Ice cream is good. Ice cream you can take home…well, that’s even better. And dangerous.
Chubby’s Dairy Barn, the popular ice cream hang-out in Plumsteadville, has kicked it up a notch, introducing this season, Chubby’s Reserve, a line of their own recipe, take-home ice cream.
If you’re a fan of Chubby’s you already know they serve Nelson’s Ice Cream, made from local dairy in Royersford (Montgomery County) since 1946. But for Chubby’s Reserve, owner Jesse Burdinka decided to work with Uncle Dave’s Ice Cream from Shady Brook Farm in Yardley.
“Nelson’s is great,” explains Jesse, “but they don’t have the ability to do smaller batch, more seasonal flavors. They don’t have the right machinery.” He wanted the ability to do some different things, but he didn’t really want to be in the back making ice cream. “I like being out front, with customers. I like the contact with people.”
Most ice cream places have a community-like feel just because everyone is hanging around on a summer evening licking cones. But Chubby’s goes further. Jesse supports just about every cause in Plumsteadville and nearby, be it soccer teams, veteran organizations or local parks. He also works to keep the ice cream affordable, something not easy with the cost of milk the last few years. Jesse seems to be happiest when he sees folks eating contentedly, sitting on the picnic benches outside, or when the local little league team arrives en masse, hot, tired and yearning for ice cream. He loves the community, and it certainly seems the feeling is mutual. It’s probably one of the reasons Chubby’s doesn’t have a web page – but does have a Facebook group. “I love the two-way interaction of Facebook,” Jesse admits.
But the ice cream is important too. “We focus on butterfat content,” says Jesse, “It’s the mark of high quality ice cream.” Nelson’s is 16% butterfat. (Or did you not really want to know that? Ignorance is bliss.) And lower “overrun,” a term I learned from Jesse. According to the International Dairy Foods Association overrun “is the amount of aeration the ice cream undergoes during its manufacture that keeps the mixture from becoming an inedible frozen mass.” All ice cream starts out as a liquid mix or base, and then air is incorporated as it is mixed. For instance, 100% aeration would make 2 gallons of ice cream from one gallon of liquid base. Supermarket ice cream is usually high overrun, maybe 300 or 400%, explains Jesse, with lower butterfat consequently. Premium ice cream is low overrun with higher butterfat content.
So, why again did Chubby’s feel the need to create this take-home line of premium ice cream? Lower overrun, higher butterfat content (17%) and unique, seasonal recipes. Since Uncle Dave’s in Yardley had the manufacturing ability and knowledge, a partnership was born.
What about the flavors? There’s Minister of Defense, a homage to the Eagles’ Reggie White made of white chocolate ice cream, with white chocolate chips and white chocolate crunchies mixed in. Dulce de Leche, made with caramelized sweet milk. “It’s kind of like caramel for grown-ups, with a slight coffee flavor,” says Jesse. Then there’s Strawberry Shortcake – strawberry ice cream with strawberry and vanilla crunchies. A very popular, summery flavor is Matcha Green Tea, with real matcha green tea infused into the ice cream. Joker, named after the famous character from Batman, is mint chocolate chip ice cream with red raspberry puree ribbons. This recipe came about when Chubby’s staff noticed that a favorite customer combination in the shop was a scoop of mint chocolate chip and a scoop of black raspberry ice cream. “It looks like the Joker!” Jesse laughs. Rounding out the selection is Pistachio and Butter Pecan (“They don’t always sell well in the case, but people want it.”), and a Dutch-processed cocoa chocolate (“The fudgiest chocolate ice cream I’ve ever had in my life,” says Jesse.)
Jesse says they are still working on more flavors, so look in the cold case at the store, especially as the seasons change. The quarts sell for $7.85 each. Grab a few and take ‘em to a picnic, like we did last Sunday.
Chubby’s Dairy Barn
Stump Road and Route 611, behind the Plumsteadville Inn
By the way, Jesse wants everyone to know that Chubby’s will be hosting a benefit on Saturday, July 24th to support the Plumsteadville Veterans Memorial. It will be a 1940’s style USO show, beginning at 6:30 pm. Donations will go towards the township’s future veterans’ memorial at a site across from the Plumstead Christian School on Easton Road.