The best way to beat the heat (aside from swimming, of course)? A frozen treat! As a popular summer vacation spot, there is no shortage of ice cream shops on Long Beach Island. Sixteen, to be precise! Good thing summer is long enough to visit a different one each week. The WooHoo, located in Beach Haven, and Scoop City Ice Cream of Surf City gave us the scoop on the coolest ice cream trends of 2018. Chill out and read on.
Owners Megan, Shaun and Donna Kilroy opened The WooHoo in 2015, and have been serving up the most original ice cream flavors ever since.
“I have always had a passion for ice cream, and I have always baked with my mom while I was growing up,” Megan Kilroy said. “Ice cream has more forgiveness than traditional baking. If it’s not working, you can go back and revisit it. With baking, if you get one step wrong, you are not going to get the product you want.”
Practice makes perfect. When creating new flavors, Kilroy makes a small batch of the batter, tastes it and adds more ingredients until it is just right. Then, she puts it into the machine to be churned. She learned her techniques from an ice cream course at Pennsylvania State University, along with years of experimenting. “It was an intense, science-y ice cream course. I learned all about the ins and outs of ice cream – cream consistency, air content and ice crystals that make ice cream what it is,” Kilroy said.
At Scoop City Ice Cream, owners Mary Ann Petitte and Mark Vigdor serve what they call the “smoothest and creamiest” ice cream around: Nelson’s ice cream, straight from the creamery in Royersford, Pa. The ice cream shop opened up in 2016, and Petitte brought samples of Nelson’s 41 flavors to restaurants all over Long Beach Island to determine the final flavor list. The elaborate menu now boasts 37 flavors, and customers are welcome to purchase half gallons.
“Our best-selling flavors are Graham Slam, Banana Peanut Butter Chip and Chocolate Raspberry Chip. More people are moving away from basic vanilla and chocolate and going more for the exotic mixtures,” Petitte said.
Nelson’s ice cream is made of 16 percent butter fat content, which makes it very creamy and rich. “If you buy ice cream in the store or from other shops, it is usually 10 to 12 percent butter fat. The higher the butter fat content, the more cream and the better the taste. We are the only shop to sell this brand around here, and everyone loves it,” Petitte said.
Craving ice cream already? Treat yourself to something new!
Rosé All Day. Instead of sipping your favorite wine, imagine if you could lick it. For 2018, Kilroy explained that many hip ice cream shops are incorporating rose ingredients, like edible rose petals or rose water, into their recipes. Florals in food can really freshen up the taste.
The staff at The WooHoo is currently concocting a non-alcoholic rosé sherbet. Because wine not?
(Açaí) Berry Good. “Açaí bowls are still a huge trend. I try to do a flavor that tastes exactly like an açaí bowl, but it’s ice cream. Ours is made with açaí purée, pineapple and granola. It’s a healthier but still delicious option,” Kilroy said.
Does this mean we can have ice cream for lunch?
Savor the Flavor. Not all ice cream is sugary-sweet. For this year’s Chowderfest in September, Kilroy is experimenting with a creamy clam chowder flavor. It will be made with corn-based ice cream, honey, sweet corn and New Jersey tomato sauce with clams.
We’re not sure if you are supposed to eat this before or after dinner, but it sounds delectable.
Popular Picks. While The WooHoo’s flavors are ever-changing, it always has brown butter pecan on rotation. This customer-favorite is a brown sugar cinnamon buttery ice cream with praline pecans, and guests literally go nuts for it.
Sometimes, a simple flavor is still a top pick. Kilroy said her regulars can’t get enough of the fresh blueberry ice cream, appropriately named Jersey Blues in the shop. “My son and I go to Hammonton to pick the blueberries, and I always make this when blueberries are in season,” Kilroy said. Once she has the base of her blueberry ice cream perfected, she then transforms it into more-complex flavors like blueberry pie or blueberry cheesecake.
“We only have 12 flavors in rotation, which isn’t as much as some ice cream places, but our flavors are constantly changing. That’s what we like to do. We like to be creative,” Kilroy said.
Vegan Treats. The WooHoo typically has two vegan flavors available at all times. This summer, Kilroy and her team are making chocolate-covered banana hard ice cream and strawberry basil soft serve ice cream. Anyone can enjoy these dairy-free delights.
“We are always focused on our product, second to our customers. We never sacrifice quality. We put a lot into it. We’re using high-quality ingredients, for our food, too. That is how we set ourselves apart. You can taste the difference. Our ice cream is super creamy and original. Down the line, we really want to start making our own toppings and cones, too,” Kilroy said.
Smart Cookies. If you prefer your ice cream to be paired with baked goods, cookie bars are an obvious selection.
“They are a spin-off on a regular cookie sandwich. I bake two huge trays with three different kinds of cookies, and I fill up the middle with ice cream, add another cookie on top and then we cut them into rectangular bars,” Kilroy said. “It is easier to eat than a typical sandwich because nothing squeezes out of the sides.”
You can choose from vanilla chocolate chip, Fruity Pebbles or a sugar tie-dye cookie.
Pour More. Even though Kilroy believes her ice cream “speaks for itself” and does not require an overload of toppings, she takes pride in creating her own homemade syrups using hand-picked strawberries and blueberries.
“Our customers understand that most of our flavors are already packed with only the finest of ingredients, so eight out of 10 customers do not even choose a topping. But there are some instances where a syrup can add the finishing touch,” she said.
Any Given Sundae. One of Scoop City’s specialties is its signature sundaes, like the Moose Club or Sand Bucket. The Moose Club sundae features Nelson’s vanilla Bullwinkle and chocolate Bullwinkle ice cream drizzled with caramel, whipped cream and topped with Reese’s Pieces. It’s everything you could want and more.
If you’re up for a challenge, the Sand Bucket sundae has your name on it. It is made up of five scoops of ice cream, three sundae toppings, one dry topping, whipped cream and cherries. The best part? It is served in a souvenir sand bucket you can take home with you.
Turbo Time. Scoop City recently introduced Turbo sundaes to its menu. Similar to a blizzard from Dairy Queen, customers can choose an ice cream flavor and toppings to be mixed together. Add as many toppings as you want for an explosion of flavors in your mouth. Choose from cookie dough balls, Butterfinger bites, Heath Bar pieces, gummy bears, peanut butter cups, Reese’s Pieces, M&Ms, crushed Oreos, chocolate-covered pretzels and more.
Shake Things Up. Scoop City’s milkshakes bring all the guests to the shop. Ice cream on a cone can be difficult to eat in the summertime. Milkshakes are the perfect way to indulge in a sweet treat without the mess.
“We have 20-ounce milkshakes, and we sell a lot of them. We can turn any flavor into a milkshake, and they are all made by hand,” Petitte said.
At The WooHoo, Kilroy looks to her creative staff to help diversify the ice cream inventory by suggesting new flavors and mixtures. “I always ask them what they like, and they just want it all. The more stuff in it, the better. We just keep adding ingredients. I have a marshmallow ice cream, and we’ve added peanut butter cookie dough, peanut butter sauce, peanut butter chunks and Reese’s Pieces. You get the point,” she said. Kilroy also devotes her time to researching ice cream trends online and follows ice cream Instagram accounts from all over the country and the world, which she finds very inspiring.