The Great Graeter's Invasion: Another Storied Ohio Ice Cream Comes Here

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The subject has popped up here in comments on Bites, but it's worth noting in more detail: Graeter's, a 140-year-old ice cream brand out of Cincinnati that has developed a national cult following via its mail-order business, is now available in grocery stores in Nashville.

(It's funny how Nashville is in the midst of a fine Ohio ice cream invasion. Jeni's, the artisan brand with the haute cuisine flavors, opened its East Nashville shop today.)

Graeter's touts its "French pot method," preparing the ice cream in small 2-gallon batches. “Our secret recipe of fresh cream and egg custard is gently swirled along the chilled sides of a slowly spinning French pot freezer,” the company says. “A blade softly scrapes the sides of the pot, folding the ice cream into itself.”

The gentle folding keeps air out of the ice cream and makes it dense and rich, they say, claiming that a pint of Graeter’s weighs nearly a pound, almost twice as much as some other brands.

Unlike some other brands found on the supermarket shelves, Graeter's uses sugar, not corn syrup. Scanning the ingredients' lists, I noticed an absence of phony flavors. The strawberry, for example, has an intense berry flavor that comes from strawberries alone.

And some of Graeter's varieties are quite unique, like the black-raspberry-dark-chocolate-chunk. Graeter's can be found in Nashville-area Krogers and The Fresh Market in Brentwood. For a little more detail, check out what I wrote a couple weeks' ago in my Food Biz column in The City Paper and online at Nashville Post.

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