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Blue Bell Ice Cream

Now contains weird ingredients, including hi fructose corn syrup. I thought that it had been tasting different for a while....

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  1. Weird.... The radio commercials for it are enough to make me hurl.

    1. i cannot stand bluebell. worst icecream i've ever had.

      1. I think Blue Bell makes a good ice cream, but they'd be better off sticking with the basics. Why on earth do we need an IC flavor called "Wedding Cake?"

        4 Replies
        1. re: yorkshirepud

          It's actually "Anniversary Cake", a limited release flavor in celebration of their centenial anniversary. And it's effing delicious, with big chunks of (dry!) cake and icing in the ice cream.

          I, for one, love Blue Bell. Didn't realize there was HFCS in it now. :(

          1. re: skechada

            Actually, there has been a "Wedding Cake" and a "Birthday Cake" prior to the new "Anniversary Cake."

            1. re: jonesy4000

              Ahh. I stand corrected. I would definitely like to try the birthday cake ice cream. :)

            2. re: skechada

              Me too. Absolute favorite is Mocha Almond Fudge. Addicting.

          2. Ughh. Some of your postings are teetering on the precipice of sacrilege to a native Texan. I recently saw a Cooks Illustrated tasting test of various regional ice creams and, startlingly, Blue Bell didn't make the list. I, too, was unaware, though, that they use HCFS. I wonder if a Mexican alternative will come along.

            5 Replies
            1. re: sgarland

              Cook's Illustrated changed their policies early in the year, and they no longer review what they consider to be "regional" products, although I would argue with their definition of regional--they no longer include Trader Joe's products in their comparisons, for instance, or any product that they think is not nationally available, although I do notice a great deal of products that I consider to be from the northeast showing up in their reviews. It would surprise me if they even included Blue Bell in the tasting, unless the review wasn't really all that recent. When/where did you see it?

              1. re: angusb

                Here's an online version, although I'm pretty sure they updated it this year.


                1. re: jackietreehorn

                  Wow. Blue Bunny recommended and Blue Bell rejected? I just lost a little faith in Cook's Illustrated. Blue Bunny is terrible, terrible ice cream (IMO).

                  1. re: skechada

                    Yes, I agree...Blue Bunny is terrible. It's funny--they eliminated Blue Bell French Vanilla and Blue Bell Natural Vanilla Bean in the first round, but I always buy the Homemade Vanilla, and it never disappoints me. I wonder why they didn't include it, because it is the best version of vanilla that Blue Bell makes, in my opinion.

                2. re: angusb

                  My fellow-foodie roommate spent a year in Manhattan and would go to Outback Steakhouse regularly just for the Blue Bell... If it's available nationally, even if only at Outback, is it still technically considered regional?

                  I'm not a big fan of sweets save a few specific dessert genres (cobblers, bread puddings) so I love how light, and kind of "insubstantial" Blue Bell is. I worked at Amy's for a time and while I appreciate the quality and richness, the most I could ever handle was a half scoop of the sweet cream or coffee flavors with a drizzle of hot fudge. Blue Bell also forms the best "cream froth" stuff at the top of ice cream floats !

              2. I had noticed and commented to friends that Blue Bell's ice cream seemed 'icy' almost like 'diet' ice cream. I wondered if it was a change in the cream/milk ratio, but HFCS could be the culprit

                1. I believe the NYT named it one of the best ice creams in the country, if not the best. Of course, this may have been before HFCS. I demand this action to stop, or, at least have the company explain why! I think they owe us that :)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ChristineR

                    Many of BlueBell's post Corn Syrup renditions have this odd bile flavor.Maybe it's just a run up to introducing an official "Autumn Bile" offering?I wonder how much money they're saving getting rid of all that pesky cane sugar? I hope it's worth losing all the hard-core ice cream loving chowhounds who are now consigned to a diet of a melange of frozen spit and dust[not that tasty but better than Bluebell]

                    1. re: scrumptiouschef

                      I hope so, too. Wait. . . I don't hope that they start marketing "Autumn Bile"! I hope that they lose their hard-core ice-cream lovers.

