As a member of the media, I feel a responsibility to break this news gently to avoid a stampede in certain quarters. So let’s take it in two, easy-to-digest bites:
1. Texas’ Blue Bell ice cream will return to Charlotte-area stores Monday.
And 2. They’re returning in time to debut the newest flavor, Camo ‘N Cream. Yes, as in camouflage ice cream.
I told you: Try to stay calm. No, Blue Bell didn’t set out to make a camouflage-themed ice cream. When your company has fought its way back from a very bad outbreak of listeria contamination that shut down the entire brand, you should proceed carefully before allowing people to make you the target of jokes.
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So how did they come up with this? Apparently, the research and development team at Texas-based Blue Bell spends a lot of time coming up with flavor combinations (these are the people behind the cult-followed Banana Split flavor. after all). According to a Blue Bell spokesperson, someone came up with the idea to combine chocolate, pistachio almond and cream cheese-flavored ice creams. But when they put it together, they couldn’t help noticing the resemblance to a certain green/brown/gray combination that gets particularly popular during hunting season. Or New York Fashion Week: Our style editor, Helen Schwab, notes that Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 4 collection included camouflage on one of the few fully clothed models.
When we opened a half-gallon of the ice cream, we wondered at first why they didn’t call it Camo Swirl. The three flavors are twirled in an affect that looks a bit like Dorothy’s first steps on the Yellow Brick Road, if she had started her journey in Kansas during dove-hunting season. But indeed, if you take an ice cream scoop and drag it across the top of the ice cream, the scoop you create does look a bit like the camo combination.
How does it taste? If you’re a fan of pistachio pudding, you’ll recognize the flavor of the green ice cream. Big chunks of very crunchy almonds give it welcome texture. The chocolate is milk chocolate, a bit bland for our tastes. But the real winner here is the cream: Cream cheese ice cream, it turns out, has a tang that’s a little like Greek yogurt turned into ice cream, and it balances the other two flavors nicely.
Flipping through cake-order books at small-town bakeries, like the Sweet Shop in Albemarle, we have been surprised to find out that there is a demand for camouflage-themed cakes. So it’s good to know there is now an ice cream to go with them. The price ranges from $7.29 to $7.59 per half-gallon.
Blue Bell’s many flavors, including Camo ‘N Cream, should be in supermarkets all around the area starting soon. Something tells us the Camo ‘N Cream won’t be hard to spot.