Graeter's makes you realize just how good ice cream can be. The one Graeter's flaw: location, location, location. The regional company is based out of Cincinnati, Ohio and all of their stores and most of their distribution, until recently*, has been concentrated in the tri-state area of Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. And while they do ship, making the kind of space for the 6 pint minimum order hasn't been a realistic option in my apartment-sized freezer.
At its core, all ice cream is the same: eggs, cream, sugar, and air. The quantity of these basic ingredients, the mixing process, and additives, however, dramatically affects the quality of the final product. Low-end brands reduce their costs by whipping more air into their ice cream—as much as 50% of the final product can be air. The lower the percentage of air in ice cream, the richer and creamier it is. Graeter's, if anything, is leading the pack in the rich and creamy department. A recent tour of this fourth generation family-run business revealed just what it takes to create a top-notch boutique ice cream.
* Graeter's recent wholesale expansion efforts are rapidly growing their national availability. This is good news indeed. Check online to find a grocery store near you that sells Graeter's ice cream.