July 21, 2024

Celebrating Wins Big and Small with Ice Cream

Reverse chocolate chip ice cream from White Farms in Ipswich. Photo by Zachary Daly.

By Zachary Daly ’18
Food Columnist

How do you celebrate life’s biggest moments?

If you answered ice cream, please read on.

Ice cream has always been there for me. After my pre-school graduation, my elementary school graduation, my middle school graduation, my high school graduation, and now hopefully my college graduation, I have been able to process the ending of one era and the beginning of another era amidst family, friends, and ice cream.

Yet, ice cream does not have to be reserved for the really big moments. Ice cream becomes a way to celebrate even the mediocre moments in life. Cue the many times that my parents took my brothers and I out to get ice cream after subpar high school concerts, or when they made a deal with us that anytime an adult complimented our behavior they would reward us with a trip to Dairy Queen.

Also, I cannot even count the number of times my friends and I just needed to celebrate getting through a rough week of procrastination and chose ice cream.

Ice cream is versatile. The beauty is that it can help you celebrate both the biggest moments of life and the smallest victories.

In light of this, I’m dedicating my final undergraduate food column to ice cream.

*insert “How I Met Your Mother” quote: “It is going to be Legen- wait for it, [and I hope that you are not lactose intolerant because the second part is]… dairy. Legendary.”*

Now that you have either a life altering moment, or at least a small victory in mind, let us get to work and decide where this sugary and blessed moment will take place.

Living on the North Shore you have a near endless possibility of places to go.

Initially, Captain Dusty’s comes to mind. They have three locations, great flavors and wonderful service. This is also the first place that I, and many other Gordon College students, got ice cream for the first time as freshman.

The nostalgic factor is high, but I wanted to push the envelope. Where else have students ventured to for that lactose high?

Unearthing a vibrant ice cream scene, that I did not know existed at Gordon, I was overwhelmed. When posing the question in various focus groups the crowds became rowdy: fingers pointing, heavy breathing, growling stomachs. It was clear. The people wanted to be heard. They wanted to express their love for THAT special place that they have found.

Yet, a more refined voice reached me over the din of amateurs. Professor Irv Levy, in the chemistry department, gave me two great suggestions that just could not be omitted:

  • The reverse chocolate chip at White Farms in Ipswich
  • The salted caramel heath at Cherry Farms in Danvers .

Both are excellent. Both are fantastic. Both deserve your visit.

Personally, I was able to spontaneously try a new ice cream shop called Down River Ice Cream at the Essex/Ipswich line. While driving, I spotted the little outpost and immediately pulled into the parking lot with little conscious effort.

Did I even put my blinker on? The world may never know.

Let me tell you, this ice cream was good. For $3.50, I was able to get a variation of salted caramel delightfully named Salty Sea topped off with chocolate sprinkles all stuffed into a humble cone.

The ice cream checked so many boxes: balanced, bold flavor, refreshing taste, creamy. This was no sorbet. Not even a gelato. This has to be premium ice cream.

I continued devouring the scoop, while walking along the road behind the shop, and found the river that gives the place its name. My heart was full, my head hurt from multiple brain freezes and, yet I kept coming back for more.

Eventually I finished off the last of the cone and had to leave, but my admiration for Down River had just begun. I mulled over the details. Everything was picture perfect, down to the sprinkles.

This May, I encourage every student to celebrate the end of another school year with some ice cream, and for seniors I implore you to find a friend and have some ice cream to celebrate being the class of 2018.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.

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