                      Even before they started adding corn syrup, Blue Bell was never my favorite ice cream. I missed many things about home when I was living out of state. Blue Bell sure wasn't one of them.

                  2. Natural Vanilla Bean still has only "natural" sugar. It's always been the standard for me so they better not mess with it. The flavor is is simple and delicious, and eating it is usually refreshing rather than a gooey, sticky orgy of heavy, gummy ice cream with too many ingredients and too much chocolate syrup that leaves you feeling piggy but unsatisfied.

                    I think Blue Bell's renown has a lot to do with the fact that it was/is the best affordable ice cream available. Tiny containers of haagen daas or B&J won't feed your party guests or kids, and the store brands/ other cheaper brands usually taste blantantly artificial, although they have gotten somewhat better.
                    As a kid I always appreciated the parent who brought blue bell strawberry ice cream rather than HEB to class parties b/c blue bell had lots of big strawberry chunks rather than just pink dye and artificial strawberry flavor #705,000,0000.

                    1. Dang! I just bought some Blue Bell for the first time in YEARS...checked out Chowhound and saw that HFCS was now one of the ingredients. I went digging it out of the freezer and it sure as hell does.
                      What a dissapointment.

                      1. A huge disappointment. In truth, I haven't bought Bluebell for years. I like a richer, more concentrated ice cream and BB is full of air. Great for kids' parties and the like; not so great if you really want to indulge in an amazing ice cream experience.

                        I like the gelati at Whole Foods as much as anything around. The pistachio rocks my world.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: speedracer

                          My dad is BB crazy, right now there is 4 gallons n freezer, im not to impressed thought I was until I bought me a little Baskin-Robbins, n OMG! I was like ok thats what ive been searching for. In the mean time to give all the BB that extra punch of sweetness I add eagle's brand milk. A.K.A condensed milk. You will be surprised how addictive ths stuff is.

                        2. Ive never understood the appeal of Blue Bell. It seems to be a texan thing. Not surprised it has HFCS, but have always been amazed at the amount of air folded into their product. I'm surprised the containers don't float off the shelves they're so light.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ilbranzino

                            I'm with you. IIt just tastes like cheap grocery store ice cream to me. Nothing special.

                          2. Am allergic to any type of soy additive (bean, oil, etc) - not sure when they started adding it to their Pistachio Almond ice cream which is my fav, but can no longer buy Bluebell products due to the soy...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Lucy Marie

                              HFCS? Wow, that just gave me motivation to save a few calories. Bye-bye BB until they drop it.

                            2. I love the Blue Bell "Natural Vanilla Bean" made with sugar. I believe all the containers that have the brown lids are made with sugar. The HFCS ones have a gold lid. Not very fond of Amy's, it's a mouth feel thing. The colder the temperature at which the ice cream is frozen the denser the product. Amy's is very dense. Blue bell tastes a little closer to homemade to me.

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: Helind

                                I am not certain about all brown lids, but Natural Vanilla Bean does not use HFCS (it uses sugar)

                                1. re: Chefdavis

                                  The natural vanilla bean was what turned me on to Blue Bell in the late 80s - at Green Mesquite....they plopped it on their excellent cobbler. Haven't been back there in a while. i did recently try the natural vanilla bean, and I agree with Chefdavis, it was all goodness at that time.

                                  1. re: rudeboy

                                    Natural Vanilla Bean has always been my favorite.

                                    1. re: danny_w

                                      Well, it has HFCS in it too, but I have favored HEB 1905 Vanilla over Blue Bell Vanilla for the past couple of years.

                                      1. re: tuckspop

                                        Blue Bell "Natural" Vanilla has no HFCS. You may be thinking of "Homemade" Vanilla which does have HFCS.

                                2. re: Helind

                                  I checked the other day when I was at the supermarket and a brown lid does not mean the it is made with sugar. Some of the Blue Bell ice cream with the brown lids does have HFCS. Bummer.

                                  1. re: Helind

                                    I came across this thread in a search and I had to find out if it was true. You all might be interested at what the representative in Brenham told me.

                                    They've used HFCS since the 1970s. They still use mostly Imperial cane sugar, but she said (not sure about this) that the HFCS is in there mainly for texture.

