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.


Unknown said...

I have no doubt Blue Bell is a fine ice cream but I'll put Los Angeles' finest, Fosselman's up against it any time.

I know what you mean about local favorites, I'm so glad In'n'Out hamburgers is slowly spreading put from Southern California so I can travel more.

Monica Roberts said...

That's the same thing my roomies up here said before they tasted my Blue Bell homemade vanilla for the first time last year.

They was one night I came home from work looking forward to having a bowl of it and it had been destroyed.

Unknown said...

I do hope your roomies at least had the good graces to by a replacement half gallon.

Polar said...

Sorry to tell a' you this, Miss Monica, but Grippo's come from
Cincinnati. In fact, it is reputed that one reason Ken Griffey, Jr. requested to be traded to the Reds was so he could get Grippo's again.

A better parallel for Louisville cuisine would be pizza from Impellizzeri's, Wick's, or Rocky's.
Another: Ollieburgers, which are only available at 3rd and Kentucky.
When I've been forcibly separated from the Derby City, it's always been Impellizzeri's, and Ollie's Trolley that I've missed most, culinary-wise.

Polar said...

That stated, Blue Bell choc chip cookie dough rocks! I can blame at least 20 lbs. of middle age spread on it.

Drakyn said...

Mmmm, the only soda I truly love is Faygo's Rock 'n Rye (or maybe Peach). Faygo's from the midwest (based in Detroit) and I've had my mom send me cans and bottles of it more than once. They base their flavors off of frosting recipes. ^.^

Monica Roberts said...

Hey Polar,
I mentioned Grippo's because there was one day I was in a local convenience store and got into a conversation with a sistah who was from Louisville and was visiting her mother.

She was about to hit the road for Atlanta where she lives and had twenty large bags of Grippos chips on the counter she was buying for herself and other Louisville expatriates in the ATL area she was friends with.

I've contined to read stories about Yexans who have Blue Bell in their fave flavors shipped to them.

Monica Roberts said...

Randy's Doughnuts are the bomb as well.

I also miss rolling up to Shipley's and getting their foughnuts or kolaches