As if ice cream makers needed help attracting customers in the midst of the summer heat, the fact that July is National Ice Cream Month gives people the excuse to indulge in some frozen treats. First instituted by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, the monthlong celebration is the perfect opportunity for a stop by local ice cream shops like Penn State’s Berkey Creamery and the Meyer Dairy Store.
Anyone planning to make their first visit of the summer to the Berkey Creamery will find a new flavor among Alumni Swirl, Peachy Paterno and the other Penn State-themed staples on the menu. Officially unveiled on May 22, Russ “Digs” Roseberry is the latest flavor named after a member of the university, women’s volleyball head coach Russ Rose.
The Creamery describes the flavor as “strawberry ice cream with black raspberry, raspberry sauce and dark chocolate.”
Another popular ice cream maker in the State College area is the Meyer Dairy Store. The dairy, located on South Atherton Street, offers dozens of flavors as well as a full food menu. Guests can eat their ice cream in the dining area or, like at the Creamery, pick up a half gallon of their favorite flavor to go.
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People don’t always have to travel to where the ice cream is made. Companies like Funky Freezer Inc. have trucks that deliver ice cream treats to neighborhoods throughout Centre County. Matt Haag, the company’s owner, said that National Ice Cream Month falls right in the middle of their busiest time of year.
“Our busiest season is from June to August, and snow cones tend to be our biggest overall seller,” Haag said.
Ice cream makers and companies like Funky Freezer Inc. certainly have their fair share of repeat customers.
“We have daily routes that we frequent every week,” Haag said. “People will call us if for some reason we (don’t show up) in their neighborhood on the day we are supposed to. Some of our customers even have it down to the hour on the day that they know we will be (there).”
We asked several local residents and students about their favorite ice cream spot, and besides a few mentions of chains like Dairy Queen and Cold Stone Creamery, the Berkey Creamery and Meyer Dairy were the names that kept coming up. However, anyone venturing outside of the State College area will find other options, including The Bellefonte Twist. Of course, there are also ice cream alternatives like frozen yogurt.
Despite the name, frozen yogurt has a lot in common with ice cream. In fact, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, the only difference between the two is the small amount of egg yolk added to frozen yogurt. Regardless of the similarity, most frozen yogurt makers claim their products have less fat than ice cream while still retaining much of the taste.
Frozen yogurt seems popular enough in Centre County. In State College alone, people can get the treat at Kiwi Frozen Yogurt, Sweet Frog and Yogurt Express.
Between local favorites, national franchises and alternatives like frozen yogurt, there are a variety of choices for anyone in Centre County looking to participate in National Ice Cream Month. However, according to a study conducted by Baskin-Robbins in honor of last year’s celebration, a person’s choice of ice cream flavor may be more significant than where they choose to get that ice cream.
For example, the study suggests that “If your favorite flavor is vanilla, you’re more likely to be impulsive, easily suggestible and an idealist.” On the other hand, chocolate lovers are “more likely to be dramatic, lively, charming, flirtatious, seductive and gullible.”
The reliability of this study remains to be seen, but the results shouldn’t stop anyone who wants to celebrate National Ice Cream Month by trying out a new flavor or sticking with a trusted favorite.