Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream: Charleston
We were lucky to arrive when there wasn’t much of a line, but that isn’t the norm. By the time we sat down to enjoy our ice cream, there were people lined up out the door and around the front of the store. Jeni’s takes pride in their natural ingredients and I can see why. With flavors like poached pear riesling, salted caramel and cherries kickapoo, they know you’ll never be able to choose just one; the smallest size is two flavors.
I always have a small amount of guilt when I ask to try more than one flavor at an ice cream store. I mean, how annoying must it be to scoop someone a tiny spoonful of every single flavor to have them order the first one they tried. (I’m a big fan of vanilla ice cream. Branching out is hard.) But if I only get one flavor, I need to know it’s the flavor. However, there was no guilt to be had at Jeni’s. It felt more like a wine tasting than an ice cream store. Even when the line started to form behind us, my hero behind the counter was happy to provide recommendations and explain how the ice cream was made and why it had such amazing flavor. We asked to try one thing and he would come back with multiple samples he thought we’d like. And we did.
I settled on goat cheese and black cherry pretty quickly, but where to go from there! Based on an excellent recommendation, I chose coffee and it ended up being the perfect compliment.
An advantage to going to Jeni’s with friends is that you all have at least two flavors so you can potentially try 6 flavors on top of the 77 samples you had at the counter. I sampled their famed salted caramel, brown butter almond batter crunch, and sweet cream with rum molasses and peanuts. All were amazing, but I must say my choices were the top ones in the bunch. What can I say… I know my desserts.
Check out Jeni’s website to see if there is a scoop shop near you. If you’re feeling crafty, Jeni’s also sells recipe books so you can make your own gourmet ice cream at home.