Sugar Rush: Pineapple-Orange Soft Serve at Nokomis Groves in Nokomis, FL
Have you ever discovered a place that has amazing sweets—and feel equally happy and sad that you don't live closer? That sums up my feelings about the citrus soft serve at Nokomis Groves: on one hand, I'm bummed that I can't eat it every day, but I'm also relieved, because if I lived within striking distance, I'd have no choice.
Located a few miles away from the beach town of Venice, Florida, this ice cream shop attached to a citrus grove is open year-round. I visited outside of growing season, but from November through March, you can grab a bag of fresh-picked citrus, including ruby star grapefruits, honey tangerines, or Navel oranges along with your cone (details here).
As far as flavors go, they've got the standard chocolate and vanilla, plus lime, orange, and pineapple. Any two flavors can be swirled together in a cone or cup. Vanilla-orange is the most popular flavor combination (and during my visit, that's what 90 percent of people ordered), but I'd still go for the pineapple-orange. By itself, the orange already has a sweet, vanilla tinge to it, so the pineapple brings a refreshing acidity and some contrast. If you like your citrus more sweet than tangy, by all means, go for the vanilla swirl.
The smooth ice cream is at the perfect midway point between soft-serve, sorbet, and frozen yogurt. It's creamy, but doesn't melt as quickly as soft serve, has the flavor impact of sorbet (without being icy), and has a texture and tang similar to tart frozen yogurt. You can see how it could quite easily take over your life.
About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her San Diego food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax