Some of you are probably wondering what ice cream has to do with AASL 2015? Ice cream and libraries have a lot in common. Ice cream makes me think of my first job as a “super scooper” at Baskin Robbins…I loved my first job. When people came into the store they were often happily faced with their most difficult decisions of the day…What flavor? How many scoops? Sugar cone or cake cone? Watching people overwhelmed by the array of choices as they set about choosing their ice cream puts me in mind of watching students browsing for books. I like to think of libraries as the Baskin Robbins (or Graeters or Jeni’s) of the mind. Also, can you think of a better topic for hands-on research?
When people ask me about where I work, I tell them my school is in the middle of a cornfield. While the cornfield is a slight exaggeration, we do have a Drive Your Tractor to School Day every year. My small town school district is just a short drive north of Columbus, but worlds away. Forbes ranks Columbus number 3 in technology jobs and in January the Intelligent Community Forum named Columbus to the world’s Top7 Intelligent Communities for the third year in a row. Still, this high tech city is firmly rooted in the heart of Ohio and Ohio has one of the strongest dairy industries in the country. Columbus is surrounded by farmland and cows and Columbus has amazing ice cream. If you are an ice cream enthusiast, connoisseur, gourmet or gourmand, this November you will be coming to the RIGHT place.
This research project definitely requires hands-on research and direct interaction with primary sources.
Looking for exotic and unique ice cream flavors that are surprising and delicious? Across from the Convention Center in the North Market is Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. In 2002, the North Market became the original home of Jeni’s. In less than fifteen years, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream has achieved a national reputation for excellent ice cream. Start browsing the current flavors at: https://jenis.com/flavors/all-flavors/.
In 2002, Oprah Winfrey named Graeter’s “absolutely the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted…” Nearly 150 years ago, Graeter’s ice cream was started in Cincinnati and it is still being made in two-gallon batches. The resulting ice cream is so dense and air free that it can only be hand packed. While a typical pint of ice cream weighs around 8 ounces, a pint of Graeters weighs around a pound. One of the things that makes Graeter’s chocolate chip ice cream flavors special, are the huge chunks of melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. These chips are created by pouring liquid chocolate into the nearly finished ice cream. Then the paddles that stir the ice cream, break the newly swirled and frozen chocolate into sometimes HUGE chunks. Graeter’s has ten locations in the Columbus area. http://www.graeters.com/neighborhood-locations. Explore Graeter’s flavors by opening the various tabs at http://www.graeters.com/shop-online/all-flavors.
Do you prefer a softer, but still rich and creamy cold treat? You must be a fan of soft serve. Just a few blocks and nice walk north of the Convention Center on High Street, you will find a Whit’s Frozen Custard. The first week of November Whit’s will have their usual chocolate and vanilla custards. Their featured flavor the week of conference will be Pumpkin Pecan. The first Whit’s Frozen Custard was opened in 2003 in Central Ohio and now they have twenty-three locations. You can read descriptions of the Whit’s flavors at: http://www.whitscustard.com/monthlyflav.aspx. Don’t despair if you are intrigued by a flavor other than the week’s featured flavors, you will find a variety flavors available in hand packed quarts in the store’s freezer case. (btw… You will pass Le Chocoholique as you walk to Whit’s https://www.facebook.com/ShortNorthChocolate .)
If you are driving into Ohio, there are many other note-worthy purveyors of ice cream you might want to check out. Here are just a few…
Near Dayton, visit Young’s Jersey Dairy. http://youngsdairy.com
If you travel via Cleveland, don’t miss Mitchell’s Ice Cream. http://mitchellshomemade.com
Findlay, Ohio is known for Dietsch Brothers Ice Cream, which is highly acclaimed by tripadvisor. http://dietschs.com
If you travel near Utica, you will want to stop at Velvet’s Ye Old Mill for ice cream. http://velveticecream.com/visit
Find yourself in Delaware (just north of Columbus) in the evening? Be sure to stop in at Ollies for a scoop or two! http://www.meetatollies.com/menu/