To my mind, Cold Stone Creamery is a wonderful place. Here in Pagosa good ice cream is hard to find. On the rare occasion when my sweet tooth awakens, nothing else will do. Supermarket ice creams, no matter how premium, never really cut it for me. So when Cold Stone Creamery came to Durango, I was ecstatic. Those first few months I had ice cream every time we were in the neighborhood, which unfortunately wasn’t all that often. After a period of trial and error I’ve found my favorite combination. Although I will branch out occasionally, this is what I’ll come back to time and again: sweet cream ice cream with Snickers bars, roasted almonds and bananas. Let’s start with the ice cream. Growing up vanilla was a favorite, the perfect foil to the hot caramel or fudge sauces at the local sweet shop. But with age I discovered a taste for the pure flavor of sweet cream. No distractions. Frozen Snickers are a beautiful thing. They evoke memories of hot summer days at Jones Beach where young men in shorts with coolers on their shoulders would walk the sands calling out “Froooozen Snickers bars, get your frooooozen Snickers bars here.” It was a siren call that we rarely resisted. Although the caramel was tooth shatteringly hard at first, once it hit your palate in melted into a chewy, salty, creamy delight. The beauty of the Cold Stone addition is that they take room temperature Snickers chunks and fold them into the ice cream so that as you slowly savor the mixture the candy goes from chewy to crunchy to melting in your mouth. It is an ever-evolving experience. The roasted almonds add a much-needed toasty crunch that stands alone. The bananas too change textures through the process from creamy and ripe to frozen and slightly grainy. Somehow the frozen fruit has a different flavor than the fresh, sharper and rounder. Its gentle sweetness provides a nice foil to the intense experience of the Snickers bar. To be honest I rarely finish, but the intense enjoyment that I get from the experience is such an indulgence. Like many things, ice cream is best made to order.