We all scream for ice cream | TahoeDailyTribune.com

We all scream for ice cream

Susan Wood

Jim Grant/Tahoe Daily Tribune Jose Alatorre serves a soft ice cream cone at the Snow Flake Drive In.

When Jim Azevedo of South Lake Tahoe courted his wife of five years, Londa, he used more than love and affection. He tapped into a beloved treat- ice cream.

“They tell me when my wife was a little girl, they called her ice cream. So I’d call her to come over and tell her I had ice cream (in the house),” he said, enjoying a few scoops with her at Baskin-Robbins on one recent weekend.

“I just love ice cream,” she said.

Chocolate ice cream, her favorite, poured out of the waffle cone.

The summer tradition has evolved over the years, but some things never change.

“I usually go with plain,” she said of her first time eating the hearty variety of cone. It was invented by a Syrian immigrant selling waffles next to an ice cream vendor at the World’s Fair in 1904, according to the Library of Congress.

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Last month’s milestone makes it the 100th anniversary of the ice cream cone, according to the U.S. government archive, which also indicated people have eaten ice cream since fourth century B.C.

Like many people out partaking in the dessert, Londa Azevedo said she’s undeterred by the weather when it comes to ice cream.

“Even if it’s raining, ice cream is good,” she said.

The cold dessert has seen a rise in prices to coincide with dairy sticker shock.

But neither the cool temperatures nor high prices will keep people from the treat.

Neither Bob Hassett, who owns Camp Richardson Resort, nor Paul Redmond, assistant manager of Albertson’s, have noticed enough of a spike in prices to affect sales.

However, Anna Arana, who works at The Ice Creamery at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, said she’s noticed the price differential.

“Prices have definitely gone up, but our supplier is good,” she said.

The weather may have urged the MacNeill’s decision in what to eat at midday. The Fresno family stopped at the casino parlor while heading home, where temperatures have topped 100 degrees.

Mike, 15, put much thought into his sundae. He ordered a triple scoop of mint chocolate chip, rocky road and cookie dough, with Gummy Bears on top of strawberry syrup. Of course, whipped cream topped the concoction – which he tried to lick up so it wouldn’t land on the floor.

With chocolate syrup dripping from her mouth, Mike’s mother, Carol, tried to explain the phenomenon of a brain-freeze headache. The pain, which peaks about half-a-minute to a minute after rapidly eating or drinking something very cold, stimulates a nerve when the frozen food touches the roof of one’s mouth.

The prospect of quick pain didn’t deter the family – and neither did the calorie intake. Like apparently many aficionados of the treat, she waved off the notion of eating low-calorie ice cream. Riverdeep, a Novato education software company, reported demand for low-fat treats has plummeted by 12 percent since 1995 as Americans clamor after premium ice cream. Surveys have indicated that vanilla, chocolate and strawberry still reign as the favorite flavors.

Sarah Pollard immersed herself in a butter almond cone Monday at the Camp Richardson Ice Cream Parlor, where lines file out the door on most weekends and workers develop strong wrists. The 11-year-old girl – on hand for a family reunion after the group photograph -said she gravitates toward the more exotic of flavors. She prefers the waffle cones because they simply “taste good.”

The decadence of ice cream is still alive. In South Lake Tahoe, Steve Maltase took his San Luis Obispo friends out to eat ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery instead of taking on the white caps on Lake Tahoe in his boat.

He ordered a whipped-up white chocolate creation called “Knights in White Chocolate” in a waffle cone. Some of the mixtures like cookie mintster seem rich enough to gain 10 pounds just saying them.

“I can never finish it,” Maltase said.

His wife, Jamie, returned with a smoothy from Rocktonic.

“I’m trying to lose some baby fat,” she said, while cradling her 5-month-old daughter, on her hip.

Others have another low-calorie answer – soft serve.

“I prefer the soft serve. It’s a tradition with us,” said Patricia Asuitt of Pleasant Hill. On every visit for the past five years, the three generations of her family have ended the one-week vacation with a jaunt to SnoFlake Drive-In.

Milkshakes have long been a favorite at Zephyr Cove Resort – where a choice of syrups mix with Dreyers ice cream and a liquid “shake base” to give it that extra oomph in creamy texture and rich taste.

“My friends and I would always come over here after school or practice to get one of these shakes,” said Nika Hsiao, who runs cross country. “This place stresses quality. I mean we use whole milk and the shake base.”

Now the teenager works behind the counter of Java City, shake-town central for the resort’s restaurant.

It’s busiest in the summer, but winter holds it own in terms of milkshake sales.

“Sometimes customers will come in and we’ll have 10 shakes (to do). They may have 10 minutes, so we put two people back here,” she said.

Another worker, Jeffrey Fleishman, looks forward to the adventurous ice-cream customers. He’s even created his own treat named after him. “Jeff’s special drink” comes with vanilla ice cream, vanilla syrup, two shots of Espresso and Peppermint flavored syrup.

– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at swood@tahoedailytribune.com