Monday, June 6, 2011

Utah? You Bet!

Some celebrations just call for ice cream. And if you happen to be lucky enough, that ice cream would be the famed Aggie Ice Cream from Utah State University, in Logan, Utah. I was in Logan last weekend to witness a milestone and reaffirm that my third-generation Aggie blood still runs blue.

The milestone in question was to see my talented dad perform with the group he toured with during college at USU in the 60s called The Balladiers. The performance was 43 years after their USO tour in 1968 to the Far East. They put on an amazing concert at the university's Performance Hall to a capacity crowd, strumming and singing their hearts out for two hours. It was an experience not likely to ever be repeated in such a formal way, and one that our family will never forget. I'm so proud of my rock-star, 12-string guitar-playing dad and his band mates that my heart just swells with pride thinking about what a special occasion the performance was. Words really just can't express. So thank you dad and dear Balladiers for the memories.

And in true Fare to Remember fashion, the memories can't possibly be complete without sealing the deal over food! So, once the concert was over, the guitars were all packed and the microphones silenced, we headed for the USU Ice Cream Shop to celebrate and let my dad sign a few autographs (I just made that up...). My nephew, pictured above, is enjoying one of Aggie Ice Cream's signature flavors: Aggie Blue Mint. Mint ice cream, tinted blue, with Oreo cookie bits and white chocolate chunks. Yum, eh?

The fact that the school mascot is an Aggie, you can surmise correctly that as an ag school established in the late 1800s, USU has a proud tradition of excellence in the animal sciences. In USU's case, dairying in particular. The first lick is a rite of passage for any student, and it lives up to its reputation as being some of the best ice cream you'll ever have the good fortune to try.

Here's a little bit of Aggie Ice Cream history, cobbled together from a couple of sources on USU's website:

"Aggie Ice Cream has 26 different flavors and is known around the world. Why is it so good? Well, [it] has a 12% butterfat content [and is] aged slightly longer and contains less air than most commercial brands.

"The high quality of ice cream that is being made and enjoyed around the world today links back to 1921 when Professor Gustav Wilster revitalized the dairying department after WWI. He taught his skills to his students and then [sent] them out into the world. Gustav must be credited with not only the creation of Aggie Ice Cream, but also the birth of the Utah ice cream industry. The achievements of his students led to the founding of such landmark Utah companies as Caspers Ice Cream, Farrs Ice Cream, and Snelgroves Ice Cream.

"More recently, a Korean USU student loved the ice cream so much, he devised a plan to take it home with him. He gathered a group of Korean business men, who proposed the idea to USU, and in June 2000, the first international Aggie Ice Cream Shop was opened in Seoul. Not only that, but Aggie Ice Cream was also the first ice cream to make it to outer space, thanks to USU's aerospace technologies division."

So there you have it. They make cheese too.... but I'd best just stop with the ice cream, because you do know how I can drone on and on about cheese! This post is cheesy enough. (Rim shot.)

Switching gears here, I'm also going to do a couple of Utah restaurant shout-outs. Not that they have anything to do with Aggie Ice Cream, but when I go home, my mom always makes a point of introducing me to Salt Lake City's newest and hottest. So, she and I have shared many a fine moment over great meals, and I just think a couple places warrant a mention in the event you ever find yourself in Salt Lake City and are looking for a place to eat.
  • Pago: Located in the ever-hip 9th and 9th area of SLC, Pago is one of the many Utah restaurants joining the farm to table movement. I had a beet dish there that transported me over the moon; I aim to recreate it someday. Called "Cinnamon Beets" on the menu, the roasted baby beets come topped with a cinnamon/nut brittle that is to die for. It is served on a bed of greens with Greek yogurt and truffled honey. Beet perfection, if ever there was such a thing.
  • The Copper Onion: Um, hello delicious! "The Copper Onion serves a wide array of dishes and [features] a menu designed to explore and share. An insistent focus on the freshest and best is paramount; sausages and burgers are ground daily, bread is baked and ice cream is made in house, offering casual diners an exceptional experience at affordable prices." The charcuterie plate mom and I shared took me straight back to Argentina; my salad of just-picked greens spiked with fresh mint was unexpected and refreshing; our entrees of cheeseburger and mussels in a black pepper cream sauce were both spot on. My brother lives right around the corner and is a regular patron, and my sister evidently knows Chef/Owner Ryan Lowder... so The Copper Onion will be in our family rotation for years to come. Thank goodness!
iPhone pics....

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    I'm a student at Utah State University and I'm in the process of re-designing the Aggie Ice Cream website. I stumbled upon your blog as I was looking for pictures of Aggie Ice Cream. I really love that picture of the boy holding the Aggie Blue ice cream and I was wondering if I could have permission to use it on the new website?

    You can email me at to let me know.