Friday, July 05, 2013

Ours Is Best!!!

We were trying a new appetizer in our favorite local restaurant. As I chomped on a “Brew Pub Pretzel” coated with "beer cheese" dip, I exclaimed, “This might be the best pretzel ever.”

Beautiful wife Sandy snickered and said, “A few thousand Germans might give you an argument about that.”

She was right. I’d momentarily forgotten a lesson we learned in visits to Deutschland. We loved the pretzels, especially those just out of the oven in small bakeries that seem to be everywhere.  We soon discovered anyone within earshot who heard us admiring pretzel flavor was more than ready to tell us “the best pretzels in Germany are made here.”

They couldn't all be right, but it was obvious that residents of every area were convinced the local contribution to elegant breakfasting or snacking was without doubt the best. Any American claim to pretzel excellence would be scorned.

Going home after our pretzel snack we passed the Plainwell Ice Cream Company, a reminder that 
Small store, big flavors
Germans may have their pretzels, but Americans have their ice cream. In a state-wide poll a couple of years ago, Plainwell Ice Cream was named one of “The Seven Wonders of Michigan.” It is that good. Yet, not many miles away Hudsonville says its flavors are better. And several other Michigan producers boast their ice cream is at least equally wonderful.

What about elsewhere? I've been around enough to know that people all over the U.S. think the local ice cream is the greatest.

At my alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, students and alums have been going gaga over Babcock Hall Ice Cream for more than 90 years. The dairy on the agriculture campus churns out thousand of gallons a year. Delightful flavors can be ordered from Babcock by phone, mail, or the internet, and shipped to almost anywhere.

Another ag campus institution claims its product is better. Aggie Ice Cream is a famous attraction at Utah State University in Logan. I know scoops of “Aggie Blue” or any one of many other flavors are great, because it was an easy walk to the ice cream parlor from the U.S. Forest Service laboratory I occasionally visited on business some years back. That was a walk worth taking.

Our son, Lee, is somewhat of an ice cream junky. He swears that the best cones served up in the nation
Farr claims to be better throughout the West
come from the Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream Store. The store is near the historic Connecticut home he owned for several years. Sandy thinks Lee is right, and I must admit the ice cream dispensed in the store by the bridge deserves a claim to fame.

Who makes the best claim to being the best? In Ogden, Utah, where we lived for many years, when folks want to enjoy outstanding ice cream they head downtown to Asael Farr and Sons Company for some Farr Better Ice Cream. It’s hard to beat that name when staking a championship product claim. The old-time soda fountain atmosphere in the store also is hard to beat. Scoops of Farr Better, first served in 1920, now are sold throughout the West.

Where do you go when you crave “the best” ice cream (or pretzel) in the whole wide world?


Tom Sightings said...

Everyone has their favorite . . . but I've never tasted better than Turkey Hill ice cream, from Lancaster, PA. Those Pennsylvania Dutch (who as we know are actually of German descent) make good pretzels as well.

Sara Landon Roman said...

You should try Mooville sometime. said...

I think the best is whatever you have at the time you are hungry. I love ice cream in Wisconsin. Nothing like it anywhere else. Wonderful. Dianne

PiedType said...

I'm more than a thousand miles from there now, but when I lived in Oswego, NY, there was a tiny little ice cream shop where you walked up to a curbside window to order from a hand-lettered menu on the wall. Quite the gathering spot on a muggy summer night. Maple walnut was my fave.

Anonymous said...

I am reminded of my wife's first visit to an American ice cream parlour back in 1977. In the UK at that time ice cream came in vanilla, strawberry and chocolate flavours. The US store offered 30flavours. What did she choose ? ... Vanilla !

Kay said...

I LOVE ice cream!!! People here in Hawaii tell me Dave's Ice Cream is supposed to be good. I don't know. I love Dairy Queen dipped cones no matter where I go.

Indira said...

This is awesome!