‘Our peach ice cream is complex’: Graeter’s, other businesses highlight popular summer treat

The height of summer in the midwest often means high temperatures, high humidity, and a high chance of an afternoon thunderstorm.

For many an escape from the weather comes in a hand-dipped scoop of peach ice cream.

“I eat it straight,” said Bob Graeter, Vice President at Graeter’s Ice Cream. “I love the taste. You get the essence of fresh peach and it is so perfect.”

Graeter would know about peach ice cream given his family has been serving it at their ice cream stores for more than 100 years.

“Peach is one of the original flavors,” said Graeter, a fourth generation member of the family that started selling ice cream in 1870 in Cincinnati.

“My grandfather would go out to local farms and harvest peaches, peel them, pit them, slice them and place them in wax paper lined barrels and then move them into cold storage,” Graeter said.

The peaches in those barrels would be added to the ice cream that was hand-crafted in French Pots in the late 1800s.

The process has evolved since then, but the results are the same.

“Our peach ice cream is complex,” Graeter said. “There are three elements to the flavor: a peach base made for us from peach puree, infused IQF (individually quick-frozen) peach pieces special for us, and a peach flavor top note that adds back the freshness you sometimes lose in the process.”

Graeter’s uses Freestone peaches, which have a red center you can see in the pieces in a scoop of the ice cream.

“The red centers have a sweetness and we think those make a better product,” Graeter said.

In addition to a hand-dipped cone, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with a peach shake or peach sundae.

Graeter’s Peach ice cream is available seasonally starting in June until the supply runs one. You can purchase it at all 55 Graeter’s retail locations, Kroger stores, Jungle Jim’s and Dorothy Lane Market. You can also order it online and have it shipped.

Other local ice cream shops also serve up scoops of peach in the summer.

United Dairy Farmers serves Homemade brand peach ice cream in all of its more than 200 retail stores.

“Peach is always one of our most anticipated summer favorites and our top selling flavor,” said Mark Wilson, corporate head of human resources for UDF.

UDF offers the peach flavor in a dip, a shake or a sundae. There is also a special peach smoothie available at certain locations and a Peaches N Cream donut.

“We think it will be a new favorite for those who love a filled donut,” Wilson said.

The Village Parlor ice cream shop features a peach ice cream at its Lebanon and Hamilton locations.

Like Graeter’s and UDF it also is a wildly popular flavor on hot days and evenings.

“The peach ice cream is almost like a peach cobbler filling with chunks of peaches in the vanilla cream base,” said Maura Chambers, a server at the original Village Parlor location in Lebanon.

The Village Parlor version comes from Johnson’s Real Ice Cream located in central Ohio. Village Parlor makes its own waffle cones and serves the peach in scoops, in waffle cones, and also offers a double dip soda version.

“The peach is one of most popular flavors and we carry it starting in June until we run out,” Chambers said.

Where to buy

Graeter’s Ice Cream

Where: 55 locations including West Chester, Liberty Twp., and Oxford

Online: graeters.com

United Dairy Farmers

Where: 200 locations in 3 states including Hamilton, Middletown, Fairfield, Oxford, Lebanon

Online: udfinc.com

Village Parlor Ice Cream

Where: 22 S. Broadway St., Lebanon or 304 Main St. Hamilton

Online: villageparlor.com

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