THE ICE CREAM QUEST

 

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Friday, June 8, 2018

Before we left Billings, one of our dear friends, Debbie, told me about some ice cream called Tillamook, which she and her husband love. Their favorite flavor is Marionberry Pie. The ice cream is marketed under the brand name Tillamook. The company is headquartered in Tillamook, Oregon. Debbie told me that Tillamook’s ice cream is not sold east of Montana. The story reminded me of the plot to Smokey and the Bandit, the 70s Burt Reynolds movie based on the premise that Coors Beer could not legally be sold east of the Mississippi.

A marionberry, in case you’re wondering, is a cross between two cultivars of blackberries. The marionberry accounts for over half the blackberry production in Oregon. It was named for Marion County, Oregon.

Since we had already planned to stop over in Bellevue, Nebraska, to visit Debbie and her husband on our way home, I decided to surprise them with some Marionberry Pie ice cream. Unfortunately, it turned out that not all stores sell the same flavors, and no one in the Billings area carried Marionberry Pie. I did, however, find some Mountain Huckleberry at Walmart and decided to give it a try. Boy, am I glad I did. It is hands down the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten.

Huckleberries, which basically look like small blueberries to me, are apparently a big deal in Montana. While we were there, I saw huckleberry candles, fudge, hand cream, jam, preserves, salsa, soap, syrup, and so on. I’m surprised they didn’t sell huckleberry hamburgers and huckleberry sodas. Seriously, their adoration of huckleberries, dare I say, borders on obsession. So I suppose its no surprise that they sold Mountain Huckleberry ice cream in Montana. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. That is some seriously good ice cream.

We left Montana with two cartons of Mountain Huckleberry (okay, it was actually one and three-quarters by the time we fired up the motorhome) but alas, I had failed in my pursuit of Marionberry Pie.

The next night, while we were eating dinner in Sheridan, Wyoming, Harry brought up the Marionberry Pie conundrum. He suggested we check some of the local stores, just in case Tillamook had made it to Wyoming. I figured it was a waste of time, but got on Tillamook’s website anyway—you can search by flavor for sellers in your area—and low and behold, Albertsons, which was within spitting distance from where we sat, carried Marionberry Pie. We hotfooted it over there and purchased two containers, one for Debbie and one for her husband.

Mission accomplished!

Next year, maybe I’ll talk Harry into going to Tillamook, Oregon for vacation.

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4 thoughts on “THE ICE CREAM QUEST

  1. We live in Redding, CA. We have made many trips to Tillamook Oregon. You will not be disappointed. It is a wonderful area. We visit the Air Museum in McMinnville which isn’t too far from Tillamook. There is a really nice RV park right next to the museum, within walking distance. We have all the flavors of Tillamook ice cream in our stores and enjoy them tremendously. I’m glad that you were able to find them as far east as you were.

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    1. Thanks for the info, Mary. You are so lucky to be able to buy their ice cream locally. According to Tillamook’s website, their products are sold through distributors. They said if you wanted your local store to carry a certain product to speak with the manager, so I’m going to do just that. Don’t know if it will do me any good, since I think their corporate office ultimately makes the decisions, but its worth a try.

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  2. We have been to Tillamook. Not only do they make great ice cream, they also make the very best cheese kurds. I ate so many, I was not hungry by the time we made it to their restaurant.

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    1. That is too funny. So nice to know there’s another Tillamook fan out there. I understand that cheese is how their business got started. Did you know their loaf cheese is sold at Ingles? The next time I’m in there, I’m going to ask their manager, Richard, why they don’t carry the ice cream. According to Tillamook’s website their products are sold through distributors. They said if you wanted your local store to carry a certain product to speak with the manager, so I will. I could definitely go for some more Mountain Huckleberry.

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