When I moved from Columbus to Milwaukee more than three years ago, I surprised myself with how easily the transition went for me. I found a great apartment in a fun neighborhood, quickly fell into a group of great friends and, well, falling in love with the boy next door didn't make it too hard, either (that's right, Eric was my next-door neighbor in my very first apartment in Milwaukee).
However, there will always be things I miss very much about Ohio: mainly being able to spend time with my friends and family, missing special occasions, cheering for Ohio State football without being met with death stares and also: Jeni's ice cream.
Jeni's was my favorite local ice cream shop when I lived in Columbus. I appreciated their insistence on using quality, natural ingredients in their products, their ability to think of outside of the box flavors when it comes to a traditional summertime treat, but mostly I just loved that their ice cream was, for lack of a better term, THE BOMB DOT COM.
In fact, Jeni's ice cream is so delicious and so in demand, they have their own ice cream cookbook.
It's not like Wisconsin doesn't have its own delicious creamy treats - it is the Dairy State, after all - but I've yet to find anything local quite like Jeni's.
That is... until I actually did find Jeni's in Wisconsin.
I was strolling down the aisles of my beloved neighborhood market, Groppi's, when all of a sudden I got a hankering for ice cream like you wouldn't believe. Heading over to the freezer, I imagined finally giving Ben & Jerry's new "Americone Dream" a try - until a stack of red-orange pints with handwritten flavors down the side caught my eye. Could it be?? It couldn't be.....
Made in Columbus, Ohio.
I audibly gasped. "Oh my god......" I yanked a pint of Strawberry Buttercream from the freezer and ran to show Eric my most fantastic discovery.
"$10 a pint????"
Obviously, Eric didn't think spending a Hamilton on a few scoops of ice cream was the wisest fiscal choice. But then again, Eric has never had Jeni's.
Normally I can show restraint when a pint of ice cream sits in my freezer. Eat half of it, then save the other half for another day. I am not ashamed to report I ate the whole dang pint in one sitting Sunday night. The Strawberry Buttercream was rich, sweet and filled with tiny little seeds -assurance that real strawberries are at the heart of this ice-cold treat.
What an amazing find! I couldn't believe I found my very favorite ice cream, local to Ohio, just a few yards from my front door. Groppi's had about four different flavors of Jeni's in stock, and next I'll grab the Pistachio Honey, which I've never tried before. I felt like I'd stumbled upon the Holy Grail - I just hope my little corner market continues to keep this treasure in stock.
If you're from Milwaukee, RUN to Groppi's market in Bay View and pick up a pint or two for yourself (I promise, it's worth the price!). If you're a Buckeye, enjoy having one of the best ice cream shops in the country right in your own backyard.