"We eat all we can, and we sell the rest."
This, folks, is the current slogan of Blue Bell ice cream - "The best ice cream in the country". They mean it too. This play on the word "country" refers both to the USA, and to the down home "country livin'" image that the Blue Bell folks foster.
Blue Bell ice cream had its origins in the little town of Brenham, Texas, just a half-hour's drive from where I grew up. The "Brenham Creamery Company" opened its doors in August of 1907. For the next four years, they made only butter, but in 1911, they began making just a gallon or two of ice cream at a time, packing it in salted ice, and shipping it to the surrounding area. The ice cream business took off, and now they are the most popular ice cream in Texas, and probably the southwest united states. Tales are told of local residents who moved off to northern climes, but had to have Blue Bell shipped to them regularly to satisfy their cravings.
Blue Bell claims to use quality local ingredients, and does. Because of their size, they no longer use Brenham-area farmers only, in fact their milk comes almost exclusively from the Corsicana, Texas area. Consumer Reports rated Blue Bell against several other national brands a few years back, and although it didn't come out first in every category, it beat out other big-named ice creams in several areas.
Blue Bell is real ice cream. It has just the right amount of flavoring, and rides the razor's edge of being just a bit too sweet. The consistency is solid and full - none of that lighy airy feel you get with some of the other brands. The next-best thing to a big bowl of straight French Vanilla gold-rim Blue Bell ice cream is to put a scoop in a cup of boiling hot coffee. Stir just a minute, then let the few remaining fragments melt, and you have the closest imitation to an expensive cup of breve that you will find anywhere!