With fresh-baked waffle cones, about 50-52 snowstorm flavors and a secret recipe dating back to 1949, it’s no wonder going to Jarling’s Custard Cup is a really sweet treat.
George and Helen Potter began the business in 1949 in Danville, Ill., and, after a 20-year run, sold the establishment to Wilmer and Dorothea Jarling. Since then, the Jarling family has owned both the Danville and Champaign locations, with the latter opening in 1983.
“A lot of people have grown up with this place,” Angie Horath, shop manager, said. “They went to either high school, grade school or the university here. They got married, they moved away, or maybe they stayed here. Whatever it is, they bring their family here. And it just continues.”
If you’ve never been to the friendly ice cream shop before, Horath recommends trying a cold fudge sundae. Indulge in rich, velvety fudge drizzled on a scoop of premium ice cream with real vanilla flavor. But if you’re ready to go past the basics, the lemon custard is a close second. It was a hit at the Danville shop and has become a customer favorite at the Champaign location as well. The custard has a chiffon-like texture without the bitter taste that one usually expects from a lemon flavor.
Sam Saban, sophomore in Education at the University of Illinois, swears by the unlikely combination of chocolate and lemon.
“My mom grew up in Danville, so I always thought of Jarling’s as a special treat when I was younger,” said Saban.
In addition to the sacred, one-of-a-kind custard recipe, Jarling’s Custard Cup is one of few places that still offers old-fashioned sodas.
“We have old-fashioned sodas that they used to have in pharmacies. They’re very popular with the older crowd and the younger crowd is starting to get used to them too, now that they’ve been introduced to them,” Horath said.
It’s this quality of Jarling’s that makes it such a landmark in the CU community. Frozen yogurt and bubble tea may be trendy now, but classic ice cream flavors never go out of style. If reveling in a scoop of delicious custard with the perfect creamy texture sounds like the ideal dessert for you, then Jarling’s is definitely the place to go to seek your sweet retreat.
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