Friday, March 21, 2008
Blue Bell and Me
If you've been a loyal longtime TransGriot reader, you'll notice that I not only make frequent references to 'The Best Ice Cream In The Country', aka Blue Bell, but talk it up with an almost missionary zeal.
Hold on a sec, I'll be right back. (now on knees bowing in direction of Brenham, TX)
Okay, I'll now return you to this regularly scheduled post. Had to go downstairs to the fridge and help myself to a bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream before I continue writing.
What is it about Blue Bell that makes native and naturalized Texans go wild about it? For me, it's a taste of home I don't get often in Bluegrass country. In fact, they only started selling it up here just last year.
Every part of the United States has a regional dish or snack food unique to the area that you can't get anywhere else. For example, Chicagoans are that way about Jay's Potato Chips and deep dish pizza. As a matter of fact, every time I'm in the Chicago area I don't leave Chicagoland without either grabbing a large bag of Jay's or chowing down on a deep dish pie. You can make a friend for life with a Philadelphia native that's residing somewhere else if you visit their hometown and bring them back Tastykakes. Native Louisvillians are the same way about Grippo's Potato Chips.
I can't get Frenchy's chicken, Harlon's barbecue, or a Katz's deli sandwich up here, but I can go to my local Walgreens or Kroger's and purchase my favorite Blue Bell flavors. If I'm feeling homesick, one bowl of it is enough to help me get through it.
Blue Bell is quintessentially Texas as well. The creamery was founded just over 100 years ago in Brenham, and for the longest time you couldn't get it anywhere but southeast Texas. They slowly expanded the distribution area for this legendary ice cream to cover all of the Lone Star State, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and southern New Mexico. You can now get it in 19 states.
If you want to find an expatriate Texan, hang around the Blue Bell freezer. Sooner or later we'll show up to pick up our favorite flavor.
Speaking of favorite flavors, time for me to get a refill.