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I Think I Found Heaven

September 9, 2009

It’s at Penn State.

I have this odd fascination with big schools.  I never went to a big school, in fact I went to two small schools.  My husband went to a big school for graduate school, but we weren’t so involved in activities at the school, since we had our own things going on.  Now, he works for a small school, so I have never really gotten the experience of a big school.  I swam in college, but never really had the experience of college athletics.  I have never even been to a college football game. We had Greek life in college, but it was small, and I certainly never had some of the experiences my friends at big schools had.  Sure, I visited friends and my brother at their big schools, but it was never quite the same.

That being said, I love to visit colleges that are big, and different from the type of schools I attended.  So when my mom and I were driving from Meadville to NJ a few weeks ago, I asked if we could stop at Penn State, and she was all for it.  We thought we would walk around and grab some lunch, maybe take some pictures with Nittany Lion sculptures, who knew?  Then, my mom had a stroke of genius.  She remembered hearing about the ice cream shop at Penn State, that has some of the world’s greatest ice cream.  Even though I don’t really eat a lot of ice cream (my stomach always stages a revolution when I do), we decided it was absolutely necessary to head to the Berkey Creamery and give it a try.

I think we both expected a cute little ice cream shop, but no, we were greeted by a giant building, and a line out the door.

Seeing that huge line was when we realized we had probably stumbled onto something amazing.  The wait wasn’t too long, and then it was our turn to order!  At Berkey, you get a cup or a cone, and are only allowed one flavor (they broke this rule once for Bill Clinton).

My mom decided on Espresso Fudge Pie (Coffee Cinnamon Flavored Ice Cream with Espresso Fudge Pie Mix & Fudge Swirl) and I chose Butter Pecan (Butter Almond Flavored Ice Cream with Pecans). After we had each taken a bite of our gigantic cups (one size, one huge size!), we realized this was the best ice cream we had ever eaten.  The ice cream goes from cows to the shop in about 4 days, and tasted so fresh.  The flavors were intense, and full of chunks of goodies.  We then proceeded to walk around campus for about a half hour, and savored every single bite, switching off flavors every few minutes.  It never takes me that long to eat ice cream, but this was so phenomenal, that every bite was truly enjoyed and worth taking the time to really taste.  The best part about ice cream at Berkey?  No stomachaches for me!  I have no idea how that happened, likely because it was SO FRESH, but hey, who am I to complain?

This past week, when I was driving back from New Jersey with Rufio, I decided to make a stop so Solomon could try this ice cream I have been talking about for weeks.  Once I found a parking spot (in a garage! wow, my school was small!) I headed over, to find a line at least 100 people deep.  I was so tempted to wait in it, but poor Rufio was waiting in the car, which I hate doing.  I wanted to get in and out as fast as possible.  What is great is that there are actually two lines, one for cones and cups, and one to buy products such as cheese, milk, ice cream and Berkey memorabilia.  We never keep ice cream in the house, since it tends to go to waste, but I figured this was an exception.  I bought two half gallons: Cookies and Cream and Peanut Butter Swirl.  Basic flavors, I figured you can’t go wrong.

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The wonderful people at Berkey then asked how far I was going, and packed up my goodies in a freezer bag with dry ice.  My ice cream made it the three hours back, and was still frozen solid!  We got it in the freezer right away, and Solomon had some fun with the dried ice.

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Later that evening, while watching RENT for the millionth time (love Taye Diggs!) we decided to try our ice cream.  Solomon is a big cookies and cream fan, and deemed this the best he had ever had.  There were big pieces of cookies, and the vanilla flavor wasn’t overpowering, but blended perfectly with the cookies.  The peanut butter swirl had big swirls of peanut butter that tasted completely natural.  Each bite was smooth and creamy, and generally delicious.  A little of this ice cream is more than enough to satisfy any craving.  This certainly isn’t something I would eat everyday, but let’s just say it’s a good thing I didn’t go to Penn State!  We both agree this is the best ice cream we have ever had, and worth the half hour detour on our drives between here and NJ.  I HIGHLY recommend that if you are in the Penn State area you head over the Berkey, it is so amazing!

Oh, and the best part about ice cream at home?  Being all classy and eating it out of a margarita glass.  Yes, that’s how I roll.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. kayteesays permalink
    September 9, 2009 12:34 pm

    I love it when a place is so good you absolutely have to go back. That’s how I felt about the ice cream place in my college town, Beth Marie’s in Denton, TX. Sometimes I feel like it’s worth the hour drive just to get it, but I always make a pitstop when I’m back in the area.

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