Utah Creameries: Aggie Ice Cream and BYU Creamery
Only a handful of universities across the country (about 25) have their own on-site creameries, and Utah boasts two of them. Both Utah State University and Brigham Young University are known in their local communities for their ice cream. On hot summer evenings, it’s the norm to see lines of people, families in tow, waiting for scoops of the good stuff. Each creamery uses high quality ingredients to make a variety of unique flavors. Ask any Utahn, and they usually have a preference for which ice cream they prefer, and coincidentally that preference often aligns with their university allegiance!
Aggie Ice Cream:
Aggie Creamery was founded in 1888 and started making ice cream a few short years later. As a dairy science research center and part of Utah State University, the state’s land grant college, the creamery quickly became a teaching venue and resource for companies and other Universities in the intermountain west. Most of the creameries around our region today learned how to make ice cream from Utah State.
Today the creamery is an icon in Utah’s Cache Valley serving hundreds of people on busy evenings. The milk for their high quality ice cream comes from Utah State’s Caine Dairy just south of campus. Their most popular flavor, by far, is Aggie Blue Mint, a mint cookie ice cream, colored blue with white chocolate chunks. It’s delicious and coined by kids as “the blue one!”
On the process of coming up with new flavors, Steve Shelton, the Aggie Creamery Business Coordinator, says, “We discuss what’s current in the market and what might be trending in other food industries such as candy or chocolate. We then make test batches, run them through taste tests, tweak, and if the flavor makes the mark, we’ll roll it into production.”
The most recent flavor addition to their line is Salty Caramel.
If you are up in far northern Utah, a stop by Aggie Ice Cream is a must!
Founded in 1956, BYU’s Creamery is currently making about 5,000 gallons and 40 different flavors of ice cream per week. In addition to ice cream, they are processing buttermilk, sour cream, and cottage cheese which gets distributed to BYU’s campus food service as well as the welfare department of the LDS church. The milk for these products comes from the LDS Church Dairy west of BYU’s campus.
One of their most popular flavors is called “Graham Canyon”, a vanilla based ice cream with graham cracker crumbles and honey comb cereal. It has become so popular that keeping up with demand has proven difficult!
The creamery is staffed, in part, by students and their passion and enthusiasm for the work is what makes Jerry Pingel’s job so much fun. Jerry is the head of Dairy Production and Sanitation and has been with the creamery for 30 years. About the students he says, “We have a great time together and they are really hard working.”
Each year the incoming freshman class helps brainstorm new flavor ideas. If the test recipes do well, they may be added to the menu. Be sure to check out this year’s newest flavor: Salted Caramel Marble with Chocolate Covered Pretzels.
Come to the Ice Cream Festival:
Both Aggie Ice Cream and BYU Creamery are mainstays at our annual Ice Cream Festival at the Utah State Fair. This year’s event will take place Monday, September 12 3pm -9pm. Be there for all you can eat ice cream and a taste of Utah’s finest!