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Scoops of pistachio on summer nights

Scoops of pistachio on summer nights
Hendler’s, trademarked as 'the velvet kind,' was made in East Baltimore in the Jonestown neighborhood. (MALASHUK / Baltimore Sun)

Lines formed for Baltimore’s favorite ice creams on summer nights in the 1950s. A pair of competing brands, Hendler’s and Arundel were the big league contenders in the ice cream cone race.

Arundel ice cream was made from a processing plant on Smallwood Street in West Baltimore and was sold through its numerous franchised neighborhood shops in Hamilton, South Baltimore, Waverly and on Edmondson Avenue. Its orange and lime sherbets sold well during the dog days. Its longer established competitor was Hendler’s, trademarked as “the velvet kind,” and made in East Baltimore in the Jonestown neighborhood.

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Soda fountain workers scooped Hendler’s from bulk containers all over Maryland. Peach and strawberry were June-July-August go-to favorites in the days before Old Bay and Key lime appeared on ice cream menu boards. During 1950s winters, a seasonal flavor, eggnog, was considered exotic.

There were independents too. Echol’s, Delvale and High’s. Those who wanted personality in their ice cream patronized small batch makers like Horn and Horn in downtown Baltimore, Doebereiner and Glaser, each on North Avenue, Schwaab’s on Greenmount Avenue and Temple’s in Hamilton.

Drive-ins and roadside dairy bars were a summer evening driving destination — Price’s on Liberty Road, Castle Farms near Taneytown and Brookwood Farms in Anne Arundel County. Loch Raven Boulevard had a pair of competitors at Taylor Avenue — Knox’s and Murray’s.

There was also Windy Valley on Falls Road and Berg’s dairy store on East Joppa Road. The 1950s soda fountain sundae toppings were simple — chocolate, hot fudge, marshmallow, pineapple, strawberry — and maybe wet walnuts, for the wickedly indulgent.

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