Everyone needs a summer project; a goal to work toward over the hottest months of the year; a plan that will give meaning to an otherwise lazy series of days. I considered this question carefully and arrived at the most obvious answer: visit as many ice cream shops as possible in search of the best Mint Chocolate Chip Ice cream. This is a super-timely search because July is National Ice Cream Month. Convenient, right?
You might be wondering: why Mint Chocolate Chip? Mainly, because it’s my all-time favorite flavor, and because most shops offer an option that combines mint and chocolate. I’m willing to consider gelato, shakes, and 'novelties', but ice cream is really what I’m after.
My second stop on this delicious adventure was Sundaes and Cones in the East Village. Based on the information I had going in my hopes were high, perhaps too high. S&C calls their flavor Mint Chocolate Chip, but information on the formulation and process was, ummm, non-existent. Color me suspicious. I found myself underwhelmed and the ratings tell the tale…
The Scientific Part:
The five criteria are Flavor and then the four “Cs” - Color, Creaminess, Chips, and Charm. I wish I could come up with a cool acronym, but I'm stumped.
I like a little kitsch matched with great ingredients, so my preference is for pale green ice cream with intense mint flavor and deep dark chocolate shavings. Yes, I realize that this doesn’t make them ‘chips’ per se, but then they’re more smoothly incorporated with the ice cream. I’m giving extra points for a whimsical setting or special experience.
Flavor – strong, syrupy minty-ness. I doubt this was achieved naturally. (1 of 5)
Color – bright green color that leapt across the line too far into kitsch for me (2 of 5)
Creaminess – almost fluffy?, but still nice and smooth (3 of 5)
Chips – large shavings of semi-sweet chocolate (4 of 5)
Charm – not much effort put into the shop itself, but cute benches out front (1 of 5)
Total Score: 11/25