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