There are 100 great things about July; fireworks, vacations, sunny days, swimming in the lake and, my personal favorite….it’s National Ice Cream Month! And no, I’m not making it up; July was declared National Ice Cream month by president Ronald Regan in 1984. Also, Sunday, July 21st is National Ice Cream Day, so make sure you mark your calendars.
At Heavenly, we’re lucky enough to have our very own resident ice cream expert Greg Hoch of Hoch Family Creamery. During the winters, Greg manages the Boulder Lodge restaurant, and in the summer, he’s busy churning ice cream seven days a week to serve at Tamarack Lodge and several other locations around the Reno/Tahoe area. To prepare for National Ice Cream month, I made a trip to the Hoch Family Creamery in Minden, NV to catch up with Greg and learn a thing or two about what goes into their ice cream.
Making ice cream is a family tradition for Greg, who grew up living on a dairy farm on the East Coast back in the 50’s. Now, his family of four, founders of Hoch family creamery, use many of the original recipes from years ago. While much of the process is kept close within the family, I was able to learn a few things about the love, passion and delicious ingredients that go into making their ice cream. At the creamery, they use cream provided fresh from local cows. It is the base of each product, hence the name ice cream. At Hoch, they only use fresh ingredients. In fact, when we arrived for our tour, Greg and his team were zesting lemons and crushing cookies to use in their next batch of ice cream (not together, of course, that might be gross). Other ingredients include sugar, flavorings (such as vanilla- using real vanilla beans(!) or chocolate) and any fruit, candy, cookies, etc. The family’s motto is “less sugar, more flavor” which is the difference you’ll notice when you taste his ice cream verses your run-of-the-mill, mass-produced ice cream (try the blueberry, and you’ll know what I mean!). Greg single-handedly makes all of the ice cream in small batches and hand delivers it to the vendors, with some occasional help from the family and a part-time summer employee (pictured above). His wife and daughters play roles in marketing, accounting and the other not-so-“sweet” sides of the business.
While you’re in Tahoe this month, head up to Tamarack Lodge and try some ice cream, it’s local, hand-made and all natural, so you can feel good about indulging in National Ice Cream Month!
Greg said aside from his personal favorite flavor of vanilla, another fav is orange pineapple. Sounds very summery to us! What’s your personal favorite flavor?