With summer upon us, the time-honored tradition of debating where to seek out the best ice cream in the Delaware River Towns can commence. And now it can stop. Not every tradition is meant to be continued, and this is one of them. For at least a few years now, oWowCow has been unrivaled. And with the recent opening of its fifth shop, in Chalfont, Bucks County, it’s pretty clear that oWowCow is poised for world domination.
Think we’re overstating it? BuzzFeed included it in its “27 Ice Cream Shops You Need To Visit Before You Die,” and that was all the way back in 2014, when oWowCow was only in its infancy. A steady stream—more of a raging river, really—of accolades has followed since.
Affirming as the recognition is, though, it’s not the reason you’ll fall in love with oWowCow at first bite and immediately forget the names of anywhere else you’ve ever eaten ice cream in your life. You’ll do all that and more because of the ice cream, which, risking hyperbole again, is unlike any you’ve ever tasted.
Since founder and owner John Fezzuoglio mixed his first batch—with no experience whatsoever—he’s developed a mad scientist’s reputation with the creation of paradigm-shifting flavors like honey lavender and rosewater cardamom. But, at heart, he’s really a staunch preservationist.
oWowCow, Fezzuoglio has said, is his attempt to sustain a community-driven business, one that gives as much as it takes, especially where the sourcing is concerned. The honey lavender? It’s made with organic lavender from Peace Valley Lavender Farm in Doylestown. The cashew caramel and banana caramel are both made with caramel from Raymer’s Homemade Candies.
That’s really just the tip of the cone.
Fezzuoglio opened his first shop in 2009 in out-of-the-way Ottsville, Bucks County, where he was surrounded by acres and acres of farmland. He crafted his base, as he continues to now, from local cream, eggs, and honey, the result, perhaps, of pure pragmatism, or his first attempt to hold a simple food to a higher standard.
In the years since, he’s included ingredients from farms and artisans all over Bucks County. Over the last few summers, sweet buttered corn has become one of the most sought-after flavors on the oWowCow menu, which is saying something because each one seems to have its own Facebook fan-page. Part of that has to do with the fact that it’s only around for a couple weeks at a time. But most of it is tied to the sublime flavor. It eats just like a sweet ear of corn slathered in melting butter.
None Such Farms, in Buckingham, approached Fezzuoglio and asked if he was interested in their sweet white corn. He jumped at the opportunity. “We’re always looking for something seasonal and to try to invent a flavor around that particular item,” he said.
He adds the butter flavor to the ice cream base first. The sugar follows. Then he swirls in the cooked corn and coarse salt. The gradual incorporation helps keep the flavors distinct.
It’s rather labor-intensive, as you may have already gathered. But if it was easy, Fezzuoglio wouldn’t be the only one doing it.