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Celebrate Ice Cream Month in Corydon

Submitted by on July 4, 2011 – 12:41 amNo Comment

As the nation prepares to celebrate National Ice Cream Month this July, there’s no place better to experience the creamy confection than Harrison County, Indiana. Here, a trio of old-fashioned ice cream parlors and soda fountains draw sweet-toothed visitors of all ages to the southern Indiana town of Corydon.

The classic soda fountain tucked inside Butt Drugs recalls the laid-back days before cell phones and iPads (morning coffee’s still 25 cents a cup here). Since opening in 1952, Butt Drugs has been dishing up the friendly convenience of a home-town pharmacy, blended with a classic old-time soda fountain. Besides malts, shakes, cones and a “secret recipe” vanilla cream soda, Butt Drugs also offers gourmet confections: fudge, malt balls, chocolate toffee pistachios and a caramel-covered marshmallow candy concoction called modjeskas.

Following in the footsteps of her father and grandfather, both pharmacists, Katie Butt Beckort is now the third-generation owner of Butt Drugs. “Visitors sit at the original soda fountain my grandfather bought in 1952 and experience ice cream and confections exactly the way they did back then,” said Beckort. “That’s what makes us so unique. Anyone can buy a new or restored fountain, but there is something very special about sitting down for a soda at the original.”

Founded by Frances Emery in 1937, Emery’s Ice Cream Parlor (open only March through November) is always worth a visit. Flavors inspired by the 1940s, such as lemon chiffon, maple nut, tin roof, lemon custard and orange-pineapple, keep visitors coming in and regulars coming back. Not only does Emery’s serve “skyscraper” scoops, but their banana splits are dressed so fancy that folks come for miles just to watch them being made. Emery’s renowned turtle sundae features a homemade caramel-fudge brownie topped with praline ice cream, fudge and caramel sauces, whipped cream, nuts and, of course, a cherry.

After a brief closure in the 1990s, Kevin Paul brought Emery’s back to life, creating a perfect replica, down to every inch of neon. Paul stocked shelves with “penny” candy like soft sugar sticks, Slo Pokes and Good N’ Plenty, and, just as they did back in 1937, the friendly “Emery’s girls“ scoop up 26 flavors of ice cream every day, plus 10 different sherbet flavors, including, champagne, grape, cherry, peach, fruit punch and fall favorite, cranberry. (When asked his favorite flavor, Paul proclaims it a tie between Almond Joy and old-fashioned vanilla-strawberry.)

Polly’s Freeze is a favorite ’50s-era-inspired eatery just 15 miles east of Corydon in Floyd County. It features an array of homemade edibles, from the seasonal lime sherbet to the creamy soft-serve. At this classic, casual eatery marked by the giant, colorful parrot sign, customers order at a walk-up counter and then relax at one of the picnic tables that scatter the area.

Nearby Squire Boone Caverns Director Claudia Yundt has been a customer for more than 40 years. “I’m addicted,” she says. Yundt’s regular order of the saucer-sized Polly Burger, big homemade onion rings and an icy root beer is finished off with her favorite ice cream, Polly’s orange sherbet.

Donna Eisert, and her parents before her, founders Polly and Elmer Gleitz, have owned Polly’s Freeze for 28 years.

For more information on visiting this part of southern Indiana, go online.

(Image courtesy of Emery’s Ice Cream)

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