Saturday, July 20, 2024

Summer is here, and seven Cambridge and Somerville shops are serving up creative scoops to kick-start the season and forget about the past weeks of gray skies.


J.P. Licks

J.P. Licks’ Everything Bagel ice cream. (Photo: J.P. Licks)

Mad scientist experiments are going on at J.P. Licks. Until the end of the month, or while supplies last, you can try new Everything Bagel ice cream. That may seem like an odd mix – and it tastes exactly as you think it would – but founder and owner Vincent Petryk believes the strong flavor elements balance out.

It “packs a garlicky punch, but it also has the perfect balance of sweetness,” Petryk said in a press release. “We believe in serving breakfast all day long, especially as ice cream.”

Coming July 1 is Ube (a type of yam); top-seller Peach arrives Aug. 1.

1312 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge; 4A College Ave., Davis Square, Somerville; and 611 Assembly Row, Assembly Square, Somerville



Dubbed the “World’s Best Ice Cream” by The New York Times, Toscanini’s is trying out flavors such as The Mai Tai Cocktail, which owner Gus Rancatore said will eventually be served at Wusong Road, a restaurant in Harvard Square.

“We have also been experimenting with Rose teas from Mem Tea and even ice cream made with rose petals,” Rancatore said.

“Maybe most importantly, we make flavors from other places, reflecting the diversity of our customers and Cambridge’s population,” Rancatore said. These include Italian Nocciola, Milo Godzilla from Southeast Asia, Middle Eastern Halva and West Indian Grape Nut.

899 Main St., Central Square, Cambridge; and 159 First St., East Cambridge


Honeycomb Creamery

Honeycomb Creamery has handmade ice cream down to self-pasteurization to ensure control over flavor.

Look for Strawberry Lemonade at the beginning of July, along with Port Cherry Vanilla soon after. The end of July or start of August brings a more unusual summertime favorite in owner Kristen Rummel’s Sweet Corn & Blackberry Jam. “Sweet corn and blackberries are in-season roughly the same time, so Kristen wanted to try and formulate a flavor where they complement each other,” said Grant Burley, the store community engagement manager.

Also coming: S’mores, made of sweet cream ice cream swirled with marshmallow, fudge and graham crackers, “all made in-house,” Burley said.

1702 Massachusetts Ave., Neighborhood 9, Cambridge



BerryLine’s Ube Banana. (Photo: Rónán Fitzgerald)

Fresh off the crank at BerryLine is Ube Banana, which came out June 16. The swirl of Ube Banana isn’t dyed: The funky purple comes naturally from the ube yam. Pleasantly sweet and tart, with a subtle hint of banana, it makes for a great summer froyo experience.

This locally owned shop is one of the few remaining frozen yogurt makers in Boston, surviving a time eight years ago when it seemed like a new one occupied every corner. BerryLine was the state’s first when it opened in 2007, and still thrives while offering only four frozen yogurt flavors and a handful of ice cream flavors sourced from Coop’s Microcreamery.

New flavors depend on what ingredients are in stock and how well those items can be mixed into frozen yogurt – which is different from making ice cream flavors because the tartness of the yogurt has to be accounted for, said Mary Keegan, who often creates flavors with owner Matt Wallace and input from co-worker Cate Hicks.

3 Arrow St., Cambridge


New City Microcreamery

A summer rotation of flavors is back at the New City Microcreamery: Creamsicle, Singin’ the Blues (sweet buttermilk, blueberries, cinnamon), and Don’t Be Salty (sweet cream, chocolate covered potato chips and caramel swirl) are available.

The shop is known for collaborations with local candy and food companies, such as the chocolate peanut butter pretzel with One Mighty Mill last year, and says it plans more local team-ups this summer.

403 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge



Coming in with a bang at Christina’s is the newly released Chinese Five Spice. Still available through the end of June is Fresh Rose; coming the first week of July is Fresh Mint.

1255 Cambridge St., Inman Square, Cambridge



In the fold of exciting flavors at Lizzy’s are the Chocolate Orgy (a dark chocolate base with chocolate chunks) and Colombian Fudge Avalanche (coffee with fudge and walnuts). While neither says “summer,” both are delectable and perfectly chewable, without your teeth getting cold and making you want to jump out of your skin.

29 Church St., Harvard Square, Cambridge