Behind the Scenes: The Secret to the Award Winning Four Seas Ice Cream

Behind The Scenes At Four Seas

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Four Seas Ice Cream is a Cape Cod Institution serving fresh homemade ice cream since 1934. The shop is run by husband and wife team Doug and Peggy Warren. Doug was literally raised on Four Seas Ice Cream; his parents bought the business before he was born in 1960. The ice cream is still all made fresh in the back room of the shop just as it’s been done for decades. had the opportunity to go behind the scenes to get the scoop on how ice cream is made at Four Seas Ice Cream. Four Seas Ice Cream at peak season can sell up to 4,000 gallons of ice cream a week! It’s hard to believe that all of that ice cream is made with one machine and hand cranked by Doug and Peggy. They make ice cream 3 or 4 times a week to keep up with demand. They’ve been known to make 680 gallons in one day.

The ice cream base mix is first poured into the machine which churns it before flavors are added. Depending on the type of ice cream, various flavors are added. Vanilla extract, chocolate fudge, nuts or fruit go in to create the Cape’s favorite flavors like fresh peach, black raspberry, cookie dough, peanut butter chocolate chip and coffee. Four Seas is also known for their signature flavors such as chip chocolate – created with melted chocolate that solidifies when it hits the frozen ice cream – and penuche pecan, an old-fashioned brown sugar flavor based on a special New England recipe.

Doug and Peggy are very particular about the ingredients in Four Seas Ice Cream. That’s why some flavors are only available at certain times of the year. For instance, the Fresh Strawberry ice cream is made with Cape Cod strawberries when they come into season in June. The Fresh Peach ice cream isn’t made until late June or beginning of July. It all depends when southern peaches, which Doug finds far superior to California peaches, are ripe. 

After the ice cream is mixed, the flavors are added, and it’s at the perfect consistency, not too hard and not too soft, it gets poured into the funnel. While some people set a timer for how long the ice cream is in the mixer, Doug Warren says he can actually hear when it’s moving at the right consistency. After it’s added to the funnel, Doug hand cranks the ice cream into pints and quarts or into molds to make ice cream cakes.

The ice cream is then stored in freezers. The main freezer is about the size of the entire front area of Four Seas Ice Cream. Think of that the next time you go in, there’s a freezer in the back the same size holding gallon after gallon of ice cream! Part of the freezer is kept at a warmer temperature, known as scooping temperature. It’s kept slightly softer so that it can be easily scooped out for cones, cups, and sundaes.

Although you can’t go behind the scenes when you visit, you might be able to sneak a peek at Doug, Peggy and the team through the window located just behind the counter. You’ll be able to see the stainless steel ice cream mixer and funnel that’s used to create the very ice cream you’re enjoying. Make sure you also check out our “Behind the Scenes” Facebook live video of Four Seas Ice Cream.

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About Rebecca Romo

Rebecca Romo hosts Feel Good Mornings weekday mornings from 6-10 am on 99.9 The Q. Originally from New Orleans, she moved to Cape to be with her husband a second generation Cape Codder.
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