People are always looking to get a taste of a city before they go there—that’s why things like travel guides and websites are so popular. The Movoto Real Estate bloggers were recently wondering what it would be like to get a literal taste of some of the biggest cities in the United States. Don’t worry—we’re not talking about licking pavement or anything gross like that. No, we’ve come up with an original ice cream flavor for 10 popular metros that you can whip up at home or ask for at your favorite shop.
Tapping Into a City’s TastesIn order to concoct these flavors, we had to hunker down and work as a team to come up with some attributes we felt best reflect the cities, but could also actually translate into taste. So, while it was similar in a way to our process for picking fonts to represent various American cities, it was also pretty different. After all, there’s really no flavor for things like “historic” or “hip.”
Our list of cities was decided on as a group to reflect the regional, cultural, and culinary diversity of the country. For a starting point, we turned to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 population estimates, a resource we call upon frequently for our Big Deal Lists, and drew from the top 100 cities.
For each city, we’ve included our suggested base ice cream, mix-ins, and toppings, along with our rationale behind choosing them. So finish all your dinner, grab a spoon, and let’s dig in.
Ice Cream Flavor: Cherry
Mix-ins: Rum-soaked candied cherries
Toppings: Molasses cookie pieces
Our pick of cherry ice cream and rum-soaked candied cherries was inspired by the many cherry trees found in our nation’s capital. We topped it with molasses cookie pieces as a nod to the Molasses Act of 1733, which placed a steep tax on molasses imported from non-British colonies in the run-up to the American Revolution.
Ice Cream Flavor: Sweet cream
Mix-ins: Roasted peaches
Toppings: Fresh mint
Few state fruits are as well-known as Georgia’s peach, so we worked that in, only roasted to really punch up the flavor. Cream obviously goes great with peaches, but what about the mint? It’s a nod to the South’s signature drink, the mint julep.
Ice Cream Flavor: Ghirardelli chocolate
Mix-ins: Reese’s Pieces
Toppings: Marshmallow fluff
Iconic chocolatier Ghirardelli is based in based in our home city, so using ice cream flavored with its cocoa was a non-brainer. The chocolatey, peanut buttery Reese’s Pieces were picked because of their similarity to the colors of the SF Giants. The marshmallow fluff? It represents the fog that blankets the City by the Bay on an almost daily basis.
Ice Cream Flavor: Coffee
Mix-ins: Sprinkled donut pieces
Toppings: Salted caramel sauce
It’s Seattle’s favorite drink in frozen form, plus pieces of a pastry that compliment it perfectly. We’d get the donuts from Top Pot, a favorite of President Barack Obama. The topping’s inspired by the famous salted caramels from local sweet shop Fran’s Chocolates.
Ice Cream Flavor: Graeter’s Salted Caramel
Mix-ins: Papa’s Opera Cream candies
Toppings: Busken Bakery frosted cookie crumbs
We got hooked on Graeter’s ice cream after our very first bite and think this Cincinnati original’s salted caramel could get even better with the addition of Papa’s chocolatey Opera cream eggs. Top top it off, one of Busken Bakery’s trademark smiley face frosted cookies—crumbled, but still sure to put a grin on your mug.
Ice Cream Flavor: Amy’s Mexican vanilla
Mix-ins: Lammes candies pecan pralines
Toppings: Dr. Pepper cherry syrup
We took the Mexican Vanilla from Amy’s in Austin (it’s like regular vanilla with a kick), mixed in Lammes pecan pralines, and made it suitably weird by topping it with a sauce made by Texas-native Dr. Pepper. This stuff is like chocolate mixed with the popular soda and, while it sounds funky, it’s delicious and totally unique.
Ice Cream Flavor: Cheesecake
Mix-ins: Dutch apple pie
Toppings: Confetti sprinkles
The Big Apple’s new signature dessert clearly needs to have apples in it, and these have a Dutch twist (Manhattan was once New Amsterdam, after all). New York is also renowned for cheesecakes like the ones from Junior’s, so its creamy, cheesy goodness serves as our base. The confetti sprinkles represent New Year’s Eve in Times Square.
Ice Cream Flavor: Irish cream
Mix-ins: Boston Baked Beans candies
Toppings: Boston cream pie crumbs
Boston’s Irish heritage was the inspiration for our use of Bailey’s Irish Cream ice cream. We thought real baked beans would be kinda gross mixed in, so we went with the (much sweeter) classic chocolate and peanut candies of the same name. On top, we crumbled up some Boston cream pie from local favorite Mike’s Pastry.
Ice Cream Flavor: Orange cream
Mix-ins: Waffle cone pieces
Toppings: Key lime mousse
Orange County, home of Orlando, produces most of the country’s citrus, so using orange as our base flavor was a given. Waffle cone pieces represent the carnival atmosphere of the city’s many theme parks, and the dessert is topped with Florida’s trademark key lime in mousse form.
Ice Cream Flavor: Blueberry cheesecake
Mix-ins: Golden Grahams
Toppings: Blueberry muffin crumbles
Our final flavor is inspired by Minnesota’s growing—and love—of blueberries. In fact, its state muffin (yes, there’s such a thing) is blueberry, so we crumbled that on top. Mixed into the blueberry cheesecake ice cream is Golden Grahams cereal made by Minneapolis-based General Mills.
What’s Your Flavor?
If you’d like to print out our infographic to take with you to your favorite ice cream shop or stick on your fridge, click here. And, if you’ve got some ideas for flavors based on your home town, be sure to share them with us in the comments below for the cone-sideration of others.
Who is Movoto Real Estate, you might ask? Movoto is an online real estate brokerage based in San Mateo, CA. Our blog has been recognized for its unique approach to city-based research by major news organizations around the world such as Forbes and CBS News.