Spring is here. Celebrate with a Hofmann hot dog or two on the grill and a side of salt potatoes. For dessert, make it a Cookiewich®.

What’s a Cookiewich®, you say? If you have to ask, you’re missing out on something tasty and local. The Cookiewich® is a frozen dessert made with Byrne Dairy soft-serve ice cream sandwiched between two homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Byrne Dairy, founded in 1933, is perhaps best known for its milk, (still available in glass bottles) chocolate milk and mint milk. Cookiewiches® are churned out by the thousands at Byrne Dairy’s Ice Cream Center on Cortland Avenue in Syracuse and sold at the nearly 60 Byrne Dairy convenience stores across upstate New York, as well as in other stores, including Walmart and Costco. Despite their mass production and widespread availability, they are essentially a handmade product.

Mike Haldane, plant manager at the Ice Cream Center, says Cookiewich® production ramps up gradually for the spring and summer season starting in early April. They’ll do about two Cookiewich® production runs a week before increasing to five runs a week or more as the warm weather season progresses. “We’ve got to get ahead of the demand,” he adds.

Kimberly Rossi, media manager for Byrne Dairy, describes the Cookiewich® as “literally a farm-to-table product,” beginning with the flour for the cookies (from Birkett Mills in Penn Yan) and extending to the ice cream, made with fresh milk trucked in from the network of farms Byrne partners with in Central New York, many within 30 miles of the ice cream plant.

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