Rick Sebak has been lapping up ice cream since his dad worked at Isaly’s, a long-gone Pennsylvania-Ohio chain “where they made a tall, thin cone called the Skyscraper.” Now a TV documentary producer, the Pittsburgher nobly gained 30 pounds in one summer researching PBS’ ‘An Ice Cream Show.’ We’re not talking supermarket stuff; Sebak’s cone jones is for the handmade treat, full of butterfat (“that’s what makes it taste so good”) and usually made on-site in small batches.
Prime territory: the Northeast. Pennsylvania is the nation’s second largest producer of ice cream, he says, after California (“but they’re primarily big-time, huge places”). Here are Sebak’s picks for cup and cone connoisseurs.
Four Seas Ice Cream, Centerville, Mass.
A Cape Cod fixture since 1934, the Four Seas features unique flavors, such as Penuche Pecan, inspired by the brown-sugar-based fudge “that the grandmas in New England used to make.” The building, once a garage and blacksmith shop, “is sort of an old wooden rattletrap, but that adds to its charm. (Owner Dick) Warren’s personality and the (hired high school) kids’ exuberance make it the place everyone in the Hyannis Port area goes to.” Indeed, Warren provided the peach ice cream at Caroline Kennedy’s rehearsal dinner. “The best total experience of all (ice-cream places) I’ve visited. and he makes a dynamite lobster sandwich.”
By Anne Goodfriend, USA TODAY