WALLINGFORD — With pumpkin spice coffees and lattes everywhere, it’s easy to assume Praline’s pumpkin ice cream is most popular this time of year.
While it sells well for sure, Praline’s says their apple caramel crumb usually sells even better in the fall.
“The best one, the one that people can’t get over, is the apple caramel crumb that we do,” said Jalmar De Dios, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer.
He contributes the popularity to a New England love of caramel-covered apples, especially when found at annual fall festivals and during Halloween.
“It's the taste of Halloween all wrapped up,” he said.
The flavor is made with real apples, which are cooked with cinnamon and added to the ice cream with cooled down caramel.
All of Praline’s autumn flavors arrived in stores mid-August, when De Dios said “people are already looking for pumpkin spice and everything.” They will be available until about mid-November, when the holiday and winter flavors are transitioned in.
Praline’s also does a pumpkin gingersnap flavor, in addition to pumpkin and apple caramel crumb ice cream. The 35-year-old operation uses real ingredients and hand-mixes in things like the gingersnap cookies and caramel, at its Wallingford headquarters.
Jim Scarfo, owner of Praline’s Ice Cream in Berlin, said even the seasonal flavors are seasonal.
“Like right now, beginning of fall, the apple seems to go pretty good,” he said. “And then the pumpkin, (right around Thanksgiving time) that one goes crazy.”
De Dios said Praline’s was able to stay relevant and successful during the pandemic.
“The one thing that people are finding that is comforting is that they’re still able to go out and get ice cream with the family,” De Dios said.
When people couldn’t go anywhere, some turned to the normalcy of grabbing ice cream, something that’s easy to take-out, eat outside or take home for later.
Praline’s offers seasonal flavors in the winter and summer too, but De Dios said the special fall flavors are best sellers because it’s still warm enough for ice cream and the flavors are so classic for this time of year.
Praline’s Ice Cream, 1179 Farmington Ave. in Berlin, is open Sunday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The ice cream can also be found at Mr. D’s in Wallingford, and Praline’s locations in Southington and Plainville.