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A New Twist to An Old Cone

Reintroducing the Pretzel

By Jennifer L. Mnookin

First there were mix-ins. Then came oreo ice cream. Waffle cones hit the ice cream scene next, and they were soon followed by dipped waffle cones. Now the latest in the Harvard Square ice cream war: Emack & Bolio has added the pretzel cone.

For an extra 50 cents, ice cream connoisseurs can now enjoy a new taste sensation--the ice cream flavor of their choice in what looks like a cone but is really a pretzel.

Sound a little twisted?

The pretzel cone first made its appearance at Emack's yesterday. "We haven't sold any yet. We've eaten a few, but we haven't sold any," says assistant manager David Wolf. "We haven't yet tried one with ice cream, though, so no one really knows yet how they taste."

Not to be left out of Cambridge's hottest culinary contest, Baskin-Robbins has also recently added an entrant to the cone competition; about one month ago, the national ice cream chain began offering homemade waffle cones to customers.

In a major new innovation, customers can now have a hot fudge ice cream waffle cone at Baskin-Robbins. "These cones are an improvement. You can fit more ice cream in them," says customer Brian Hall '86, adding that he especially likes "the hot fudge idea."

"Our cones, we make them here. Everyone else in the Square buys theirs. That's a major difference between us and the others," says Baskin-Robbins manager Ceasar Cabral.

When the cones are made--at least three or four times a day--the sweet scent lures would-be cone eaters into the Bow St. shop, adds scooper Maria Latzanakis.

Emack's and Herrell's both offer Aga brand waffle cones, imported from Denmark. At Herrell's, such a gourmet cone costs an extra 45 cents; at Emack's, it's included in the regular purchase price.

Dippety Doo Da

Emack's sells nine different sorts of hand-dipped waffle cones, and customers can get everything from cones dipped in chocolate and oreo bits to ones dipped in chocolate and toasted coconut. Wolf says about 25 percent of the store's customers purchase dipped cones--paying up to an extra $1.15 for the privilege, depending on what the cone is dipped in. Chocolate heath cones are the most popular, Wolf adds.

But not everyone thinks Emack's cones are worth the price. "They're pretty expensive. They look pretty good, but they're just too overpriced," says Steve Lambakis as he eats his ice cream out of a cup.

And what about the competition on Dunster St.?

Herrell's assistant manager Theresa Orourke-Cantrell says the store currently has no plan to compete with Emack's for the dipped cone market. "I don't think [not having dipped cones] hurts our business any. We have a very steady, loyal clientele," she says, adding that Herrell's is the only Harvard Square ice cream store that makes all of its ice cream on the premises.

But whether the pretzel cone is a boom or a bust, whether or not the dipped cone fever ever fizzles, ice cream will continue to be a hot topic in the Square. "I was choosing between Harvard and Brown," David says. "The only reason I came to Harvard was the ice cream. If it weren't for all the amazing ice cream around here, I would have gone to Brown."

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