Here’s the scoop — and never have I meant that more literally than today.

Velvet Ice Cream has given me the privilege of announcing the winner of its contest to develop this year’s official ice cream for the Ohio State Fair.

Each summer, the Utica ice cream-maker creates a new flavor exclusively for the fair. Past fair flavors include maple-bacon, elephant ear, blueberry sweet corn and banana cream pie.

This year, though, the company sponsored a contest to allow the public the chance to come up with the flavor instead. There were nearly 700 entries, which company officials whittled down to three finalists.

Nathan Arnold, marketing manager for Velvet, said the finalists were chosen for how well they could be turned into an ice cream as well as their connection to Ohio or the state fair.

Velvet created the ice creams and recently staged a tasting and vote to select the winner. The judging panel was diverse — Velvet company officials, state fair representatives, even I got a vote. About 40 folks in all took part.

The finalists:

Cereal & Milk: submitted by Kari Childs, 37, of Delaware, a Delaware County Juvenile Court magistrate.

Childs said her idea was born from her love of cereal and the milk at the bottom of the bowl that takes on the sweet flavors of the cereal.

“There’s nothing better than Saturday morning with your favorite cereal,” said Childs, who said she has been known to decompress after a difficult workweek by enjoying her cereal with Saturday morning cartoons.

“I think I’m just a huge kid,” she said.

The finished ice cream was sweet cereal milk flavored with a honey-graham cereal swirl.

Dutch Apple Pie: submitted by Melissa Zifzal, 43, of Wintersville near Steubenville, a freelance writer and proofreader.

Zifzal said she read about the contest around the time astronaut and former U.S. Sen. John Glenn was being buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Like Glenn, Zifzal was born in Cambridge, and her research on Glenn revealed the he was the first astronaut to eat in space, and that first food was applesauce. With that information in mind, Zifzal decided to develop a flavor based on apple.

The cinnamon ice cream was studded with streusel bits and laced with a cinnamon-apple fruit swirl.

Scotcheroo: submitted by Larry Sheldon, 67, a retired telecommunications manager from Mansfield.

Sheldon said he was thinking about chocolate and peanut butter because it is one of his favorite combinations, and because the buckeye candy is so pertinent to Ohio.

Sheldon said he recalled eating a candy bar in the past that was dark chocolate and peanut butter with crisp rice inside and felt the combination would work well in ice cream.

He suggested calling the ice cream Buckeye Best, but Velvet asked to rename it Scotcheroo because the finished ice cream was so similar to the cookie bar of the same name, and because Velvet already produces flavors named Buckeye.

The finished butterscotch ice cream featured a ribbon of peanut butter with chocolate-coated rice crisps.

And the winner is: Cereal & Milk.

Arnold said tasters loved how the combination took them back to their childhood, and the flavor’s connection to dairy makes it appropriate for the fair.

Look for the Cereal & Milk at the fair July 26 to Aug. 6, and in grocery-store freezer cases and Velvet scoop shops afterward.

The best part is, with a name like Cereal & Milk, we can probably get away with eating it for breakfast.

Lisa Abraham is the Dispatch food editor.

labraham@dispatch.com

@DispatchKitchen