Cool Down in the Tennessee River Valley with America’s Favorite Frozen Treat

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July is National Ice Cream month and to celebrate the sweet goodness, the Tennessee River Valley has compiled a list of locally owned ice cream shops to check out next month in the seven-state region.

Custom blended yogurt or ice cream with 17,000 possibilities to choose from is available at The Ice Cream Show in Chattanooga.

The Tennessee River Valley is home to several locally owned ice cream parlors, each with their own unique story to tell and flavor to experience.

Things are heating up in the Tennessee River Valley region and what better way to cool off than to enjoy a scoop of frozen goodness. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. In celebration, the Tennessee River Valley has rounded up five places to visit next month in the seven-state region.

“Cool off with America’s favorite frozen treat while exploring some of our country’s most breathtaking scenery and landscapes. The Tennessee River Valley is home to several locally owned ice cream parlors, each with their own unique story to tell and flavor to experience. And, whether you prefer the ice cold creamy goodness in a bowl or on a sugar cone or waffle cone, ice cream is a welcome treat to the summer heat,” said Julie Graham, spokesperson for the Tennessee River Valley Stewardship Council.

The Ice Cream Show, Chattanooga, Tenn.
This locally owned ice cream shop is located in downtown Chattanooga, just two blocks from the Chattanooga Aquarium. Using Mayfield frozen yogurt or ice cream as a base, the Ice Cream Show offers either chocolate or vanilla in a hand baked waffle cone or as a shake. With over 17,000 possible combinations, guests can create their own personal flavor by selecting from over 40 fresh ingredients including roasted nuts, a variety of fruit, brownies, chunks of chocolate chip cookie dough and Cheesecake Factory cheesecake.

For those traveling with four-legged friends, the shop also offers one of the humane societies recommended treats for dogs called Frosty Paws. The specialty treat is made from vanilla yogurt, peanut butter and bananas.

Sweet Jordan's Baked Goodies and Ice Cream Shop, Paris, Tenn.
The story of Sweet Jordan's begins with Jordan, who was born with Down's syndrome. He always loved to be in the kitchen with his dad baking and sharing their delicious bounty with friends and family. The most popular item came from a family, chocolate chip cookie recipe. Soon, their baked goods became so popular and Sweet Jordan's Baked Goodies and Ice Cream Shop opened in 2017. With Jordan at the helm, the family-owned business employs 30-plus adults with special needs who everyday whip up baked goods, soup, sandwiches, 20-homemade ice creams, coffee and signature cookies. The shop is set up so visitors can watch them work.

While Jordan is known for his chocolate chip cookies, the homemade ice cream is equally as yummy. For those that are fans of Girl Scout cookie, stop by during the cookie sale time and try the ice cream with these tasty treats. During Christmas time, be sure to check out the homemade gingerbread ice cream.

Berkshire's Old Fashioned Frozen Custard, Morristown, Tenn.
Berkshire's Old Fashioned Frozen Custard is a soft serve frozen custard ice cream parlor. Vanilla, chocolate and strawberry are available everyday and there is a flavor of the week that changes weekly. The yummy flavors of the week range from peanut butter to pumpkin and red apple to red raspberry. All waffle products are made in store from a private recipe for the cones, bowls, and flats for the waffle sandwich, resulting in a truly homemade taste. Items on the menu include sundaes, floats, milkshakes, smoothies, splits, cones and cups.

Mayfield Dairy Farms, Athens, Tenn.
Mayfield Dairy Farms has been in operation for over 100 years. A visit to the Mayfield Visitors Center in Athens, Tenn. explains the process of how Mayfield makes milk and ice cream. The free, behind-the-scenes tour of this dairy plant shows how dairy farming has changed over time. The tour begins with an overview of the history of the farm and how it evolved into a modern dairy production plant. After the tour, visitors can stop by the ice cream parlor and purchase a cup or cone of their favorite Mayfield flavor.

Morgan Price Candy Company, Decatur, Ala.
Morgan Price Candy Company has been in operation for over 30 years where they still do everything the old fashioned way, by hand and in small batches. Customer favorites include English Toffee, peanut brittle, creamy pralines and other specialty treats. The candy store features old family recipes that are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth cravings.

While they are known for chocolates and candy, Morgan Price Candy Company also offers up to 14 flavors of gelato, the Italian version of ice cream. While gelato is related to ice cream, the Italian version is usually creamier and more spreadable, because it has less air whipped into it than ice cream. It also contains less butterfat than ice cream and is served at a higher temperature.

While National Ice Cream Month is celebrated in July, these locally owned shops in the Tennessee River Valley serve the yummy goodness year-round and are worth the drive. Plan a trip easily with the Tennessee River Valley Geotourism MapGuide, an online guide to explore authentic places and adventures that have been recommended by locals.

Ice Cream Fun Facts:

  • According to an International Diary Foods Association (IDFA), the average American consumes more than 23 pounds of ice cream per year.
  • One scoop of ice cream in a cone needs about 50 licks to finish.
  • America’s top 10 favorite ice cream flavors (according to IDFA) are vanilla, chocolate, cookies n’ cream, mint chocolate chip, chocolate chip cookie dough, buttered pecan, cookie dough, strawberry, moose tracks and Neapolitan.
  • To make one gallon of ice cream, 12 pounds of milk is needed. A dairy cow can produce enough milk for about 9000 gallons of ice cream in its lifetime.
  • Squid ice cream is available in Japan.
  • Nancy Johnson of Philadelphia created the hand-cranked device in 1843, revolutionizing the distribution and sale of ice cream throughout the United States.

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Julie Graham
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