SALT LAKE CITY — Ten weeks and 10 ice cream shops later, our Wasatch Front Ice Cream Tour has come to a close.
From the end of June through Labor Day, I visited shops from Brigham City to Provo, sampling each shop’s most popular flavors and getting a read on what each shop is about.
My tour really only scratched the surface of what Utah’s ice cream scene has to offer, and if we had the time, we would have loved to do a statewide tour but, alas, there’s more work to get done than eat ice cream.
If I learned anything from this tour, it’s that the Wasatch Front isn’t suffering from a lack of top-notch ice cream shops. I would readily go back to almost every shop on the tour, and each had its own strengths.
But there was one shop that proved to be the ice cream of the crop.
And the winner is … (insert drumroll here) … Wasatch Creamery!
For anyone who has been following the tour, you may remember that I did not give any of the stops 4 out of 4 scoops, but that is an error I must now amend. I was admittedly a little gun shy to award the big 4 out of 4, but as the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. Wasatch Creamery deserves kudos, so I’m amending their previous 3 out of 4 scoop score to be 4 out of 4.
The ice cream company specializes in small batches of artisan ice cream, and the obvious care put into each batch creates a high-quality, perfectly creamy, flavorful product that was unmatched at any of the other stops along the tour.
It is easy to see why their most popular flavors have won over customers. The lavender-blueberry had a fresh taste, and the salted Oreo was addicting.
The company’s focus is clearly quality over quantity. A single scoop there is certainly on the smaller side compared to what the same amount of money ($4 for a single scoop and $6 for a double) would get you elsewhere on the tour, but it’s worth it.
Perhaps my only complaint is that Wasatch Creamery doesn’t have a storefront but instead sells its product at farmer's markets along the Wasatch Front. While it is unfortunate that this makes the ice cream less accessible on a daily basis, the format is a large part of what gives Wasatch Creamery its appeal and preserves the quality of its product.
Best chocolate flavor — Farr Better Ice Cream’s chocolate peanut butter: Farr’s chocolate peanut butter is the stuff dreams are made of, which is saying something because I don’t generally gravitate toward desserts with peanut butter and chocolate. The chocolate ice cream base was perfectly sweet, smooth and creamy, and each bite had plenty of melt-in-your-mouth peanut butter slivers.
Best fruity flavor — Mrs. Cavanaugh’s strawberry ice cream: I’ve had my fair share of strawberry ice cream, but Mrs. Cavanaugh’s is by far the best I’ve ever tasted. A complaint I often have with strawberry ice cream is the strawberry chunks tend to be too large and too frozen, but this wasn’t the case with Mrs. Cavanaugh’s. The strawberry base flavor was creamy and the chunks frequent but not overpowering, creating the perfect balance.
Most unique flavor — Rockwell Ice Cream’s Muddy Buddy: On the whole, Rockwell’s menu had some of the most unique flavors of the tour, including the Muddy Buddy ice cream, which has a milk chocolate base (which in reality tastes more like dark chocolate) with subtle peanut butter swirls and Chex Muddy Buddy treats mixed in.
Best bang for your buck — Big Scoops Creamery: The process for Big Scoops’ ice cream is similar to Cold Stone Creamery, but the local store’s final product is much better. And if mix-ins are your thing, a stop at Big Scoops is a must, not only because of the number of options available but also because of the generous quantity put in each scoop. Single scoops are $3.89, and the portions are very large. The product is smooth, creamy and not at all grainy, a texture that is likely achieved thanks to each batch being made in-house, and for only 75 cents more, you can get a delicious house-made waffle cone, which come in vanilla, chocolate or cinnamon flavor.
And yes, before I get a million comments and emails pointing out and lamenting that I forgot your favorite university creamery, that was on purpose. Stay tuned for a battle between BYU Creamery and Aggie Ice Cream in time for the teams to duke it out on the football field at the end of the month.
Mrs. Cavanaugh’s: 3 out of 4
Tropical Dreams Hawaiian Creamery: 2 out of 4
Nielsen's Frozen Custard: 3 out of 4
Peach City: 1 out of 4
Farr Better Ice Cream: 3 out of 4
Wasatch Creamery: 4 out of 4
Big Scoops Creamery: 3 out of 4
Leatherby's Family Creamery: 2.5 out of 4
Rockwell Ice Cream: 3 out of 4
Roll With It Creamery: 2.5 out of 4