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What's actually going on with "homemade" ice cream places

I have a question about the term "homemade" in regards to small scoop shops. I'm not questioning the tastiness of their ice creams, but at at least 4 small places in New England that claim to be "homemade" ice cream establishments, I've tried a flavor of ice cream invariably called Graham Central Station, which consists of a honey/vanilla-y flavored ice cream base with pieces of chocolate-covered graham cracker and sometimes a graham cracker crumb swirl in it. It is an awesome flavor, but all 4 places had the same flavor under the same name, and it tasted the same great taste at all of them.

I understand a catchy name is a catchy name, so if each had its own graham flavor, it wouldn't be a stretch for each to independently come up with the same name. But how do 4 separate places make the same taste with the same tasting add-in? I see using Google images that Friendly's and multiple other shops across the U.S. have the same flavor, so my question is, is it truly homemade or is it a flavor concept like Moose Tracks that scoop shops can license?

I worked at a fancy ice cream place that truly invented its own flavors, and we explicitly did not use pre-bagged milk blends or flavor mixes in our ice creams, so when I see places calling themselves homemade but including Moose Tracks and Graham Central Station and the like on their menu, are they demonstrating that "homemade" in the ice cream world is about as meaningful as "natural"?

I guess my larger question is, in this context, does homemade mean "we get a bag of milk mix and flavor mix and run it through the freezer on premises and call it homemade" or are they actually creating flavors from scratch? I'm just wondering if anyone with experience in a small ice cream shop has any insider info. Thanks!

Aug 12, 2015
yrpopqueen in General Topics

Trader Joe's macarons - any good?

To me, they were delicious, but with minor caveats. Don't get me wrong- I ate the whole box and will be getting more, post-haste. Also, I've never had a proper French one, and have only tried my own hand at them twice with varying success. Here's what I thought of Trader Joes' macarons:

1. The vanilla ones were good, but powerfully sweet. The chocolate ones rich and less buttercream-y.

2. Their taste gave me the impression of astronaut ice cream, but in a good way. Is this how actual ones are supposed to be?

Jan 20, 2010
yrpopqueen in Chains

Make or buy: cost effective food staples?

I was curious after reading this article on Slate (http://www.slate.com/id/2216611) about doing a cost/benefit analysis of the effort involved to make staples at home versus purchasing at the supermarket.

She covered bagels, cream cheese, yoghurt, jam, crackers, and granola. I make my own staples at home but have never done a price estimate. Has anyone else done something like this?

I'd be interested in gathering other peoples results and opinions - perhaps even to start a compilation for reference! Many thanks!

Apr 22, 2009
yrpopqueen in Home Cooking

Easy Berry Butter Cake

Hm, this looks a lot like a Norwegian bl√łtkake!

Picture: http://gfx.dagbladet.no/magasinet/200...

Recipe: http://recipes.recipeland.com/recipe/...

I like to add a pinch of ground cardamom to mine. Det smaker godt!

Apr 22, 2009
yrpopqueen in Recipes