Friday, July 15, 2011

Ice Cream Week Kicks off at Reading Terminal Market

Stay cooool while the rest of the City melts

If you're an ice cream aficionado then head to historic Reading Terminal Market this Saturday July 16th for some ice cream mayhem!  In recognition of National Ice Cream Day, which was first initiated in July 1984 by then President Ronald Reagan, the Market is hosting a day of frozen fun. 

As the oldest ice cream manufacturer in the U.S., Bassetts Ice Cream will be spearheading the ultimate Ice Cream Festival; Bassetts first started trading at the Market way back when - in 1893 to be precise. 

On July 16th, Bassetts will be joined by some of Philadelphia’s leading independent frozen dessert artisans including the Market's own Miller's Twist. Other attendees in years past have included Bredenbeck’s Bakery & Ice Cream Parlor & The Franklin Fountain. 

Highlights of the day include ice cream eating contests, tastings, games, demonstrations, giveaways, live music, children’s crafts and more. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Center Court at the Reading Terminal Market.

Perhaps you'd like to take a turn at ice cream juggling at Philadelphia's Ultimate Ice Cream Festival...?  Thought not.  Only for the brave hearted this; don't try it at home :)

For Bassetts, 2011 is a very special year; it marks the 150th anniversary of this famous Philadelphian institution.  The story of the Market and the success of Bassetts is entwined. 

Believe it or not, Bassetts very first ice creams were manufactured in the basement of the original market building.  Bassetts was a runaway success however and demand soon outstripped the production capabilities onsite at the Market. 

The company may have moved its production elsewhere, but it still sources ingredients for its ice creams from merchants at the Market and Bassetts' CEO Michael Strange has been known to try out new flavors on willing merchants and customers at the Market.

Strange relates an anecdote about his Matcha (Japanese Green Tea) Ice Cream which was released in 2010. 

According to Bassetts' CEO, the company researched Green Teas high and low, testing and tasting -- but nothing hit the spot. 

Lynnette Chen, owner of Tea Leaf at Reading Terminal Market saved the day. Lynette is extremely knowledgeable about Asian Teas and found the perfect 'match' for Bassetts.  Today, Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream is one of Bassetts' top selling new flavors. (Vanilla is still far and away everyone's no 1. favorite!)

Take a look at the marble counter top which runs the length of Bassetts' stand at the Market.  This marble dates back to when the Market was newly built and Bassetts opened its first retail store in this vert same spot.  It's a piece of living history! 

Come to the Market on July 16th and create your own special ice cream memories.

Bassetts is a fifth generation Philadelphian business.  The company is still owned and operated by the original founders great-great grandsons Michael Strange and Roger Bassett.

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