Ulster County is a dessert oasis for ice cream lovers

A cone from the Jolly Cow in Kingston. (Photo by Jason Bover)

Anyone who’s experienced the salivating sensation of craving an ice cream cone can attest that the sweet, creamy treat is nearly irresistible. It’s not just because our bodies and taste buds have evolved to regularly crave sugar. When you break down the chemistry behind ice cream, it’s easy to see why. The delicious dessert was born from the perfect combination of sugar, fat and air to fire up the dopamine receptors in our brains.

There’s no doubt that the sweet and savory flavors blending together on your palate make for a rewarding experience. As sugar and fat melt off your tongue, feel-good chemicals ignite in our brains. Indeed, foods high in fat and calories, such as ice cream, trigger the pleasure centers, just like hard drugs or caffeine. Luckily for us, plain pure sugar is readily available and legal. We don’t just enjoy the buttery fat of sweet cream either. Nostalgic memories of how comforting eating ice cream was in childhood lends added depth to the experience. There are no better memories than those warm summer nights as a child licked a cone.

So how do we revive that feeling of childhood nostalgia? We bring our kids, our grandkids, anyone we can to get a scoop. Birthdays, anniversaries, or just because we’ve had a day – these are all valid excuses to consume that sweet cold treat. Unless your lactose tolerance dictates otherwise, ice cream is here to stay!

happy cow

1620 Route 9W, Lake Katrine

Located on Route 9W in Lake Katrine, Jolly Cow won gold in our recent monthly Ulster Eateries Unfiltered poll for the best ice cream in Ulster County. They edged out Boice Bros. Dairy, another local legend, by just two votes. Be on the lookout for weekly rotating soft flavors and seasonal specials to keep you coming back for something new. You can’t miss the iconic cow that greets guests for utterly delicious treats. Serving top notch soft and hard flavors, Jolly Cow is more than an ice cream stand – it’s a treasured institution of our local community.

Boice Bros Dairy

62 Oneil Street, Kingston

Located in downtown Kingston, Boice’s has been a family-owned dairy since its farm was founded in 1914. They use their own milk to churn delicious flavors into homemade ice cream. Ice cream doesn’t get any cooler than this. Their sundaes and shakes are hard to beat, and the ice cream stand has an attached store for all your dairy pick-up needs. Boice’s is part of Ulster County’s DNA. As long-time producers of the finest of our region’s farms, they are enjoyed at a level well above the dessert average.

alley ice cream

135 Partition Street, Saugerties

Located in a real Saugerties alleyway, Alleyway Ice Cream specializes in unique flavors of Asian-inspired hard ice cream. With the highest amount of fat possible, this creamy, hard ice cream is to die for. Regular stars on their appetizing menu include Ube Heath bar Crunch and Thai Tea Cookies and Cream. Adding new flavors like Key Lime Crunch keeps regulars coming back for more. Alleyway still handcrafts its ice cream in small batches with explosive flavors that your taste buds won’t soon forget. They also have vegan chocolate sorbet with dynamite. The location seems almost hidden, but you’ll tell everyone you know about it once you try it.

Fortune ice cream

55 Broadway, Tivoli

Tivoli’s best kept secret is this unique ice cream parlour. Fortunes tend to be for the more adventurous aficionados, with exotic flavors like rosewater pistachio or halva honeycomb. Food & Wine Fortunes Ice Cream magazine recently ranked the best ice cream in New York State. Enjoy super cute outdoor seating with flavors so bold you’ll come back to expand and explore your palate.

Jason Bover runs the Ulster Eateries Unfilitered group on Facebook for thousands of local foodies and works with local restaurants to attract more customers.

About Thomas B. Countryman

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