Today’s Contender: Ray’s Ice Cream
Location: Royal Oak, Michigan
Flavor: Orange Pineapple
This flavor is more about nostalgia than anything else really. Growing up, it was my mother’s favorite and I recall her ordering it every time we would take the drive to Ray’s, and me thinking she must be the only person in the world who ordered this flavor. I was a kid after all and flavors like Blue Moon and Banana were much more exciting to my sensibility. But years later, Orange Pineapple is still on the menu so clearly others like it as well. As flavor combinations go, it’s not bad — the refreshing orange flavor base with lots of chewy tangy pineapple bits. I can see the appeal. But in general Ray’s left me a bit flat for the ice cream was overly frozen making it hard to appreciate the flavor at all. Even after letting my healthy cupful sit for a good 10 minutes it remained more chewy than creamy. Not so much what I like in an ice cream texture but Ray’s remains a local favorite so clearly it appeals to many. For me, I’ll tuck it away in the memory banks as a childhood treat shared with Mom on a hot summer’s eve. That right there is a smile and a half for this kid.