it’s cold outside, and most of us probably prefer whiling away our evening hours in front of fires sipping wintry-warm bourbon or cognac to sitting on our porches eating ice cream. but jeni’s ice-cream — the divine, i-can-not-praise-it-enough jeni’s ice cream — brings you the best of both worlds.
local to columbus, jeni’s ice creams and sorbets are made in small batches and, often, from local ingredients. their black coffee ice cream is made from actual coffee from stauf’s, a columbus roaster. their butterscotch black brownie uses sugardaddy’s brownies, which beat bobby flay in food network throw-down. even their bourbon egg nog ice cream is made with midwestern saboyan, which, whatever it is, at least sounds local. ish.
but take note: this is not ice cream to waste on your children, no matter how much you love them or how precocious they are. nor is this ice cream for the unadventurous. this is ice cream for those who love dense, rich, subtle flavors. who are not afraid to jump, spoon in hand, into the unknown. so…if you are maybe the ben-and-jerry’s type although you prefer to buy closer to home, then jeni might just be your new best friend.
the list of flavors should start your salivary glands. i can personally — and giddily — vouch for the salty caramel, the queen city cayenne (like skyline for ice cream, except with chocolate where once there were beans and noodles), the thai chili, the black coffee, the goat cheese with cognac fig sauce, the blood orange, the buttercream chocolate freckles (like homemade frosting ,only better!), the torrone, and the riesling poached pear sorbet. and that’s just from one trip, where i was allowed, by staff and customers alike, to stand in front of the cold case tasting sample after sample after sample. i have been craving something exactly like the queen city cayenne since moving to cincy, and was delighted to finally find it. and the riesling poached pear sorbet? pears are getting in line to be poached, pureed, and chilled. this is seriously fun goodness.
besides being local and delish, jeni’s has two things going for it that make it truly special in our house: they ship! and they sponsor a cyclocross team.
i know it’s heresy to live here and not love graeter’s or aglamessi’s. but i don’t. don’t get me wrong — i’m very happy to have flagship locations within walking distance from my front door — but these are not ice creams that send me. but jeni’s ice cream? i’m over the moon in love.
[and while i'm at it: whole foods? shame on you. when a customer asks you if you will consider stocking something that is a high quality item, bound to sell, and locally made -- oh, you know, when a customer asks you to abide by your own values -- you should do better than to say "we don't take customer requests." even if you don't take customer requests, can't you do better than being so blatantly rude? (and why, exactly, would you not want to listen to your customers' requests? who is it, again, keeping the stores in business?) really. for shame.]
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