August 2013

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play with your food Simple Sips August corn means pour the Chardonnay By Karen Eigenberger I Scream, You Scream Scooping up Madison favorites By Michael and Jean Muckian Nothing says August like ice cream, and our favorite spot has always been the Babcock Hall Dairy Store—the face of the UW's Center for Dairy Research. Ice cream fans flock to the small shop for its wide range of innovative flavors. Various special concoctions, such as Union Utopia and Berry Alvarez make frequent appearances in the dairy store, which also sells cheese and serves sandwiches. But, of the 70 different flavors and 75,000 gallons produced here each year, the top seller, clerks agree, is plain vanilla. The high levels of milk and butter fat make this a vanilla like no other, and one that may spoil you for all other brands of ice cream. Our favorites? The creamy orange custard chocolate chip has just the right balance of ingredients, and the chocolate peanut butter, which doesn't lean too heavily on either key ingredient, is clearly greater than the sum of its parts. We fell in love with salted caramel toffee, among the most complex and sophisticated of the current selection. But that's just the tip of the ice (cream) berg, and tomorrow's another flavor. Dig into summer's last scoop with irresistible frozen treats Hubbard Avenue Diner and Bakery You won't want to share much of what's on this popular eatery's dessert menu, including their Grasshopper Sundae—a homemade chocolate mint brownie topped with chocolate mint ice cream and hot fudge. 7445 Hubbard Ave., Middleton Michael's Frozen Custard Send your taste buds to paradise at this bustling stop for frozen guilty pleasures. Their Coconut Paradise Sundae offers a tropical mix—vanilla custard, sliced bananas, pineapple, coconut flakes and a cherry. 2531 Monroe St., Madison Monty's Blue Plate Diner Bacon—it's what's for breakfast, lunch and dessert at this popular diner that dishes up a Candied Bacon Sundae with vanilla ice cream, candied bacon, maple syrup, caramel and nuts. 2089 Atwood Ave., Madison For free tours of Babcock Hall Dairy Plant call (608) 265-9500 or email cvpspecialist@ Michael and Jean Muckian have covered the local food and arts scenes for more than 25 and 15 years, respectively. 54 BRAVA Magazine Java Cat Have a summer fling with an Italian. Um, we meant the dessert. This easy stop for coffee also serves a colorful mix of gelatos with so many flavors you'll please everyone's sweet tooth. 3918 Monona Dr., Monona August 2013 Wisconsin's corn acreage is monumental this year. The USDA's latest plantings report shows that Wisconsin's 2013 corn crop could be the second largest in history. That's good news—more tasty corn for us all. Now, what to drink with it? Whether it's corn on the cob, corn chowder, popcorn or corn bread, the best pairing, hands down, is a rich, buttery California Chardonnay. The wine's sweet fruit, balanced with creamy lemon flavors, is an "a-ha" pairing that will keep you coming back to the corn. Other white wines work great, too, but aren't at the same level as a Chardonnay. Even if you love red wines, I'd stay far away from them when eating corn—its sweetness will simply overpower and make the reds taste sour. One of my favorite treats is hot buttered popcorn paired with cool, luscious Chardonnay. It's a great combination that only gets better with fresh, crunchy Wisconsin farm corn. My sipping picks that pair perfectly with fresh corn: Stoller Reserve Chardonnay ($23) tastes of lemon and baked apple. Merryvale Starmont Chardonnay ($21) features pear and vanilla highlights. MooBuzz Monterey Chardonnay ($13) is a great bargain. Cheers! Karen Eigenberger is partner at STEVE'S Wine-Beer-Spirits on Mineral Point Road. Visit

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