Texas History didn’t stop with independence from Mexico, so this stop on our trip encompasses some more modern Texas history! Blue Bell Ice Cream is a favorite in our home – it is simply the best ice cream we’ve tasted and it is made right here in Texas. The factory was opened in Brenham Texas in 1907 and remains open today. They have factories in a couple of other states now too.
Blue Bell Creameries uses ingredients from within about a 200 mile radius of their factory when available and bakes all of the cookies, cones, and other baked goods used right in their own factory. The Blue Bell Ice Cream is handled only by their own employees from the beginning to the shelves of the grocery store. Besides the fact that it is so delicious – I love that the company uses local American products as often as possible. I’m even willing to pay the little bit more it costs to purchase their delicious ice cream – as long as it keeps jobs here in America and supports local farmers.
We had the tour to ourselves this trip and had another wonderful tour guide (we’ve had fabulous tour guides throughout this trip!). The tour takes you through windowed hallways overlooking production lines. We watched strawberries and bananas (washed and cut here in the factory) get added to Banana Split Ice Cream. We saw Ice Cream Sandwiches made and wrapped (cookies baked here in the factory and ice cream made as we watched!). We even saw employees assembling the large ice cream cartons for ice cream shop cases then filling them with 3 gallons of creamy ice cream! Our guide explained the daily (yes, I said daily) cleaning operation. They complete disassemble each and every production line and wash, sanitize and reassemble the lines every single day. The cleaning process takes longer than the production day!
Unfortunately, they do not allow any photography during the tour, so all you get is this:
|Kirk had Banana Pudding, Maggie ate Chocolate Covered Cherries|
|FRitW had Krazy Kookie Dough, MT had Strawberry, and Mom (not pictured) had Spiced Pumpkin Pecan|
Then end of the tour and the free, very generous dips of ice cream we enjoyed. What I’m not showing is how many free samples we tried before deciding on a flavor! Even after we finished our ice cream, our guide continued to encourage us to taste another flavor and another. She said she really enjoyed having our family as her tour!