Triple digit heat is around the corner, and we're more thankful now than ever that artisan ice cream shops are on the rise.
Which shops will you be visiting to keep cool this summer? Need help deciding? Chow Bella is here to help.
In One Corner: Churn 5223 N Central Ave, Phoenix, (602) 279-8024
Churn is the new kid on the ice cream block, making sure the hipsters of CenPho stay cool. Their style is simple and charming, as are the half dozen or so flavors they're scooping out. You can get it any way you like it--in a cup served with an old fashioned wooden spoon, in a cone (waffle, sugar, pretzel), or sandwiched between two freshly baked cookies. And there are plenty of toppings on hand.
Pros: The flavors are intensely rich. Vanilla isn't just speckled with vanilla bean, it's bombarded. Each bite of peanut better ice cream is like a cool mouthful of freshly ground peanuts. The coconut ice cream is inundated with shavings of fresh coconut. Beware, your taste buds may explode.
Cons: No slow licks and savoring allowed. You might be tempted to take your time and enjoy each taste, but if your licking pace is too leisurely, you'll soon be slurping up your ice cream like soup.
Suggestion: Order the pretzel cone with one scoop of peanut butter ice cream and one scoop of chocolate ice cream. The salty/sweet combination will blow your mind.
In the Other Corner: Udder Delights 1385 E Warner Rd, Gilbert, (480) 507-3859
Opened just a few years ago by Farmer Casey and his family at Superstition Farm, Udder Delights takes the cream off the top. All first timers are required to try at least three different flavors from the two dozen available, before making a final decision. Farmer Casey's rules, and he knows best. After all, he's only been working on a dairy farm his whole life.
Pros: This ice cream is beyond creamy. Whipped and churned to perfection, each bite coats your entire mouth. The best way to delight in this udder goodness is to combine multiple flavors. Superstition + Coconut + Peanut Butter = SuperCocoButterNutty. Cinnamon + Carrot Cake + Vanilla = CinnaCarrotNillaCake. We could go on making up incredible combos for you, but we don't want to hog the fun.
Cons: The atmosphere didn't match the ice cream -- it lacked style, and the air was stuffy. Suggestion: Try the Farmers' Market ice cream. Made with seasonal fruits and vegetables, it's reminiscent of Naked juice and tastes so good, you'll want to convince yourself it's healthy enough to eat daily.
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The Verdict: A tie. You cannot go wrong with handmade ice cream made with fresh ingredients. Not convinced? See above.