As the Frozen Custard Churns



Where I grew up there were two seasons: frozen-custard season and no-frozen-custard season. Maine summers were all about our semi-weekly trips to Hodgman’s, which is open for business only from Mother’s Day to Labor Day. Sitting in the back of my parents’ Subaru, I knew we were halfway there when we passed the peeling wooden church.

Fast-forward to last summer, when I visited Hodgman’s for the first time in years, this time accompanied by friends and fellow New Yorkers. Not much had changed. The stand still bears a sagging awning that shelters dogged customers on rainy evenings. The menu is the same, too. It features parlor standards with sprinklings of Northern parlance (jimmies) and regional specialties (like the “tin roof.”)

My expectant friends plied me with questions: What’s the best flavor? How are the sugar cones? What the heck is a tin roof? (A sundae topped with chocolate syrup and peanuts.) Oh, and what is frozen custard, anyway?

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