few who find the time to trek to Central Square.

I’m proud to say that I’ve tried them all by now. But it’s just not the same as ice cream back home.

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Cincinnati, Ohio is home to many things: an average baseball team, a slightly above-average football team, and, most importantly, Oprah Winfrey’s favorite ice cream. You read that right. Cincinnati is home to Graeter’s ice cream. Many of my fondest childhood memories are from post-event treats to Graeter’s, where I would shamelessly indulge in black raspberry chocolate chip ice cream sundaes (those were my mom’s favorite, so they had to be my favorite as well). She was very particular about her sundaes, and so was I: one scoop of black raspberry chocolate chip with whipped cream, nuts, and black raspberry syrup. She always went for a maraschino cherry on top. I never liked the taste of maraschino cherries, but since I always appreciated the aesthetic the cherry added, I would get one as well.

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Of course, my love for Graeter’s went beyond just visits to the ice cream confectionary for those sumptuous sundaes. There were rarely times when we didn’t have pints of black raspberry chocolate chip ice cream in our freezer. Post-dinner desserts always consisted of our trusty ice cream in a Graeter’s waffle cone.

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There is just something unique about Graeter’s ice cream that can’t be beat by the ice cream shops here. The way the ice cream melted in your mouth so you could chew on large chunks of chocolate chips, the heady thickness of the ice cream that would trump soft serve any day, the extra sweet flavor that made it clear that you were partaking in a special indulgence rather than some faux-healthy dessert.

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In my first months here, I felt like I missed Graeter’s almost as much as I missed my family. There’s a lot that goes into good ice cream, really. The richness of the texture, the presence of yummy extras (namely, chocolate), and, of course, the memories associated with the ice cream.

Anyone who wants to contest my claim that Graeter’s is the best should take me to JP Licks to prove otherwise.

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