Ice cream is a favorite dish for many throughout the year, but summer is a time when more of us bypass pies, cakes and cookies in favor of the cold and creamy treat.
Locally, a couple of options for scooping up some of the sweet stuff are Ritchey's Dairy and the Milky Way.
Andrew Ritchey, general manager of Ritchey's Dairy, doesn't hesitate when asked what ice cream flavor is the most popular from his family's dairy, 2130 Cross Cove Road, Martinsburg.
"Chocolate Butter Fudge," he said. Setting it apart is a "nice unique flavor," he said of the "lighter chocolate" ice cream with a "good taste."
The company, in business for 73 years, makes its ice cream using the milk from local farms.
"We make our own ice cream from scratch here at our plant," Ritchey said. "We have our own special recipe to make all of our ice cream. A big key in ice cream is obviously the amount of cream you put into it. The more butterfat, the thicker and creamier it's going to taste. The smoother it will taste."
The dairy's specialty is seasonal flavors such as Nutty Banana and Cotton Candy in the summer, Apple Strudel and Pumpkin Pie in the fall and Peppermint Stick and Eggnog at Christmas time, Ritchey said.
Ritchey's ice cream is available in most area grocery stores and its ice cream shop is open year round, he said.
Ritchey's Dairy ice cream store is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 1 to 10 p.m. Sunday.
"We're just thankful for all our loyal customers," he said.
Another ice cream seller with loyal customers is the Milky Way, Dunnings Highway, Freedom Township, which uses all-natural ingredients for flavoring.
"Oh, we do," owner Donna Bon said of having a lot of loyal customers. "We've been in business for 53 years. So I see generations of families coming ... grandparents came when they were little kids and then when they had their children, they brought them there and now they're bringing their grandchildren here, so it's really great.
"It's a nice opportunity to see our customers, interact with them. ... We have a great following."
She said their peanut butter flavor ice cream is probably the most popular, she said.
"I think a couple things make good ice cream. ... the temperature and the flavor of the ice cream. And the texture. I think all those things make a good ice cream."
The Milky Way is now open from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily.
Mirror Staff Writer Amanda Gabe-letto is at 949-7030.