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Frozen fare
Ice cream, shaved ice and other cold treats

08/25/16
By Angie Sykeny asykeny@hippopress.com



 If you’re looking for a fair food that’s cold and refreshing, there are a variety of frozen treats to choose from like ice cream, shaved ice and floats.

 
Cones & floats
Carolyn Dudley of Dudley’s Ice Cream in Loudon has been bringing her Carolyn’s Creamee trailer to New Hampshire fairs for years, selling soft-serve ice cream, shakes and frappes, slush, root beer floats and ice cream sundaes.
“I think that whenever you get an ice cream or something like this, it’s a treat,” Dudley said. “Once you eat dinner at the fair and you come across it, you want it, and it’s not just the kids, but the adults, too.”
Her soft-serve ice cream is available in chocolate, vanilla and chocolate-and-vanilla twist, as well as other “flavor bursts” like strawberry, black raspberry, coffee, creamsicle and a cotton candy flavor called Blue Goo, which Dudley said is a favorite among the younger crowd. At some fairs, Carolyn’s Creamee is joined by Dudley’s Ice Cream, which adds hard ice cream to the menu, but the root beer floats and soft-serve ice cream cones are usually the biggest sellers.
“People love the traditional old-fashioned root beer float. It brings back the kid in everyone,” Dudley said. “Ice cream cones are definitely the most popular, though. It’s something cold on a hot day, and it’s something easy for a child to hold on to as they’re walking along and enjoying the fair.”
 
Ice, ice baby
Another frozen treat to look for this fair season is Kona Ice. Sharon Sweeney of Surry has been serving the tropical shaved ice at New Hampshire fairs since 2009, when she and her husband became the first Kona Ice franchise owners in the state.
“Kona gives us the opportunity to do all kinds of things … and being at the fairs has always been a part of what we do,” Sweeney said. “The Kona Ice experience has a lot to do with the happy atmosphere it brings, and the atmosphere of a fair lends itself to fun and excitement, so I think that’s why Kona fits in there so well.”
Not to be confused with a snow cone, Kona Ice is finely shaved ice with a wide selection of flavor options. The 10 most popular flavors, like blue raspberry, pina colada and tiger’s blood (strawberry and coconut), make up the Flavor Wave, an interactive panel on the side of the truck that allows people to flavor their own ice and create their own flavor combinations. If someone wants a flavor that isn’t on the Flavor Wave, there are additional, more unique flavors inside the truck, such as root beer, wedding cake, bubble gum and cotton candy.
“Kona Ice is unique because it’s really more like real snow,” Sweeney said. “Since the ice is finely shaved, it holds the flavor more than a snow cone, which is hard and crunchy and the flavor just falls off of it.”
 
Keeping it local
While the companies that bring the amusement rides to the fair often bring their own food booths with snow cones and other standard treats, Sweeney said many people are drawn to the vendors that are local and familiar to them.
“It’s amazing for us to be at the fair and have people come up and say, ‘You came to my school!’ or ‘You came to my work!’” she said. “Even if it wasn’t us, people from all over the state have seen Kona in their hometowns, and there’s an instant recognition with the brand.”
Dudley said she also has many customers at the fair who buy her treats because they’ve been customers at Dudley’s Ice Cream.
“There’s a lot of local businesses that go to the fairs, and that’s nice for people,” she said. “People like to seek them out because that’s who they’re familiar with.”
You can find Carolyn’s Creamee trailer at the upcoming Hopkinton State Fair, Deerfield Fair and Sandwich Fair, and Sweeney’s Kona Ice truck at Hopkinton State Fair, Hillsborough County Agricultural Fair and Deerfield Fair. 





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