Ice cream ethics
Keeping standard high -- and banana and chocolate separate -- makes Strickland's worth the drive
Aha. I just realized why I like frozen custard so much. It tastes almost exactly like gelato, the rich Italian ice cream.
I wish I didn't know the address of Strickland's Web site, with the updates on the flavor of the day (www.stricklands.eyemg.com)
When my cousin visited a couple of weeks ago, I showed the site to her. We immediately jumped in the car. On the way to Strickland's, we returned a pie pan to an acquaintance's house in Bath and told her where we were headed.
"All the way over there for ice cream?'' she marveled. "Yeah, well, we had no choice after we learned the flavor of the day,'' I said.
"Don't tell me it's banana,'' she groaned.
This is where the story gets weird. We picked up my friend, Nancy, who is a restaurant troublemaker. She has been known to order salad not only with the dressing on the side, but also the croutons.
At Strickland's, Nancy asked for a chocolate-banana ice cream cone.
Nope, she was told. No can do.
Then how about one scoop of chocolate and one scoop of banana in a bowl?
Strickland's has a strict ban on mixing ice cream flavors. It will not be done. Purity must be maintained.
Nancy bought a bowl of chocolate and bowl of banana and defiantly mixed them herself. I applauded her spunk, but in my heart, I admired Strickland's ethics. It made banana ice cream, dammit, not chocolate-banana. Eat it or get out.
Strickland's is on Triplett Boulevard across from the Rubber Bowl and the Akron-Fulton International Airport. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. For directions, check out www.mapquest.com on the net.
On days that coconut is the featured flavor, I'll be the woman in the blue van with the shaggy dog and the small cone.
Here's my own version of coconut frozen custard. I used cooking teacher Guiliano Bugialli's gelato recipe, and removed the fruit and substituted chilled, solidified coconut milk for half of the cream. It's almost as good as Strickland's.