Did you ever read "The Far Side," Faithful Reader?
As I recall, it used to run in this venerable publication once upon a time.
Gary Larson, the guy behind it, has a wonderful, diabolical sense of humor. "The Far Side" ties with "Calvin and Hobbes" for my favorite comic strip.
One of my favorite ones is when a truck is coming down a neighborhood street with a big, googly-eyed, smiling asparagus on top of it, and little squiggly music notes indicate that the song "I cuss, you cuss, we all cuss for asparagus" is playing from a speaker in the truck. The caption of the comic reads "Failed marketing ploys."
We may not cuss for asparagus (Well, not most of us, anyway. There was that guy at Fayray's one time.), but we do scream for ice cream. The song says so. And it's Spooky Season, so now screaming is fashionable.
With that, this week's column is about ice cream and where you can get the good stuff.
I know my mom is a loyal reader of this column (Hi mom!), and she'd probably have words for me if I didn't mention Blue Bell. It's her favorite ice cream, you see. So yes mom, Blue Bell is really good. It's surely better than Blue Bunny or any store brand ice cream you're likely to get. And you can't go wrong buying it.
But there is better ice cream out there to be had.
Sorry mom. You and I have a difference of opinion about that. I love you, though.
Yarnell's, made up in Searcy, is Arkansas' own ice cream. And I like it better than Blue Bell. Their vanilla is better. Their strawberry is better. Their strawberry is phenomenal. It has real strawberries in it. I've only had one better strawberry, and I'll get to that in a second.
Next time you find yourself in Little Rock, head to The Purple Cow and have yourself one of their delicious milkshakes. They make them with Yarnell's. You can also buy it at either Brookshire's in town.
But Yarnell's is not, I repeat not, Arkansas' best ice cream.
That title goes to a much newer kid on the block, Loblolly Creamery. Ensconced in Little Rock's SOMA neighborhood (South Main, for those of you who aren't Little Rockers, former Little Rockers or Little Rockers in exile), Loblolly Creamery is the best ice cream in the state. I've certainly not had better from Arkansas, anyway. Theirs is the strawberry that is better than Yarnell's.
The thing that makes it, I think, is that it's just creamier than your average ice cream. It's rich, I tell you. Richer than a Goldman Sachs after the big crash in 2008.
I've never had a bad scoop of anything they make, but their best flavor I've had is the Salted Caramel. It was one of their first flavors back when they first opened, and it will blow your mind.
And you don't even have to go to Little Rock to get it. That's right! Get on over to Three Birds Brewing Company right here in El Dorado and have Loblolly ice cream! They have it!
So do something you never in your life thought you'd do and take the kiddos to the brewery for ice cream.
Magnum ice cream bars are great if you can find them. You used to not be able to get them in the United States. I discovered them when Delaine Gates took me to Scotland in 2000 and treated myself to one whenever I was across the pond. But now you can get them right here in the Land of the Free. They are better than any American ice cream bar. And saying so doesn't make me a traitor.
Speaking of European ice cream, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention ice cream from the Isle of Orkney, shrouded in mist and mystery, home to standing stone circles, churches more than 1,000 years old, quaint villages and some of the best ice cream in the world. It lies over the water off the northern coast of Scotland. Should you find yourself on the island, have ice cream whilst there.
Now, go and scream. It's Spooky Season, after all.
Caleb Baumgardner is a local attorney. He can be reached at [email protected]