Stately Scoops: What Ice Cream Flavor Represents Your State?

icecreamusa.jpgIn 1986, after much petitioning on behalf of schoolchildren, the corn muffin became the official state muffin of Massachusetts. Delaware claimed crab puffs, New Jersey invented salt water taffy, and Missouri is the home of Ozark pudding. Every state, it seems, has a handful of foods to call their own. Yet out of all fifty, not a single one has an official ice cream flavor.

How can that be?

While their goals may not be as lofty as being written into legislature, Scott and Kim Myles are working hard to make ice cream with location-specific roots. They’re the creators of 5 Boroughs Ice Cream, a Queens-based company devoted to dreaming up flavors for every neighborhood in New York.

Currently there are seven kinds, including Rich White Vanilla (Upper East Side), Mangodesh (Jackson Heights), and Amaretto Amoré (Bay Ridge). I sampled the Cha Cha Chocolate (South Bronx), which was super-spicy (ice cream that burns at the back of your throat!), thanks to a generous dose of chipotle, habanero, and cinnamon.

As I sat there, carton in one hand and spoon in the other, I got to thinking: is there a single flavor that would encompass all of New York? The best I could come up with was a half-chocolate, half-vanilla combination—an ode to the black and white cookie. And how about a flavor for where I grew up, just outside of Providence, RI? While I concluded that Clam Cake Crunch wouldn't quite catch on, Frozen-Lemonade Swirl (a nod to Del's) just might be hit.

If your home state had its own ice cream, what would it be? Imagine an official, government-sanctioned flavor for each of the fifty states.

Now that's my kind of politics!

Map outline from 50states.com.

About the author: Lucy Baker is a graduate student in the writing program at Sarah Lawrence College. Before returning to school to pursue an MFA, she was an assistant cookbook editor at HarperCollins. She lives in Brooklyn and is currently obsessed with all things fennel.

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