The University of Wisconsin Madison dairy plant has been producing food for over sixty years. You can get their cheeses and ice creams at the Metcalfe’s or the Capitol Centre market, in addition to their store on Campus. There’s also an ice cream shop in the Memorial Union that sells it, which is where I had some the other day. If you’re at the store you might decide that it’s really expensive for a carton of ice cream, comparatively; but if you’re at the Daily Scoop, it’s pretty cheap for an ice creamery scoop. $2.50 at the time of this writing gets you two scoops stacked on either a waffle or sugar cone. Or a cup, but what fun is that?
I had the Mad Medley while Schmoops had a coffee ice cream with chocolate chunks. The Mad Medley is vanilla ice cream with Door County sour cherries and chocolate chunks. After churning, all the flavor and meat of the cherries seems to have been blended into the ice cream, so instead of vanilla interspersed with bursts of sour cherry and sweet chocolate, as I was expecting, I got slightly (slightly, slightly…) flavored ice cream with lots of cherry skins (hey whatever, that’s where all the vitamins are) and some good quality chocolate chunks. I’ve always had a soft spot for the combination of cherries and chocolate, and although I think the chocolate chips here are better than those in Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia, which are too big, I’d much rather have actual chunks of cherry in my ice cream than just a bunch of skins. I think I actually got one small chunk, and the flavor really made me wish I had more.
The coffee with chocolate chunk ice cream had great flavor, but in terms of pure indulgence Schmoops said he’d much rather have Dreyers’ Mississippi Mud Pie, which replaces the chocolate chunks with Oreo cookie chunks.
But the thing the store bought ice creams can’t compete with here is the spectacular texture. Perhaps some people really do like their ice creams fluffed and aerated, but Babcock ice cream has clearly been through no such process. Each mouthful is dense, smooth, pure cream nirvana, and reminds you that you’re eating something fresh, that hasn’t been sitting in a freezer and aerated to keep it soft.
Verdict: If you’re around, have some.