BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Between the shelves filled with syrup bottles, jars holding candy and nuts, plastic containers of chopped fresh fruit, plus other toppings limited only by imagination — gold leaf, anyone? — milkshakes come in an endless variety of flavors.
It’s hard to beat the classics, though.
The humble strawberry milkshake proved the most popular across the country, ranking No. 1 in 10 states including California, according to an analysis of Google Trends data conducted by RTA Outdoor Living. Chocolate came in second, with eight states choosing it as their favorite, and Oreo shakes took third.
Vanilla remains admired, garnering a fourth-place ranking and tying the Shamrock shake, which achieved an impressive finish considering it’s mostly associated with a mega-chain’s limited-time annual offer.
Bakersfield residents craving a strawberry shake — or any other kind — have plenty of options.
There is Dewar’s, which opened at its present location on Eye Street in 1930 and was named by no less an authority than the late, great Pulitzer-winning food critic Jonathan Gold as “the best old soda fountain in the state.” Other locations have opened in northwest and southwest Bakersfield.
At Moo Creamery, the strawberry shake is topped with fresh whipped cream and shortbread crumbles. For the more adventurous, there are the “bacon love” (maple base with candied bacon) and jalapeno cream cheese flavors. With the exception of the maple walnut ice cream I ate as a child from a stand in Massachusetts, Moo’s toasted almond shake may be the best combination of nuts and ice cream I’ve ever had.
Rosemary’s Family Creamery, assembling rich confections since 1984, typically has a couple dozen varieties available, with fruit-flavored options of strawberry, banana nut, burgundy cherry and lemon flake.
Heading south, there is the perpetually-crowded McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams at Grand Central Market, the Honeymee chain which uses natural raw honey in most flavors, the celebrated Fosselman’s, featured in a Guardian article proclaiming it as serving the best milkshakes in the world.
An entire summer could be spent (and well spent, at that) in an attempt to sample every milkshake served in the Los Angeles area alone and the list would likely still come up short. Californians love ice cream, and the lines greeting the opening of every shop touting maximum butterfat, organic, locally-sourced ingredients and innovative flavors prove it.
For a truly awesome sight, visit Superior Dairy in Hanford, where the purchase of a single scoop brings a bowl overflowing with a mountain of ice cream, enough to feed the Raiders offensive line. I have never seen anyone order a double.
And yes, you can get a strawberry shake.