Here’s the Scoop on Indiana Ice Cream
When it comes to ice cream, do you prefer double chocolate chunk? Is strawberry more your style? What about rocky road?
Did you know that your favorite kind of ice cream may be saying something about you? Just when we all were alarmed to find out that our horoscopes may have shifted, websites such as Edy’s IceCream.com come to the rescue, claiming you can tell a lot about people based on the flavors they use to top their cones. The site explains that those who prefer chocolate chip are competitive and accomplished, butter pecan fans are characterized as the perfect workers and those vanilla lovers out there are much more risk-taking than one might think. But regardless of your favorite flavor, chances are good that your ice cream was made here in the Hoosier state.
Indiana ranks No. 2 in ice cream production in the United States, second only to California. From small, local farms that produce unique flavors sure to tickle your taste buds to the go-to comfort flavorsin our grocery stores that we rely on after a long day, Indiana knows her ice cream.
A Family Connection
Alan and Mary Yegerlehner ‘s seventh-generation dairy farm, The Swiss Connection, serves up local treats produced on site in Clay City, Ind. Customer favorites such as chocolate, blackberry, strawberry, black walnut, butter pecan, Mudville (chocolate and peanut butter), cookies and cream and vanilla are among the approximately 1,500 to 2,000 gallons they produce each year.
“What is probably most rewarding for us is being able to direct market our products and have a relationship with our customers,” Alan Yegerlehner says. “They know who produces it and we know who consumes and enjoys it.”
While the 100 percent grass-fed dairy does not produce enough butterfat on site to meet both its butter and ice cream demands, the Yegerlehners opt to use a premix made by Prairie Farms – which has a plant in Indiana – and add all-natural ingredients to produce their 20 flavors.
The mix – a 2.5 gallon bag of milk, cream, sugar and emulsifiers – is the base to which they add in their ingredients to achieve the taste and quality their customers have come to expect.
“All of our flavors are made using real flavors. We do not use any artificial colors or flavors,” Yegerlehner says. “Our blackberry is used with all blackberries, not a few berries and then some flavor enhancer.”
The Swiss Connection ice cream can be purchased on their farm, at farmers’ markets and at Moody Meats in Avon and Zionsville, Ind.
The familiar grocery store brand Edy’s Grand Ice Cream also has an important Indiana connection: The company is headquartered in Fort Wayne.
“Edy’s is proud to call Indiana home because of the amazing people who work at our ice cream plant,” says Rick Benson, Edy’s human resource manager. “We have hundreds of highly motivated, dedicated and skilled Hoosiers who help us churn out millions of cartons of ice cream and frozen snacks each year. They not only ensure we create a quality product, but they continually raise the bar by improving the steps we take to accomplish this.”
Customers are sure to find their favorite flavors among Edy’s 12 premium ice cream flavors and its menu of Slow Churned products, which include 24 light flavors, nine with no sugar added and 11 yogurt-blend options. Edy’s also has a line of fun flavors such as the new Touchdown Sundae, along with favorites such as Cookie Dough. Their limited edition flavors, such as the popular Girl Scout Thin Mint, roll out seasonally.
Many of your family’s favorite ice cream brands are also located right here in Indiana. Prairie Farm Dairies, while headquartered in Illinois, also has a plant in Fort Wayne. And who doesn’t enjoy a Good Humor bar? Many of these summer treats are made in Huntington, Ind. And Kroger shoppers will be happy to discover that Crossroads Farms Dairy’s Kroger brand ice cream is produced in Indianapolis.
So, whether you are a lively and creative double chocolate chunk lover, a thoughtful and logical strawberry fan or a charming and practical rocky road loyalist, it is likely that a Hoosier had a hand in creating your favorite tasty treat.