Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Brenham: Blue Bell Creamery Factory Tour

I love Blue Bell Ice Cream!  In Houston, I grew up on Blue Bell and really took it for granted.  It wasn't until I moved away that I realized the whole world really doesn't know much about this great little company in the middle of nowhere.

For years I have wanted to revisit the Blue Bell Creamery in Brenham, Texas.  The last time I visited was a cold night about 31 years ago when I was given a ride from Austin and dropped off a few hours before a morning opening.  After my unscheduled mini camp out, I was encouraged to return to my fraternity house in Austin with as much "Cookies and Cream" ice cream as I could safely get back.   Blue Bell created the first "Cookies and Cream" ice cream in the country and it wasn't available in Austin at the time.

On this trip, circa 2010, my family and I took the tour and got to sample whatever we wanted at the end.  I love this tour.  Our guides were local girls from the area.  They explained everything we wanted to know and more. The short film at the beginning of the tour reinforced Blue Bell's ties to the community around Brenham and their being a stickler for using only the best ingredients.  Then it was on to see just how it is all made.  Homemade Vanilla is on the line everyday.  Other Flavors are made as needed on a 3 month schedule.  We even watched the assembly of the mini- ice cream sandwiches.  Everything looked so good.  Nothing like fresh ice cream spinning and zipping into the container to get your taste buds rumbling.

"Krazy Kookie Dough" (cake batter ice cream with chucks of kookie dough) was my sample choice and I was not disappointed.  Not sold in grocery stores, this flavor is only found at ice cream parlors that feature Blue Bell.  There is a small shop to get all kinds of other BB merchandise- t-shirts, bowls and other gifty stuff.
Surprisingly, little has changed at the little company that produces "the best ice cream in the country".  It is fresh, fun and fantastic!

Certainly, well worth the trip to Brenham or your local grocery store (in 22 states).

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