Cincinnati · Food

I Scream for Ice Cream

I’ve been waiting years to try Graeter’s ice cream.

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I learned about Graeter’s when I was an intern at 417 Magazine back in 2010. While there, my fellow editorial intern was assigned a story about the Cincinnati-based ice cream company, which was, at that time, making an appearance in Dillon’s grocery stores in Springfield, Mo. I never made it over to Dillon’s to pick up a pint, but when I found out we were moving to Cincinnati, Graeter’s is all I could think about.

We finally ventured to Graeter’s last night and my ice cream dreams were fulfilled.

I played it a little safe and went for the coffee flavor. I wasn’t disappointed, even though it was simple (compared to some of Graeter’s other flavors). The ice cream was smooth, which is exactly the way ice cream should be. Like custard, it was a bit denser than your run-of-the-mill Blue Bunny or Edy’s, but that didn’t deter me from eating it (sometimes, dairy products don’t sit well with me). The best part about it though was the lingering taste of coffee on my tongue — it was almost as if I had drank a cup of coffee.

Graeter’s began in the mid 1800s when Louis Charles Graeter started making ice cream in Sycamore Hill. His wife, Regina, was the one to actually open the first Graeter’s ice cream parlor in the 1920s. Today, there are over a dozen Graeter’s ice cream parlors in the Cincinnati area, including Regina’s first store in Hyde Park. (Locations outside of Cincinnati include Columbus, Dayton, northern Kentucky, Lexington and Louisville.)

Not only does Graeter’s have a long-standing history, but it’s also made in a rather unique way. The French pot process gently folds the cream and egg custard to prevent air bubbles. That’s why the ice cream is so dense and creamy — a normal pint of ice cream weights about eight ounces, but a pint of Graeter’s weighs in at a pound. And, every pint is hand-packed.

I’m not the only person who loves Graeter’s: Oprah is known to have pints shipped to her!


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