Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream
 Columbus, Ohio        Date of Visit  04/03/10    

Jeniís Ice Cream in Cbus has been getting a lot of press. Mostly for unique (weird) flavors, like in the summer they do a corn ice cream. If you live in Ohio you know about summer sweet corn, but ice cream? Everyone seems to love it, time to find out why. We stopped at what I am pretty sure is the Grandview location on the way back from some skeet shooting. A little shop on the corner, people were in and out nonstop. Bright and clean Jeniís is centered around two freezers and two chalkboards. One of the boards has the current flavors and the other sundae options. There are several. How does one ever choose what to get. There are 27 flavors! And they are unique.



Cases of Delight!

To help people summit choice mountain, Jeniís has something magical going on once you get inside. The friendly folks behind the counter will pass you little spoons of whatever you want over, and over, and over again until you settle. We didnít try them all, I started to feel like I wouldnít be able to eat anything we would actually pay for. This is what we tried tiny spoons of, some more than once, each with a set of stars and a brief description of my reaction.


Salty Caramel: Initial notes of burnt sugar give way to mouth-watering saltiness. A perfect salty sweet balance.  Balanced

Brown Butter Almond Brittle: Based on the traditional Norwegian dessert krokan. Browned butter gives depth to salty, sweet almond brittle. Delish

All Your Scoops Go Together

The One Night in Bangkok

Macaroon Sandwiches

Ice Cream Sandwiches to Go

Queen City Cayenne: Rich chocolate reveals back-of-the-throat spice. Finish is tingly and complex. New Meaning to Hot Chocolate with a Punch (I would have gotten a scoop but I would have been eating alone)

Pistachio & Honey: Pure and true pistachio flavor; very lightly sweetened for a savory finish.  Fine

Bourbon Buttered Pecan : Subtle corn mash notes come first, followed by rich and savory pecans; a charming hit of Bourbon finishes. Top Notch

Ugandan Vanilla Bean: Vanilla ice cream like none other. Fairly-traded, 100-percent natural African beans bought directly from Ndali Estate, steeped for 48 hours in Snowville cream. Rich, full, fantastic vanilla flavor with notes of jasmine, honey, tobacco and leather. Boring,  even for Vanilla

Dark Chocolate: Mouth-filling, palate-gripping, intense chocolate flavor with a fudge-like texture. Pleasingly dry finish.  Strong but overly familiar

Brambleberry Crisp: Ohio blackberries and black raspberries comprise a striking, rich-colored "Brambleberry" jam that's mixed with black currants and oven-toasted oat streusel and layered throughout honey vanilla bean ice cream. Very Berry

Honey Butter Cake: Ridiculously delicious, divinely buttery Ohio-honeyed ice cream, layered with chunks of honey butterscotch-soaked vanilla sponge cake made fresh in our kitchen. The delicate and light yet sturdy cake perfectly balances a sweet and hearty ice cream.  Way Sweet

Goat Cheese with Cognac Fig Sauce: Mackenzie Creamery, super fresh goat cheese with pockets of saucy cognac soaked figs and almonds. A lighter, more ethereal cheesecake with Courvoisier and figs.  Stupendous

Olive Oil with Sea-Salted Pepitas: Sicilian single-estate olive oil. Sea salted pumpkin seeds. Jeni has just returned from Sicily where she helped press the very oil that flavors this grassy, verdant ice cream. Very clean, bright notes with the nutty crunch of toasted, sea salted pepitas. The combination of high-caliber olive oil, butterfat and cream melts in your mouth and opens up beautifully. A graceful tribute to Old World flavors.  Needed Something

Lime Cardamom Yogurt: Creamy, light, piquant, heavenly. Organic yogurt, mixed with the Indian spice cardamom, delivers a intensely cool, flavorful taste. A perfect after-dinner selection. Love the Lime


Riesling Poached Pear: A surprisingly rich sorbet; pure pear flavor with unique pear texture; sweet Riesling notes shine on the finish.  Perfect and Unusual with the Graininess of Pear Flesh

Cherry Lambic: Tart and real cherry flavor, sweet lambic on the mid palate with almost bubbly texture. Finish is clean and exhilarating. Intense Cherry Perfection


The Array of Sundaes

Cone Fortune Cookie

Just plain wrongÖRight? This is one of those rare places where the odder something sounds the more delicious it turns out to be, in most cases. When you order scoops they wonít do them separately, everything gets put together so you can mix and match. We werenít overly pleased about this until we started mixing things together. Bourbon Butter Pecan was even more ridiculous when mixed with the Goat Cheese with Cognac Fig Sauce and the Riesling Poached Pear when matched with the Cherry Lambic was magical. Flavors, textures, just plain crazy good. We finished our four flavors and then went back to try a sundae and a macaroon sandwich. The sandwich looked really good but we left it in Columbus and never actually tried it. The sundae was another matter.

We tried the One Night in Bangkok sundae on the recommendation of the young lady who was fashioning fresh waffle cones. Bangkok Peanut ice cream with caramel , Spanish peanuts, and is garnished with banana, whipped cream, cilantro and a fortune cookie. The surprise was the icecream. We didnít try it during the spoon session and it has a healthy dash of cayenne. When I went back to check the description what I found was thisÖBangkok Peanut : Complex blend of hot, salty, savory and sweet melt for a satisfying treat. Peanut butter and toasted coconut give way to lingering spicy finish. Complex ice cream, fresh banana, sweet caramel and a waffle cone fashioned into a fortune cookie. I donít know that I will ever again visit Columbus without visiting a Jeniís location. Who could possibly guess what Wonka-esque confabulations they will have churned up then? I want to find out. Jeniís deserves each and every accolade.




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