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  • Shaved ice from Osaka-Ya

  • Ice cream sandwiches from Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates

  • Gelato from Devine Gelateria

  • A classic banana split is one of the many items on the menu at Gunther's Ice Cream in Sacramento.

The hottest frozen treats

Published: Thursday, Jul. 4, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 13X

F ourth of July is summer's highpoint holiday – and it might mean a four-day weekend for some folks. The forecast? We'll likely still be dealing with triple-digit temperatures. Here's one way to beat the heat: frozen treats. They'll cool you off. They'll dazzle your taste buds. Maybe you'll find one of your favorites on my list of seven standouts. Best of all, nearly everything recommended is less than $6.

1. Ice cream sandwich,

Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates 1801 L St. No. 60, Sacramento

I have raved about this puck-size piece of culinary wizardry before. It may be the best frozen treat you'll ever encounter – excellent ice cream sandwiched between two oversize macarons. Here's what's special: Because the macarons are made with egg whites, they tend not to freeze. If you've ever struggled to bite through most gourmet ice cream sandwiches, this will be a game changer. It's elegant. It's delicious. It's my favorite frozen treat of all time.

2. Gelato

Devine Gelateria & Café

1221 19th St., Sacramento

If you're on a dessert binge, this place is a two-minute walk from Ginger Elizabeth. The gelato is not only crafted with care and precision, the flavors are diverse, inventive and endlessly delicious, including all kinds of chocolate offerings as well as the get-there-early-or-it-will-be-gone salty caramel.

Owner Elizabeth McCleary studied gelato making in Italy and she has brought those classic techniques here. Many gelatos and sorbettos are flavored with locally sourced ingredients.

3. Shaved ice,


2210 10th St., Sacramento

This 50-year-old Sacramento institution has moved up on my list. Unlike the above two treats, it offers frozen goodness without that creamy mouthfeel. It's all about the texture of the ice and the balance of the flavors (cherry, lime, bubble gum, etc.). If you want to turn heads on the sidewalk, order the large – it's known to be "as big as a baby's head."

4. Orange cream freeze,

Hagen's Orange Freeze,

2520 Walnut Ave., Carmichael

There's something nostalgic about summertime and frozen treats. If you're like many Sacramentans, you remember orange freezes from decades ago. The 2013 version won't disappoint, made with fresh orange juice. These days, there are more than two dozen flavors, but newcomers should at least try the orange before exploring other options.

5. Peach shake,

Whitey's Jolly Kone,

300 Jefferson Blvd., West Sacramento

This is the only treat on my list that you can't get all the time. The peaches usually aren't ready until the first week in July. That's right, they use only in-season, local peaches. Until then, you won't go wrong with Whitey's excellent chocolate shake.

6. Chocolate milk shake,

Vic's Ice Cream

3199 Riverside Blvd., Sacramento

Speaking of chocolate shakes, this old-time charmer continues to thrive, and one good way of experiencing Vic's is to pull up to the counter on a hot afternoon and polish off one of these wet-cement-thick and always-delicious concoctions. Your cheeks will be sore by the time you finish.

7. Banana split,

Gunther's Ice Cream

Shop 2801 Franklin Blvd., Sacramento

Last year, I had Gunther's great 50/50 (flavored ice and ice cream) on my list. But this year, my inner 12-year-old can't resist going back to the all-time favorite of my childhood – the classic banana split. Gunter's version is massive. But since the lines on a hot summer night are ridiculously long, if you're going to wait – and wait – you might as well reward yourself with this timeless treat.

Call The Bee's Blair Anthony Robertson, (916) 321-1099. Follow him on Twitter @Blarob.

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