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With Blue Bell’s newest flavor, you won’t need a cone


Blue Bell has a new flavor of ice cream rolling out this month that tastes like an ice cream cone.

What does ice cream cone ice cream taste like, you ask? According to the Brenham-based company, which is still recovering after a massive recall that threatened to close it down, “Ice Cream Cone is a tasty vanilla ice cream loaded with dark chocolate-coated cone pieces, chopped roasted peanuts, all surrounded by a rich chocolate sundae sauce swirl.”

This will be a limited-time flavor, Blue Bell says, and you can expect other new flavors from them later this year.

From a news release: “We may have solved one of the biggest dilemmas for ice cream fans, cone versus bowl,” said Ricky Dickson, Blue Bell president. “Ice Cream Cone is a great combination of everything you would expect, vanilla ice cream, chocolate and cone pieces. And a cone always needs a topping, so we added in the chopped roasted peanuts. Ice Cream Cone is about as close to perfection as you can get.”

Last July, Blue Bell released its first new flavor after the recall, Cookie Two Step, and now you can find flavors such as Chocolate Almond Marshmallow Ice Cream, Coconut Fudge Ice Cream and Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream on grocery store shelves across the state.

In other news, Blue Bell is just now starting to regain some of the distribution it lost during the listeria recall, re-entering the Arizona, North Carolina and Colorado markets starting next month.

LOCAL PRODUCTS

Taste-testing ghost chili salsa, cashew yogurt and Sassy Lassi’s drinkable yogurts

Ghost chilies, among the hottest peppers in the world, don’t often taste that good in salsa.

More often than not, salsa-makers add far too much of the pepper for the consumer to actually enjoy the salsa. But Charlie Crenshaw, the sixth generation of Charlie Crenshaws and nephew of golfer Ben Crenshaw, has the right touch with those searing-hot peppers. Crenshaw has recently turned his salsa-making hobby into a business, and six flavors of his Crenshaw’s C6 Salsa are now available for sale at Buc-ee’s, Flying Threads and Mikey V’s Hot Sauce Shop in Georgetown, as well as on Amazon and crenshawsc6salsa.com, with additional retailers coming soon, Crenshaw says.

In my live-stream taste test last week, I tried his ghost chili salsa and was surprised when I wanted to keep eating it. The hot and tequila lime flavors were equally appealing because they didn’t have too much sugar, vinegar or salt — common problems in store-bought salsa. I also really liked the smooth texture; chunky salsa reminds me of pasta sauce or the worst store-bought salsas of my youth in Missouri, far, far away from the real deal salsas you can readily find here.

I also tried a cashew yogurt from Forager Products, which isn’t a local product but is notable as a dairy-free yogurt alternative, as well as the locally made Sassy Lassi, an easy-to-drink probiotic yogurt in fantastic flavors, including pineapple, rose and mango. You can check out the video and learn more about these products at food.blog.austin360.com.

NEW PRODUCTS

H-E-B, Luby’s team up to sell frozen fried fish patties

Last year, H-E-B announced it was bringing one of Luby’s most iconic dishes — mac and cheese — to its stores. Now you’re one step closer to recreating a LuAnn platter at home, because the grocery store is expanding its partnership with the cafeteria by bringing fried fish (aka “square fish”) to the store’s freezer aisle.

The fish costs $7.95 for two filets, which is four LuAnn-sized servings.

“Whether you know it as fried or square fish, this piece of Texas culinary history is easily one of the most recognizable and most ordered dishes in the state. We’re proud to have H-E-B as a partner, making it an anytime meal for its legions of fans,” Luby’s Chief Operating Officer Peter Tropoli said in a written statement.

— Katey Psencik

LOCAL FOOD

Storms cause $130,000 in damage to Tecolote Farm

That whopper of a storm last week caused power outages around Austin, downed trees and led to some house fires caused by lightning strikes.

Out at Tecolote Farm on Decker Lane on the eastern edge of Austin, Katie and David Pitre are just starting to pick up the pieces after the storm caused an estimated $130,000 in damage.

From a note that Katie Pitre sent to her fellow farmers early last week that explained the damage: “Circular storm through here last night around midnight. Halves of 300 year old oak trees on the ground. Lightning hit some trees. Big branches on house roof. Half of barn roof gone, including a good portion of our solar array and rainwater gutters. Solar array was not yet insured. Thought barn was still insured but turns out not. Dang. Picking up pieces. Today was supposed to be our first harvest for Farmhouse delivery. Sorrel all destroyed though. Luckily people and animals all OK. Hope this storm missed y’all.”

Tecolote sells both produce and meat to Austinites through one of the longest-running CSA programs in the country, but it also sells directly to chefs. You’ll remember that they had some serious water issues several years ago and, like all area farmers, also struggle with drought and flooding. They haven’t set up any fundraisers yet, but I’ll keep you posted if there is an opportunity to support them and other farmers who might have lost crops.

EVENTS

Inaugural Austin Chicken Wing Festival slated for April 2

Food festival season is in full swing. The Austin Food & Wine Festival is two months away, but we are seeing all kinds of new themed food festivals pop up this year.

The Austin Oyster Fest took place last weekend, Edible Austin combined beer and bacon for a fete in January and the first Austin Mac ‘n’ Cheese Fest was a blowout success last November. On March 25, Tater Tots get their own festival (with their friends beer) from 3 to 6 p.m. at Palm Park, 711 E. Third St. (You can find out details at tatertotfestival.com.)

That Tater Tot festival is a touring national event, but the following weekend, a locally produced event called the Austin Chicken Wing Festival will bring together local chefs and restaurants for a finger-licking party at the Historic Scoot Inn, 1308 E. Fourth St. No word yet on which local chefs are participating, but you know you’re gonna need napkins.

For $35, you can try unlimited wing tastings from 1 to 5 p.m. April 2, but for $65, you can upgrade to a VIP ticket to get early entry and drinks. Tickets are available through Eventbrite.



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