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Big Dipper Ice Cream Factory

91 Waterbury Rd., Prospect, CT - (203) 758-3200
Posted By Michael Stern on 11/25/2009 5:05:00 AM
Two words to the wise: toasted almond. That's the signature flavor of the Big Dipper Ice Cream Factory, and they sell nearly as much of it as vanilla or chocolate. Although it was originally inspired by the Good Humor "Toasted Almond" bar, it far surpasses its inspiration in creamyness (laced with delightfully sandy streaks of almond crunch) and vivid nut taste.

If this particular flavor is not your idea of heaven on earth, don't worry. The Big Dipper has a few dozen others, ranging from silly (cotton candy) to swank (café Vienna, which is coffee and cinnamon) to serious (espresso). All are rich in butterfat (16%), but not so rich that they cloy. These are ice creams we can easily eat double and triple dips of, several times a week. The repertoire changes daily, but you always can count on toasted almond.

We would recommend this place if it was ugly and the staff was mean and nasty, but in fact it is an extraordinarily happy ice cream parlor, and getting to it along Route 69 is a summertime ritual for ice cream lovers from miles around. Once inside, you are served by a staff of local girls who frequently keep coming back to work at Big Dipper for many years, through high school and even into college, on vacations. They seem to love doing what they do. And why not? Ice cream – or at least the good feeling it generates among those who make, serve, and eat it – has got to be America's greatest health tonic.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Ice Cream
Vanilla Ice Cream
Toasted Almond Ice Cream
Hot Fudge Sauce
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Kristen Mulcahy and Meghan Carmody offer waffle cones full of cotton candy ice cream and black raspberry, respectively. Nice people like this behind the counter are what make coming to the Big Dipper especially fun. It is a genuine old-fashioned community ice cream parlor, NOT a big corporation pretending to be people-friendly.
"Kristen Mulcahy and Meghan Carmody offer waffle cones full of cotton candy ice cream and black raspberry, respectively. Nice people like this behind the counter are what make coming to the Big Dipper especially fun. It is a genuine old-fashioned community ice cream parlor, NOT a big corporation pretending to be people-friendly."
Michael Stern





The plentiful hunks of chocolate chip in this ice cream are extraordinarily soft. As the ice cream melts on your tongue, so do they!
"The plentiful hunks of chocolate chip in this ice cream are extraordinarily soft. As the ice cream melts on your tongue, so do they!"
Michael Stern


In some ways, Big Dipper is a theme eatery, the theme being ice cream. In addition to serving it, the place is festooned with ice cream memorabilia, including these vintage dippers and the old metal cans in which milk used to be delivered from dairy farms.
"In some ways, Big Dipper is a theme eatery, the theme being ice cream. In addition to serving it, the place is festooned with ice cream memorabilia, including these vintage dippers and the old metal cans in which milk used to be delivered from dairy farms."
Michael Stern


Yes, the ice cream is manufactured here, however the ambience is anything but factory-like. A sweeter sweet shop, you won't find.
"Yes, the ice cream is manufactured here, however the ambience is anything but factory-like. A sweeter sweet shop, you won't find."
Michael Stern


The Cowmobile was parked out back the day I visited. Inside, on the wall, among 100s of reviewers' raves, ice cream awards, and personal notes of thanks to the Big Dipper is a photo of a bunch of local kids all dressed in formal wear going to their Senior Prom ... in the Cowmobile!
"The Cowmobile was parked out back the day I visited. Inside, on the wall, among 100s of reviewers' raves, ice cream awards, and personal notes of thanks to the Big Dipper is a photo of a bunch of local kids all dressed in formal wear going to their Senior Prom ... in the Cowmobile!"
Michael Stern


At the Big Dipper, you specify exactly how much ice cream you want and are charged by weight (the ice cream's, not yours). In this photo a cone with a scant scoop of chocolate mousse is being measured.
"At the Big Dipper, you specify exactly how much ice cream you want and are charged by weight (the ice cream's, not yours). In this photo a cone with a scant scoop of chocolate mousse is being measured."
Michael Stern



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