Sunday, July 10, 2011

7-10-11 Listography: Favorite Ice Cream Treats

Leisurely Sunday at home means playing along with Kate's Listography. This week's list theme is my top five favorite (favourite to be exact, as she's across the pond) ice-creams or "pops" (which is also a bit lost on me -- guessing the comparative American term would be popcicles?) 

#1. Blue Bell's  Rocky Mountain Road

For visitors from Kate's list, a bit of history is order. Blue Bell Ice Cream comes from Brenham, Texas, just 20 minutes from where I lived 1994-2007. Prior to that, I was just a bit further away in Huntsville and Houston, but never far enough to be out of the delivery route of the Blue Bell Creamery. You have to understand the hold this ice cream has on this part of Texas. Each of my kids have been on the Blue Bell Creamery tour with their school classes. When friends from out of state came in, a tour of the factory was on the agenda. Those paper hats they give you on the tour litter the memory boxes. Blue Bell is home.

Blue Bell's ice cream consistency is different from any other ice cream I've tried. It's terribly hard to describe, but think of what the most beautiful place on the earth would be for you, add in the most wonderful person you've ever known at your side, with a dash of perfect weather, and a sense of eternity. What does that taste like?

Come 2007 when we moved to Colorado, Joni Mitchell's old adage "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone" hit home. Colorado was Blue Bell free and the poorer for it. But just this past March 14, a miracle occurred. Blue Bell arrived. You want a sign? It arrived on the day I found out I had to have major surgery, with the possibility of cancer. And I felt better when I saw the sign on the door of the Walgreens where it was being delivered that very morning, the first place in Denver to get it, right after my appointment when I stopped in to get something else. Blue Bell is the ultimate comfort food.

And best of all, they created a flavor that is exclusive to our state, which has also turned out to be my most favorite flavor of my most favorite ice cream of all time.

Meet Rocky Mountain Road. From Blue Bell's website: "a rich, dark chocolate ice cream combined with dark-chocolate-coated peanuts, milk-chocolate-coated pecans, white-chocolate-coated almonds, and roasted walnuts, all surrounded by a flavorful marshmallow sauce swirl." 

If God made ice cream, this would be it. 

Do there have to be four more? Can I use #1 five times? No? Okay, then, coming in second . . .

2. Blue Bell Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Sandwiches

The rub here is the Blue Bell site says they are at least still available to purchase individually, but I cannot find a stinkin' picture of them anywhere. It would appear they no longer sell them by the box. And now I am wracking my brain trying to remember which "face" they used on that package. Was it the football player? The coach has the fudge bars, the postal lady has the mini ice cream sandwiches, the construction worker has the Krunch Bars . . .

but who was holding the C&Cs? I'm thinking it had to be the football player. (And OMG, now they make Mint Chocolate Chip BARS?!? . . .  see #3)  My #2 favorite is not to be confused with the regular Blue Bell Ice Cream sandwich, which is pretty good in its own right, but nowhere near the decadence of the Cookies and Cream version. Plus, the little girl on the regular sandwich box creeps me out for some reason. I think it's those false eyelashes . .  

#3. Blue Bell Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

I don't even bother to get anyone else's mint chocolate chip. It's just not worth it. There used to be an ice cream shop when I was a teenager called Sweet Dreams that served Blue Bell Mint Chocolate Chip in a homemade waffle cone, and THAT, my friends, was heavenly. But ever since then, getting Mint Chocolate Chip at an Ice Cream place has always been a letdown. It's chalky and overly-minted and the chips taste chemically. So not worth it.

4. Any other Blue Bell flavor pretty much trumps any other ice cream (although I will relent for my last choice). But this got me to searching and there does not seem to be a repository for a listing of every Blue Bell flavor ever made. How is this possible? They crank out new flavors quarterly, retire the lower sellers yearly, and must have well over 200 flavors in their stable of recipes by now. We need a comprehensive list! What has happened to my beloved internets that no list has been maintained? The travesty.

#5. Okay, so before Blue Bell arrived in Colorado, I admittedly did not go on an ice-cream hiatus. And I will admit that Cold Stone's Oatmeal Cookie Batter and Dutch Chocolate mix together very well. (Their mint chocolate is chalky, too, though. Pass.) The oatmeal cookie batter has maple and brown sugar mixed in just the right balance, but even this is better paired with a dark chocolate.

So there you have it. Blue Bell, Blue Bell, and more Blue Bell.

Cold Stone if you're unlucky enough to live in a state (or country) without Blue Bell, but you really don't know what you're missing.

I will warn you, though, not to watch any of the Blue Bell commercials on You Tube. The sickening sweetness of those could easily put you off all sweets for a good long while. Which, now that I think about it, may be a dieting trick I employ soon if I keep obsessing over sugar this way.


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