13 must-try ice creams in Denver this summer

As of right now, you are on the clock. There are 13 weeks of summer — aka Peak Ice Cream Season — which means that you have, oh, 2,232 hours in which to indulge your frostiest, creamiest dessert fantasies during the season in which they are intended to be indulged.

Your mission: to eat the 13 very best flavors at the 13 very best ice cream parlors.

We went to the pros — the churners, the makers, the tasters of these fine ice cream establishments; the people who know each and every flavor they scoop inside and out — and asked them which flavor is their favorite.

For some, it was like choosing among their children, but we made them do it anyway. Because we’re sick like that.

Whether I scream or you scream or we all scream, over the next 13 weeks we are going to experience this magic in a bowl. Or cone. Or on top of a banana with whipped cream and a cherry on top. Or wedged between two doughnuts. How ever you scoop it, there will be ice cream. And it will be glorious.

The Front Range Summer 2017 Ice Cream List:

Salted Oreo at Sweet Cooie’s/Little Man 3506 12th Ave., Denver, 720-550-7140; sweetcooies.com and 2620 16th St., Denver, 303-455-3811; littlemanicecream.com

Eggs Two Ways at High Point Creamery 215 S. Holly St., Denver, 720-420-9137 and 2669 Larimer St., Denver (inside Denver Central Market), 303-993-4581; highpointcreamery.com

Lavender Milk Caramel at Frozen Matter 530 E. 19th Ave., Denver, 720-600-6358; frozenmatter.com

Fruity Pebbles at Ice Cream Riot 1238 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, 720-475-1853

Wasabi Peach at Liks 2039 E. 13th Ave., Denver, 303-321-2370; liksicecream.com

Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel at Glacier various locations; glaciericecream.com

S’mores at Chaos & Cream 3350 Brighton Blvd., Denver (inside The Source), 720-504-7655; chaosandcream.com

Double Stuffed Cookies N Cream at Nuggs 5135 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, 720-465-9473; nuggsicecream.com

Lemon Crunch and Strawberry Basil at Inside Scoop Creamery 5654 S. Prince St., Littleton, 303-798-4768 and 1535 Platte St., Denver; insidescoopdenver.com

Sweet Corn at Sweet Cow various locations; sweetcowicecream.com

Malted Matzo Toff at Josh & John’s 111 E. Pikes Peak Ave., Colorado Springs, 719-632-0299 and 6896 Centennial Blvd., Colorado Springs, 719-532-0299; joshandjohns.com

Salted Butterscotch at Sweet Action 52 Broadway, Denver, 303-282-4645; sweetactionicecream.com

Darth Walrus at Walrus Ice Cream Co. 125 W. Mountain Ave., Fort Collins, 970-482-5919; walrusicecream.com

Here are a few more ice cream parlors around the state worthy of a road trip detour. Or just a road trip:

Cream Bean Berry in Durango; Rock House Ice Cream in Palmer Lake; Third Bowl Homemade Ice Cream in Crested Butte; Enstrom Candies in Grand Junction; Cafe Ridgway A La Mode in Ridgway; and Chocolate Moose Ice Cream Parlor in Glenwood Springs

Ice cream of the week: Salted Oreo at Sweet Cooie’s/Little Man

I’ll start with Little Man because if you want a scoop this summer, you’ll probably need to get in line now. Or you can skip the never-ending queue at the Man and try Sweet Cooie’s, its retro-inspired, lower-key sister parlor in Congress Park. Cooie’s serves the same Little Man ice cream you know and love, plus a few of its own unique flavors.

“Hands-down our most popular flavor among both customers and staff is our Salted Oreo,” said Chelsea Berman, Kitchen Manager for Little Man Ice Cream. “This is a salty vanilla ice cream with Oreo pieces mixed throughout.”

And salty it is. You’ll pick up the slightly sour, briny flavor of the salt while it simultaneously intensifies the sweetness of the Oreos. It’s the perfect sweet/salty combo that hits all the taste buds.

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