Cow Lick Ice Cream is Cedar Crest’s new summer flavor, thanks to Kewaunee County 4-H members
LUXEMBURG – A new Cedar Crest Ice Cream flavor this summer is coming from a group of Kewaunee County 4-H members.
The 67 members of the Pilsen Skylighters 4-H Club will see their idea for Cow Lick Ice Cream scooped into cones and dishes as a Cedar Crest featured flavor in ice cream shops and parlors this July across the Midwest.
The flavor is the result of the annual Ice Cream Flavor Creation Contest that the Cedarburg-based, family-owned company holds in partnership with the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation for 4-H clubs across the state. Judges choose one grand prize winner and four other finalists, all of who win an ice cream party thrown by Cedar Crest while the grand prize winner also gets $500.
While the contest has taken place annually for more than 10 years, this marks the first time the Pilsen club has entered it.
"It's exciting news for our club," said Jenny Salentine, co-general leader of the Skylighters. "We're kinda on Cloud 9. We submitted five entries, and it's amazing that one of them won."
Salentine said their club holds an ice cream social with the public every June, so the club and Cedar Crest are hoping to coordinate their efforts to unofficially debut Cow Lick at that social, shortly before the flavor heads to "scoop shops" in July.
The contest matters to Cedar Crest, marketing manager Jennifer Flierl said, because it keeps them connected with the state's vital dairy and agricultural industry and the young people learning about it through 4-H. Plus, it gives them a new flavor of ice cream each July.
"Cedar Crest Ice Cream just loves to receive flavor ideas from our fans," Flierl said. "With our roots in the dairy industry, and being a Wisconsin company, Cedar Crest's owners really had a soft spot for the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation. Through this partnership, we've been able to support youth in 4-H programs. And we've been able to benefit as well, because we get to feature a flavor to offer to customers."
As for Cow Lick itself, it will be made from a base of vanilla ice cream with a caramel swirl, chocolate-coated pretzels and fudge pieces. Participating 4-H clubs submit not just flavor and ingredient ideas but also a name for their flavor.
Flierl said more than 200 entries were submitted by nearly 100 4-H clubs across the state.
Flierl said the company doesn't make small batches of the flavor ideas for their panel of contest judges, but the judges use their experience to decide which flavor combinations will work best, along with looking for a name that is catchy or reflects the taste of the ice cream. Also, the ingredients need to be reasonably available.
"Our flavor specialists referred to and experimented with some our current flavor combinations and inclusions when deciding which flavor would be named our grand prize winner," Flierl said. "What they really enjoyed about (Cow Lick) was the really interesting name and the appealing flavor combination. Sweet with just a little bit of pretzel crunch was something they thought customers would love."
Salentine said a group effort is what led to the Pilsen club's winning entry. Older members (the club has youths in grades K-12 plus first-year college students) talked with younger members to come up with flavor and name ideas under the direction of Millaine Stodola, the Skylighters' Cloverbud leader (for members in grades K-2).
Along with Cow Lick, the Pilsen 4-Hers also entered ideas for Very Dairy Ice Cream (which would feature dairy-based ingredients like yogurt bites and butterscotch), The 4 H's (ingredients starting with the letter H), County Fair and Pig Tracks.
The other finalists were Summer Nights from the Winchester 4-H Club in Larsen, Cranberry Bog from the Johnstown 4-H Club in Darien, Strawberry Summer Nights from the Hilltop Climbers 4-H Club in Mondovi, and Mudrunner from the Bradford 4-H Club in Sharon.
Cow Lick will go into production in Cedar Crest's Manitowoc plant later this year. It only will be available by the scoop − or double or triple scoops, of course − at ice cream parlors that partner with Cedar Crest, and customers will be able to find it by looking for the green 4-H clover logo next to the ice cream's name.
As of now, Cow Lick will be a featured flavor just in July, but that doesn't necessarily mean it'll never be seen or tasted again afterward. Some past winning flavors from the 4-H contest were so popular that they became a part of the regular lineup for Cedar Crest’s scoop shops, such as the Wisconsin Campfire S'mores Ice Cream created in 2019 by the Springbrook 4-H Club of New Richmond and last year's winner, Haystack Ice Cream from the Knellsville 4-H Club of Ozaukee County.
Salentine said the $500 prize will be very helpful. The winning club can use the award as it sees fit, and Salentine said the club is recovering from fundraising activities that were more limited than usual in the past couple years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, "so this comes at a good time."
Along with that, of course, is the thrill the Skylighters got when they learned their ice cream will be featured in scoop shops.
"The reaction was very exciting," Salentine said. "They're all excited to sample our flavor creation."
The Cedar Crest website has a page where visitors can find parlors that serve their ice cream. For more information, visit cedarcresticecream.com/locator and click on the "Parlor Locator" button.
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-562-8900 or [email protected].
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This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Cow Lick Ice Cream is Cedar Crest's new summer flavor, thanks to Kewaunee County 4-H members