There are a lot of Western New York ex-pats in the Boston area, bringing some of the best of the region with them: more and more Wegmans locations (hint: check the sauce aisle for every WNY sauce of your dreams), some solid attempts at Buffalo wings, a beef on weck here and there, and even a few renditions of garbage plates (Eat at Jumbo’s; The Frogmore, on the brunch menu; RIP Nonno’s Pizza) — although still no Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.
There’s one other familiar Rochester food that’s slowly making its way around the Boston area: Abbott’s Frozen Custard. There’s been a franchise open in Needham for close to a decade (934 Great Plain Ave.), and it expanded to Brighton Center in 2011 (360 Washington St.) Next up, Lexington, per an article from Rochester’s Democrat & Chronicle.
Abbott’s dates all the way back to 1902, when founder Arthur Abbott peddled his frozen custard along the Eastern Seaboard carnival circuit, saving up money to support his racing horse habit. He eventually settled in Rochester and set up his first permanent custard shop at a lakeside spot at the intersection of Lake and Beach avenues, later expanding to Riverside Park in Agawam, Massachusetts (now a Six Flags) and beyond. (His racing horse habit continued; in fact, he was able to save up enough to buy his own horse, Blue Man, who won the 1952 Preakness Stakes, netting Abbott over $86,000 — which would exceed $800,000 today.)
In 1957, Abbott found a couple, Leonard and Thelma Schreiber, to carry on and expand the business. These days, there are around 40 locations; most are in New York, but Abbott’s can also be found in Florida, South Carolina, and Virginia.
At Abbott’s, everything revolves around frozen custard, which is not quite the same as ice cream. Frozen custard is “what happens when you take extra-rich ice cream and leave out all the air,” according to Max Falkowitz of Serious Eats. It is “for dairy fanatics,” he continues. Like ice cream, it’s at least 10% butterfat, but it’s also at least 1.4% egg yolk solids. And due to the machinery that makes frozen custard, it’s a lot less airy — and thus denser — than ice cream, and it’s served at a consistency similar to soft-serve ice cream.
Abbott’s serves its frozen custard in cones, scoops, sundaes, splits, shakes, flurries (with toppings blended in), and floats, not to mention cakes and pies, frozen bananas, and other novelties, such as the company’s signature item, the turtle: vanilla or chocolate custard, chocolate sauce, and nuts, mixed together and dipped in chocolate, served on a stick.
Eater has reached out to Abbott’s for more information about this forthcoming location, including an address and timeline, and will update this story when more information is available.
• Two Abbott's Locations Close, New Dessert Shop on Park Avenue [D&C]
• Abbott’s Frozen Custard [Official Site]