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Summer’s Dessert: Homemade Ice Cream in the Rogue Valley

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A daring blend of Strawberry Cheesecake and Smoked Jalapeño and Peach, alongside Lemon Sage. Photo courtesy of Jordan Marie Martinez

Try thinking of a food that goes better with summer than ice cream. Nothing really comes to mind. Since around the 17th century, ice cream has become one of the world’s favorite desserts, and throughout history vendors have been experimenting with new and perfecting traditional flavors, including a few places in the Rogue Valley. From blending classic flavors together to trying new combinations, these local shops are ice cream experts.


Rogue Eats

Although they have great lunch options, their desserts are just as appetizing. From lemon honey to smoked jalapeño and peach, Rogue Eats is constantly trying new flavors. I sampled a few different kinds, but ended up going with lemon sage. One simply can’t go wrong with lemon, and this recipe was created when other ingredients were in short supply. The invigorating lemon is warmed and minutely spiced up with the sage. Their caramelized carrot and basil ice cream tasted like a Thanksgiving pie, and the basil provided a grainy, pleasing texture. Smoked jalapeño and peach was the greatest experience for the taste buds. The peach comes in strong at the beginning but as soon as the ice cream melts on your tongue, the jalapeño bites you at the end. Rogue Eats also has strawberry cheesecake, salted caramel and salty peanut and chocolate caramel, and French vanilla. They rotate flavors often, striving to bring customers something different every time.

137 S Central Ave, Medford

11 am – 7 pm, Monday – Saturday

$3 for single scoop, $ 5 for double scoop



Sweet Cream

Served in homemade waffle cones, any one of Sweet Cream’s ice cream flavors are exquisitely sweet and refreshing. Lavender lemon zest is a crowd favorite and was certainly mine. With the famously strong flavors of lemon and lavender, both complimented each other, creating a flowery, refreshing taste. The flavor is one of their regulars, as well as vanilla and chocolate. Their monthly flavors for July are golden cookies and cream, vegan peach sorbet, and coffee with dark chocolate. The coffee ice cream is made with GoodBean coffee and pairs perfectly with the chocolate. The golden cookies and cream taste similar to a blondie, and the cookies chunks offer a satisfying crunch to the cream they’re lodged in. The waffle cones are worth mentioning again because of their soft, powdered sugar texture enhancing every flavor.

264 Theater Alley, Medford

11 am – 7 pm, Tuesday – Thursday

11 am – 10 pm, Friday

$3.50 for single scoop, $4.50 for double scoop, $7 for a pint, $.50 for waffle cone



Tommi’s Frozen Custard

Even if you don’t live in Grants Pass, this ice cream shop is worth the trip. While it also offers Umpqua Dariy hard packed ice cream, their homemade frozen custard is unbelievable. The difference between frozen custard and ice cream are adding eggs to the recipe. The presence of egg yolks produces a creamier, smoother texture to the frozen dessert. Who doesn’t like creamier? Made fresh daily, their flavors ranged from frozen hot chocolate to orange creamsicle. Their coffee frozen custard is easily a crowd favorite, with classic notes of earthiness paired with sugar. The butter pecan was even creamier––the pieces of pecan sparing yet a reward every time I munched on one. Vanilla peanut butter chunk is as delicious as the rest, the chunks of creamy peanut butter huge and the vanilla sweet and thick. The frozen custard shop also makes milkshakes, sundaes, and shaved ice––a paradise for any lover of desserts.

101 SW 4th St, Grants Pass

11:30 am – 9 pm, Monday – Thursday

11:30 am – 10 pm, Friday – Saturday

$3.25 for single scoop


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