“I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream!” Or so the saying goes, especially in the summertime when everyone is looking for a cool treat to beat the heat. Around Seaside, it may also include shave ice or frozen yogurt, and for those of age, a frosty concoction such as a margarita.
Some believe that in ancient times, around 200 B.C., the Chinese may have very well invented ice cream, when they poured a mixture of snow and saltpeter (potassium nitrate) over the exteriors of containers filled with syrup. In the same way as salt raises the boiling point of water, it lowers the freezing point to below zero.
Fast-forward to North America, and many years before the initial ice cream truck rolled down our streets, Thomas Jefferson, George and Martha Washington and the regular colonists screamed for ice cream. First lady Dolley Madison even served ice cream at her husband James Madison’s inaugural ball in 1813. It is widely known that she was also a fan of oyster ice cream, of all things, and when asked to be a celebrity judge at The Hangout Oyster Cook-off in 2014, I tried some made by a Florida Panhandle chef, and it was delicious.
Fortunately, we have a lot of delectable choices within the confines of Seaside’s architecturally stunning new urbanism town, and you don’t need to be the president to enjoy them. South Walton native Caroline Coker, a nutrition major at the University of Alabama, loves the Yobe Yogurt served at Dawson’s Yogurt & Fudge Works, particularly when out at the beach, or looking for a healthy snack, and says, “I like the fact that it is organic, made fresh daily, is packed with active acidophilus to support good digestion, contains less than half the calories and fat of ice cream and tastes amazing.”
If you want something a little more sinful, you might want to head across the street to The Shrimp Shack for their popular chocolate-covered Key lime pie on a stick.
Frost Bites Hawaiian shave ice on Airstream Row has something to please everyone, offering more than 50 flavors, homemade frozen custard and fresh squeezed lemonade, too.
Take a walk through the heart of Seaside until you see the giant triple-scoop ice cream cone in front of It’s Heavenly, and dive your spoon into the most authentic Italian
gelato and American ice cream in the area. With dozens of flavors to choose from, along with the famed strawberry shortcakes topped with fresh local strawberries and whipped cream, your sweet tooth will certainly be satisfied.
And, if you’re feeling creative and want to express yourself by cooking in your coastal home or condo, Modica Market will have your cool dessert covered, as they showcase Southern Craft Creamery hand-crafted ice cream, made with seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients. The milk even comes from the owner’s family of dairy cows, and was selected as one of the winners of Southern Living Food Awards, 2015. You can’t get more authentic than that. Like fireworks on the Fourth of July, relaxing beach weekends in Seaside are a tradition; So indulge a little and enjoy something sweet.
Susan Benton is a food and travel writer, blogger, photographer, and the owner of 30AEATS.com, where she shares her passion and her commitment to promoting regional farmers, fishermen, chefs, artisans and restaurants along the Gulf Coast.