When it heats up, no matter which flavor is your favorite, there is a cold frozen treat that can take the edge off summer's dog days.
July is National Ice Cream Month, and rising prices don't seem to make a dent in the dessert's popularity when the sun starts blazing. There are plenty of local ice cream shops dishing out bowls and cups full of instant refreshment.
Favored flavors revealed
Everyone has different tastes with ice cream.
West New York resident Eneida Torres, the assistant manager of the Cold Stone Creamery in Hoboken, said last week that coffee, cake batter, and sweet cream are big with adult customers.
Cotton candy is biggest with the kids.
They also offer frozen drinks and smoothies, the most popular of which is "Cake and Shake" for shakes (cake batter ice cream and yellow cake with milk and sweet cream) and strawberry mango for the smoothies.
But her personal favorites are coconut and traditional vanilla.
She says that every night at 7 p.m., the lines are out the door, but mostly it's couples.
"It's mostly a date spot; it's really nice," says Torres, who says that many of them start entire conversations over the personalized ingredients.
Hoboken resident Ranier Martini said last week that he has a particular soft spot for Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia, which happens to be the company's most popular flavor. Available in both frozen yogurt and regular ice cream, it's flavored like cherry with little chocolate flakes.
"I'm normally not an ice cream fan," says Martini, who prefers drinking coffee and only indulges in ice cream "when it gets too hot."
Hobokenite Jim Supplee prefers pistachio or vanilla fudge, which he usually gets from the supermarket. But he's a social ice cream aficionado.
"I join my wife when she wants ice cream," he said.
Meanwhile, 7-year-old twins Olivia and Aidan Halstead enjoyed the Ben & Jerry's shop at 405 Washington St., Hoboken. Both are sweet on the cookie dough flavor. Olivia is also big on vanilla ice cream with sprinkles - the rainbow and chocolate combo - and like mom Caroline, she loves lemon sorbet.
Mom says Olivia would eat ice cream 365 days a week if she let her.
Olivia added, "I enjoy it like every day of the earth."
Local ice cream shop specialties
Nefty Arzola, day manager at Hoboken's Ben & Jerry's, says, "A lot of the kids like simple stuff like cookies and cream and, they like vanilla, chocolate. The older kids, they like cake batter, brownie cheesecake, Imagine Whirled Peace, which is inspired by John Lennon. A lot of college kids get shakes. Chocolate Therapy is pretty popular."
Arzola says his personal favorite is Imagine Whirled Peace, which is caramel-sweetened ice cream with swirled pieces of fudge and toffee cookie.
Laila Hammad of Hoboken, who is co-owner of Rita's Ices with her brother Shereef, personally digs cookies and cream and strawberry, and she says their most popular item is the mango-vanilla gelato, which is mango and vanilla custard layered.
Rita's popular Italian ices include the in-demand mango, cherry, and wild black cherry.
Ice is nice
But some find ice cream too sweet or too heavy. So why not try a simple ice treat that's packed with lots of flavor?
At the Ice Hut in Hoboken, manager Ashley Lovelace says the most popular ice flavors include peanut butter, chocolate, lemon, and mango. They have vanilla and chocolate ice cream, but all their products are fat free, and vanilla seems to be winning the ice cream flavor war between the two.
Lovelace says that they see the most amount of customers at night when everyone's coming out of the bars, and her favorite ice cream is vanilla while her favorite ice is chocolate.
Lovelace added that she definitely prefer ice to ice cream, believing it's better for the long, hot summer, explaining, "The ice cream is too heavy, and the ice is more refreshing."
Comments can be sent to Mpaul@hudsonreporter.com.