Thursday, July 30, 2009

Babcock Hall Ice Cream

Babcock Hall Ice Cream

UW-Madison, in the heart of dairy country, is among the top three research institutions in the country. Sometimes the benefits of research seem intangible, but at UW-Madison's Center for Dairy Research (CDR) the benefits of research are palpable, delicious and unarguably beneficial. The CDR is one of the top dairy research centers in the United States, featuring a state of the art dairy complex housing over 400 cattle. So just how do people benefit? Ice cream, of course!

Gallons of fresh, creamy milk from Maisy and Daisy (‘CDR cows’ just sounds too clinical) are shipped to UW’s Babcock Hall Dairy Plant, where it’s churned into rich, delectable ice cream. An ice cream lab on UW-Madison campus is undeniably a researcher’s dream come true. But it begs the question: How can you improve upon perfection? Engineers at the Dairy Plant are always looking for ways to make ice cream even better, if that’s possible, patenting new flavors such as Orange Custard Chocolate Chip, and even discovering certain peptides (made from pork gelatin) that prohibit ice crystal growth on ice cream. Uh, okay.

Getting back to the ice cream flavors and general deliciousness. I mean that’s where research counts, right? You’ll find standards such as Vanilla, Chocolate Chip and Blue Moon. But you might want to try Peach Melba, peach ice cream with chunks of peach and raspberry swirl, or Badger Blast, a chocolate ice cream with swirls of fudge and flakes of chocolate. One of my favorites is Union Utopia, a classic combination of vanilla ice cream with peanut butter, chocolate and caramel swirls. Its name is well-founded. The Union Terrace is the quintessential place to spend summers days and nights in Madison, WI. It definitely borders on a utopian experience. My husband even asked the other night, while sitting on the Terrace watching the sun set, “Does it get better than this?” Only with a scoop of Babcock ice cream (and a beer, obviously) in hand.

What’s your favorite flavor?

Babcock Hall ice cream can be bought by the scoop on campus at Babcock Hall, in the UW Memorial Union (Daily Scoop), and Monona Bait and Ice Cream shop (in Monona). If a cone won’t do, pick up a pint at Ken’s Meats and Deli (Monona), Sentry-Hilldale and Cap Center, or any of the UW stores. So eat up and enjoy your tax dollars at work.

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