Why Al Roker Just Got An Ice Cream Flavor Named After Him

Al Roker is a name we have all heard at some point in our lives, but besides his longtime career as the weather and feature person for NBC News' "Today" beginning in 1996, Roker has also dabbled in food-related programming throughout his years on-screen, warming the hearts of millions across America.

Apart from the Food Network show you forgot existed, Roker had a successful podcast in 2021 titled "Cooking Up a Storm," where he prepared a holiday feast with the help of various celebrity chefs. When Roker sat down with Mashed last year to discuss his podcast and the meaning behind Thanksgiving, fans learned that part of Roker's goal in creating the show was to pay homage to every individual's intrinsic relationship to food, while also discussing the special connections between food and family.

In addition to this meaningful project, Roker also took to the screen in a new light last year to host a special segment of "Today" titled "Family Style with Al Roker." The premise of the segment entails Roker traveling across America to visit family-oriented businesses that have a keen desire to preserve the love of food and culture in their respective communities. So, why did one establishment name an ice cream after the longtime TV host?

For one local ice cream shop, Roker is a symbol of New York's cultural heritage

In the second season of "Family Style," Roker pays a visit to the Sugar Hill Creamery in Harlem: a local staple that has devoted an entire flavor to the New York City weatherman. In the segment, via YouTube, Roker sits down with owners Nick Larsen and Petrushka Bazin Larsen to discuss the importance of their shop in the Sugar Hill neighborhood of Harlem, NYC.

When starting out, the couple learned of Harlem's longtime ice cream shop, Thomforde's, which stayed in business from 1903 to 1983, per Harlem World. The duo wanted their neighborhood storefront to be reminiscent of the history of the iconic shop while also honoring the culture of Harlem. They seem to have succeeded: After Sugar Hill Creamery opened its doors in 2017, The New York Times called it "an ice cream shop that recalls Harlem's past."

Upon filming the segment, Roker learned that the couple developed an ice cream flavor based on one of his favorite desserts: sweet potato pie. The original flavors of sweet potato, vanilla, and pecans just made a permanent spot on the Sugar Hill Menu with a treat called "Your Neck of the Woods." Per Yahoo, it also includes classic cookies and cream ingredients in a nod to Roker's other sweet favorite. Ben & Jerry's may have given Chance the Rapper his own ice cream flavor, but nothing says New York to the team at Sugar Hill more than Al Roker and sweet potato pie.