I noticed Mt. Tom's Homemade Ice Cream shortly after we moved to Easthampton earlier this summer and I drove down Cottage Street. But Mr. valleywriter and I tend to go for creamies in the summer (since that's the only time you can get them) so we hadn't made it into Mt. Tom's until last Sunday. When we walked in the door, the first thing I noticed were the seemingly endless jars of candy. Gummy fruit, malted milkballs, lollypops, jelly beans and more lined shelves on nearly 2/3 of the store.
Then my eyes went to the real prize - the ice cream counter and the giant blackboard above it listing the many wonderous delights I would soon be forced to choose just 1 from.
Mt. Tom's has not only ice cream, but also frozen yogurt, sugar-free ice cream and sorbet. Plus lots of goodies made with their frozen confections - ice cream pies, sundaes, milkshakes, etc. I gazed up in awe of the seemingly endless list of flavors, but quickly zeroed in on one of the special flavors - pumpkin pie. It was a warm fall day, so the combination of a comforting fall favorite (pumpkin pie) and a refreshing summer treat (ice cream) sounded like the perfect choice.
Mr. valleywriter ended up picking the chocolate fudge brownie (not as adventurous - but chocolate is always a good choice). We both ordered regular size cones (they come in regular and large) and the total came to only $6. It's priced right so that when you add tax - it comes out to an even number - genius!
I can't remember the last time we got away from an ice cream store for only $6. Even the creamy place in town charged almost $8 for 2 regular creamies. And at Herrell's in Northampton, 2 "mediums" are nearly $7.50 (and they're pretty small). Mt. Tom's doesn't skimp, either; the regulars are a good size:
OK - I know what you're thinking - there's plenty of cheap and totally non-splurge-worthy ice cream out there - so price isn't everything. Could this stack up? OH YEAH!!!
My pumpkin pie ice cream was super rich and creamy with just the right amount of nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and allspice to evoke many a wonderful Thanksgiving memory. Actually, it tasted a lot like my favorite pumpkin cheesecake recipe (stayed tuned for that later this week). To boot - the pumpkin pie ice cream even had soft little chunks of pie crust sprinkled throughout!
Mr. valleywriter's chocolate fudge brownie was also rich, creamy and more chocolately than any other ice cream I've ever tried. I wasn't so lucky as to get a bite of brownie, but Mr. valleywriter says they were top notch. In fact, he liked his ice cream so much, he finished it before I finished mine (which I think is a first!). We savored every sweet, creamy bite from the first lick to the last little drop in the bottom of the cone. And if our tummies hadn't been full, we might have gone back for more.
Watch out Herrell's - I think Mt. Tom's going to give you a run for your money in this year's Best of the Valley (it's got our votes!).
P.S. The owner of Mt. Tom's has his own cool blog. Check out - The Ice Cream Diaries.