By Nicholas Chimera ‘19
I scream—you scream—we all scream for ice cream! Nothing seems to be more American than ice cream. This wonderful, creamy dessert can satiate any sweet tooth and settle down anyone feeling stressed. But what makes ice cream so great?
To answer that question, I considered the characteristics of ice cream I have not enjoyed in the past. Sometimes it would melt too quickly and sometimes it could take far too long to soften up. And, of course, nothing’s more devastating than licking a scoop of ice cream coated in freezer burn.
It’s hard to mess up ice cream. I myself have made ice cream at home and
it more or less consists of milk, heavy cream, sugar, French vanilla, sometimes eggs, and then whatever flavoring is desired. I personally love making a mango ice cream.
Despite the varying opinions on flavors, everyone should be able to agree on the qualities that trademark a quality ice cream cone. The two ice cream places closest to Brother Rice that I considered to be the best were Culver’s and Andy’s Frozen Custard. Let’s look at the pros and cons.
Both ice cream stores offer a sweet dessert with a variety of toppings. At Culver’s, you can add candy, fruits, nuts, and syrups to your ice cream. Andy’s has a similar list of options, but when it comes down to it, Andy’s is simply more expensive. For example, a regular turtle sundae costs $5.38 and the large costs $6.44. In contrast, a one-scoop turtle sundae at Culver’s costs $3.79, while their 3 scoop costs $5.29. Thus, the largest sized turtle sundae at Culver’s costs almost as much as the regular size at Andy’s.
At Culver’s, you’re obviously getting more bang for your buck, but does that necessarily mean you’re getting a higher quality treat at Andy’s? I think not. You see, at Andy’s, it can take quite a while for your ice cream or concrete mixer to melt down to a suitable consistency for licking or scooping. This means, once you have your ice cream, it could take nearly 10 to 15 minutes just for the ice cream to reach the point where you can actually push your spoon through it. I call this period “waiting in ice cream hell,” where you can only look at the ice cream and have no choice but to drool over the tasty treat that lies before you, unable to crack a piece off the glacier of frozen cream. This is the number one issue with Andy’s Frozen Custard–consistency. In delicious contrast, Culver’s ice cream will be ready as soon as it comes out. I usually eat the turtle sundae with my meal, and I have never discovered an issue with it melting too fast.
So, there we have it. Both ice creams taste about the same, with Andy’s likely leading in that area. However, when it comes to pricing and consistency, Culver’s ice cream wins out. And as a plus, you can enjoy a few cheese curds while you’re there.
But wait, just one minute. There’s one last twist we didn’t consider—Baskin Robbins. Baskin Robbins sweeps away the competition with its ingenious logo, combining the 31 with the B and R for Baskin Robbins. This ice cream shop not only shares a common abbreviation with Brother Rice, but also blows Andy’s and Culver’s away with its sheer quantity of flavors.
Now, it should be noted that Baskin Robbins does not offer toppings, nor does it offer the same creamy texture as Andy’s and Culver’s. So, if you’re looking for a new flavor, go to Baskin Robbins, but if you want something traditional and high quality, go to Culver’s. Finally, however, if you’re willing to spend the extra money for the ambiance of an archetypal ice cream store, then Andy’s is the place for you. The choice is yours. Now go out there and eat some ice cream!