When it comes to ice cream, do you go with a favorite (like chocolate, for me), or do you go out on a limb and try the signature flavor?
When hopping around Virginia in search of great ice cream, here are a few you should sample.
- Carl’s Signature Neon Cone at Carl’s Frozen Custard in Fredericksburg. They’ve been featured on the Food Network (wink, wink).
- It’s homemade, delicious goodness at Preston’s Restaurant at The Inn at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Their special ice cream creation is well-known as a hallmark of their menu.
- Go for dessert first at Skyland off Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. The mountain-high Blackberry Ice Cream Pie is unmatched.
- It’s a sweet treat long sought from Zynodoa in Staunton … the mint ice cream! Depending on what’s fresh locally, Chef Harris (formerly of The Inn at Little Washington) offers it deliciously. Try making it yourself!
2 quarts heavy cream 2 quarts + 2 cups whole milk
2 cups sugar 20 egg yolks
one large bunch of fresh spearmint, washed
Mix egg yolks with half of the sugar and whip to ribbons. Heat cream, milk, mint leaves and remaining sugar until it scalds. Cool hot cream mixture to 140 degrees; strain mint leaves. Temper this liquid into the egg mixture (by adding a small amount of hot liquid at a time, while stirring vigorously). Put in double boiler and heat to 170 degrees. Strain mixture into bowl with ice bath. Once chilled, refrigerate mixture for 24 hours. Pour into ice cream maker and proceed according to directions.
When you dine the traditional way (ahem, dessert last), then maybe a soup or appetizer comes first. If so, try these …
- The peanut soup at Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke is renowned. In fact, they’ve recently shared the recipe with the world after holding it close to the vest for a long time.
2 quarts chicken broth 1 pint peanut butter
1 small onion, diced 1/2 cup ground peanuts
1/4 pound butter 1/3 tsp. celery salt
2 ribs celery, diced 1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. flour 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Melt butter in a stockpot and add onion and celery. Saute for five minutes. Do not allow to brown. Add flour and mix well. Add hot chicken broth and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from stove, strain and add peanut butter, celery salt, salt and lemon juice. Sprinkle ground peanuts on soup just before serving. Serves 10. Roanoke.com
- City Dock at Sheraton Norfolk Waterside boasts yummy Chesapeake Bay crab cakes. Check them out and see what all the fuss is about. (Psst, they received a People’s Choice Award through Taste of East Beach for those crab cakes in 2010.)
What establishment’s signature flavor is your favorite? Share with us, and find more great eats at Virginia.org.