What makes ice cream, ice cream, is actually a bit difficult to nail down.
The sweetened, frozen food is a combination of milk or cream combined with eggs and flavored with sweeteners, spices and other ingredients to make everyone’s favorite flavors.
Deviations from this definition are where you get frozen custard, soft serve, sherbet, yogurt and more.
But whether you like your ice cream in a milkshake, flash frozen, dairy free or just plain ol' vanilla, there are way more than 31 flavors to chose from across the many frozen dessert shops in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.
So if you're looking for a cool treat to chill out with this summer, look no further than this list of tasty options:
Sweet Cone Alabama
Where: 5331 N. Palafox St., Pensacola
Surprisingly not located in Alabama, Sweet Cone Alabama is all about mixing ambiance with the love of ice cream. In addition to the cold dessert, you'll find candy, fudge, milk shakes, a 3-foot deep sprinkle pool and dual photo booths at the back of the shop.
AJ’s Market and Ice Cream at Southtowne
Where: 140 S. Jefferson St.
AJ's Market and Ice Cream is sort of a one-stop-shop for quick convenience in Downtown Pensacola. AJ's serves up Hershey Ice Cream that can be used for a variety of special treats, including "having it your way" where you can make it however you want. It has options for vegan and dairy free ice cream and shakes in addition to soda fountains, snacks, produce and general products.
Bubba's Sweet Spot
Where: 405 S. Palafox St.
Bubba's Sweet Spot doubles as not just an ice cream spot but a place for homemade chocolate, fudge and candy, too. The Sweet Spot allows you to stack up scoops of your favorite flavors while piling on toppings.
Where: 5100 N. Ninth Ave., inside Cordova Mall
Dippin’ Dots is often referred to as space ice cream meant for astronauts, but it actually has more worldly origins. The ice cream snack is created by flash freezing ice cream mix in liquid nitrogen, and was originally invented as efficient fodder for farm animals.
What you can find at the Dippin’ Dots in Cordova Mall aren’t what cows would be eating, however. You can get dots in a wide variety of flavors that include Liberty Ice, cold brew latte and more traditional flavors like vanilla and strawberry.
TASTEbuds: Sweet Treats and Ice Cream
Where: 4579 Watkins St., Pace
Have you ever had a luxury milkshake? If not, do your buds a favor and head over to TASTEbuds in Pace and get ready for some of the most instagram-worthy milkshakes you've ever seen. The locally-owned shop has 11 unique flavors that are topped with Little Debbie's Fudge Rounds, Zebra Cakes and honey buns. Plus, you can get your fill of ice cream, too.
Where: 5800 N. W St.
Some restaurants sacrifice options for quality, but La Michoacana asks "Por que no los dos?" (or, "why not both?") The name "Michoacana" is frequently used as a slang term for "natural" or "fresh" in Mexico, which perfectly describes the 100 flavors of hand-made popsicles and 70 ice cream varieties. Savory snacks like chicarron preparado and elote corn are also available.
Crazy Cat Creamery
Where: 224 E. Garden St., Suite 6
Cat lovers rejoice, Crazy Cat Creamery is a new ice cream shop that is fully decked out in cat decorations — the ice cream is good too. The Pensacola shop serves 24 flavors, including Smoky Mountain Fudge, Super Cow and Blueberry Cream Pie. It also has a Disney connection as it serves up fresh coffee from Joffrey's Coffee & Tea Co., known for also being served in Walt Disney World.
Frozen yogurt was first introduced in the United States in the ‘70s to a not-so-enthusiastic reception. Many people complained about the tartness of the dessert. It wasn’t until TCBY come out with soft-serve frozen yogurt in the ‘80s that the trend caught on.
Frozen Yogurt is an ice cream alternative that remains relatively close to its cousin while managing to carve out its own unique flavor. It can be found using dairy and non-dairy alternatives, and is typically a bit more tart than ice cream.
It can be a slightly healthier alternative, offering sugar- and fat-free iterations. You’ll find frozen yogurt shops offering a huge variety of flavors and toppings.
Where to eat it:
Where: 7175 N. Davis Highway, #6313
Frozen Ropes Yogurt
Where: 875 E. Nine Mile Road, #12
Yo’Licioius Frozen Yogurt & Sweets
Where: 5100 N. Ninth Ave., in Cordova Mall
Where: 3749-D Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze
Where: 4871 U.S. 90, Milton
This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: Pensacola ice cream, frozen yogurt, frozen custard, milkshake shops