Archive for the 'Dessert' Category

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#IceCreamSocial: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory Tour (plus a few bonuses) – Waterbury, Vermont

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory - Waterbury, Vermont

If my previous post didn’t have you running to the grocery store for a perfect pint, this one certainly will. Or better yet, head to your nearest Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop for a complimentary taste because today is Free Cone Day! Yay! Noon till 8 PM…Go.

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory - Waterbury, Vermont

Day 2 of the Ben & Jerry’s press trip was as eventful as the first. After visiting St. Albans Cooperative Creamery where hormone-free milk for the ice creams is exclusively sourced, we headed to the Waterbury plant for a behind-the-scenes look at how each pint is made, swirls, chunks, and all.

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory - Waterbury, Vermont

The tour began with a short movie about the history of Ben & Jerry’s. Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield met in 7th grade gym class, took a $5 dollar correspondence course to learn ice-cream making, and renovated an old gas station in Burlington for their first store in 1978! Following the film, we were led up a flight of stairs and onto a platform for an elevated view of the factory floor—no pictures were allowed, unfortunately.

The factory floor, which churns out 110 pints per minute and 160,000 pints per day, was a mesmerizing sight with its complex machinery moving a mile a minute.

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#IceCreamSocial: Creating the Perfect Pint at Ben & Jerry’s Headquarters – Burlington, Vermont

Ben & Jerry's Corporate Headquarters - Burlington, VT

I scream! You scream! We all scream!

I recently traveled to Ben & Jerry’s headquarters in Burlington for a fantastic press trip where I learned about the company’s exceptional ice creams and admirably progressive culture.* As an added bonus, I also explored the awesomeness of Vermont’s food scene. It’s been almost a decade since my last jaunt to this part of New England, so it was beyond great to be back in the land of snow, sleet, and fleece pullovers!

Ben & Jerry's Corporate Headquarters - Burlington, VT

One of the most memorable experiences from the trip was a friendly competition among fellow attendees to create the perfect pint. The winning flavor would be scooped at an ice cream party in the winning team’s hometown. I wanted to take home a victory for L.A.!

Ben & Jerry's Corporate Headquarters - Burlington, VT

Because birds of a feather tend to stick together, I teamed up with my friends Matt and Nastassia, who also traveled from Los Angeles to be here, and my new friend Erin from San Diego. So Cal, represent! Ben & Jerry’s flavor guru Peter was on hand to lend his expertise.

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Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts – Charleston

Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts - Charleston, South Charleston

Now that doughnuts are finally having their moment in the spotlight, I’m making sure to cram in as many as possible whether at home or away. High on my list of Charleston haunts to hit was Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts, the premier purveyor of fancy doughnuts in town.

Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts - Charleston, South Charleston

Allison Smith, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of Charleston, opened the shop in 2011 and makes twelve different varieties daily using as many local ingredients as possible. In fact, many of the herbs and berries found in her doughnuts are grown in the garden right behind the shop.

The Astronomer and I made sure to set our alarm clocks this morning because these babies have been known to sell out well before the shop’s advertised closing time of 3 PM.

Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts - Charleston, South Charleston

The first doughnut we sampled, a classic raised ring with a spot-on raspberry glaze ($1.99), made us smile from ear to ear. The texture of the dough was definitely good, but it was the tart and bright glaze that made this doughnut one to remember.

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Blue Star Donuts – Portland

Blue Star Donuts - Portland

Voodoo might make Portland’s most famous doughnuts, but Blue Star fries its finest!

Blue Star Donuts - Portland

As soon as we pulled ourselves out of bed on our first morning in Portland, my travelmates and I made a beeline for Micah & Katie Camden’s doughnut shop. Awash in natural light and staffed by friendly folks, Blue Star was every bit as splendid as I had been told.

Blue Star Donuts - Portland

The doughnuts here are made from scratch throughout the day using a classic French brioche recipe and well-sourced ingredients. Head pastry chef Stephanie Donlan brings together bread flour from Shepherds Grain, cage-free eggs from Stiebrs Farms, whole milk from Sunshine Dairy, and European-style butter from Larsen’s Creamery for her recipe. The fruits used in the fillings and glazes are organic, while the oil is made from rice.

Blue Star’s uncompromising craft, commitment, and care makes for some really, really amazing doughnuts.

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