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Summer Scoop an ice cream lover's guide

Summer Scoop an ice cream lover's guide

When it comes to ice cream, I don't like to share. As a child I was nothing short of miserly when it came to my favorite summertime treat. Picture a barefoot, sun-kissed seven-year-old tightly gripping a top-heavy cone with both hands. As the melting scoop of chocolate chip begins to drip down my arms, a satisfied smile spreads across my sticky face - a smile that says: "It's mine, all mine."

Today I have many favorite, secret ice cream spots. I know which places make their own hot fudge and who blend the best malteds. I know whose selection of toppings is the widest and can point out the most generous scooper behind the counter. I can tell you where the chocolate is the richest, the vanilla is the smoothest, and the strawberry is the freshest - but frankly I'd rather not divulge this information; ice cream still brings out the selfish seven-year-old inside me.

Still, maybe it's not fair to keep this information to myself. The Cape and Islands are brimming with homemade ice cream stands so there's plenty of ice cream to go around, isn't there? Just in case, if you visit any of the following establishments this summer, please don't order the chocolate chip. It's mine, all mine.

Sundae School, Dennisport

I'm working toward my Ph D. here. More of an ice cream shrine than a school, this is one place where people treat ice cream with the respect it deserves. Inside the renovated barn on Lower County Road (there a second campus on Main Street in East Orleans) you'll find a vintage marble soda fountain surrounded by a vast collection of ice cream paraphernalia, including vintage scoops and signs.

This is authentic, homemade ice cream, and the Sundae School staff clearly takes pride in the outstanding flavors they concoct. Simply put, it's sheer ice cream decadence. Grab a handful of napkins, or better yet bring your beach towel; why is it the better the ice cream tastes, the faster it melts?

The melting factor is a good excuse to order something in a bowl, like a sundae or banana split. Sundae School is the ultimate place for outrageously rich hot fudge and honest-to-goodness, hand-whipped, whipped cream; you'll find no lukewarm canisters of Ready-Whip behind this counter!

Ever the smallest detail has been considered, including a fresh bing cherry on top. Sundaes come in two sizes: large and mammoth. But while you may need help carrying your sundae, you ill not want help eating it.

Whether you order inside or queue up at the side porch, the line move with surprising speed. Take your prize to a shady picnic table and enjoy summertime distilled to its singular essence.

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