                                    She did tell me that the Natural Bean Vanilla was made purely with sugar and no HFCS, so you might want to give that a try if you haven't.

                                3. Yeah, BB is bad now. If you shop at Central Market, pick up some Beth Marie's from Denton. I've had the "Turtle Torture". I dunno how they keep keep the caramel in the center gooey and not frozen but it is very good. Probably the best ice cream from TX now.

                                  Central Market
                                  4477 S Lamar Blvd Ste 100, Austin, TX 78745

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: achtungpv

                                    HEB brand "Creamy Creations" has 3 different vanilla ice creams (Vanilla, Homemade Vanilla, 1905 Vanilla.) Check the ingredients; one has no HFCS (think it's Homemade Vanilla). I love using it to make homemade fresh banana or strawberry shakes.

                                    1. re: musingegret

                                      I'm a cat and live in Dallas. When my human, Tommy ain't lookin' I lick the bottom of the bowl. My fave is Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla. Tommy LOVES this stuff-'specially when puts sliced fresh strawberries on it. I'm not much into berries, so I just wait until she's done. Tommy loves Blue Bell. Not all the flavors tho. After Homemade Vanilla, she lies Tin Roof, Banana NUT and Chocolate Covered Strawberry...as for the HFCS stuff you're talking about...it's all about taste in our house. If it ain't tastin' like much, Tommy says her pennies ain't going to it.

                                      1. re: Noir the Texas Tabby

                                        I just coughed up a hairball......

                                        It *is* all about taste. BB started tasting weird, and it used to be very good.

                                  2. Has anyone ever done the tour in Brenham? Is it worth doing?

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: NWLarry

                                      Yes I did it while in elementary school here. It was a day long field trip. That was 20 yrs ago however. I loved it then...

                                      1. re: NWLarry

                                        We just went to that tour yesterday! It's nothing super special, but it is fun if you like seeing giant machines, a la "unwrapped" - which I do. At the end of the tour you get your choice of ice cream, and it does taste better there. I don't buy it in the store because I'm not really into Bluebell - I like denser ice cream - but at the factory it sure tasted good. You can sample all the flavors you want, too. They are not open for tours on the weekends. If you go, you must hit up the mighty Country Inn #2 for lunch/dinner. Awesome homemade food. Even my kids' (usually nasty) chicken strips were hand breaded. Skin-on mashed potatoes, non-frozen fried okra, thick, chargrilled burger - lunch was better than the factory tour!

                                      2. Cooks Illustrated rated supermarket vanilla ice cream - and they included Blue Bell - but they DIDN'T use Natural Vanilla Bean! WTF were they thinking??


                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: addlepated

                                          That was a major oversight on the part of the people who set up the tasting. However, the results are EXACTLY what I'd expect them to be. From best to worst, pretty much what I'd rate them (granted, I haven't tried them all). I might have ranked Bluebell and Dryers a bit lower. Dryers started injecting their ice cream with air, or something, years ago. The reason that it is lower in fat is because of that reason. Pick up a carton, and compare the weight of it to another brand.

                                          I just bought a Bluebell natural vanilla bean 1/2 gallon last night, btw. It was only $5.50, and Ben and Jerry's just went up to $3.50 per pint. It is so starkly superior to the other Bluebell products that one wonders what internal discussions were had in Bluebell's boardroom prior to making the switch. Maybe the old school BB people wouldn't budge on natural vanill bean.

                                          Others disagree with my rankings, however - look at these dorks:


                                          Here is another vaguely related article - scan for "fructose" and they mention "foodie websites." I wonder if they saw our thread.


                                          1. re: rudeboy

                                            I found out how much Air was in Breyers the hard way by accidentally leaving it out all night after a late night shopping trip. When I woke up 8 hours later there was less than half the container left and I hadn't even eaten any!

                                            1. re: pythonian

                                              That's an experiment that should be posted with pictures for evidence!

                                        2. The current issue of Cook's magazine has a recipe for homemade vanilla ice cream. They recommend corn syrup in place of sugar because they said it helped the ice cream stay creamier.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: ridgeback

                                            To be fair, corn syrup is not the same thing as high fructose corn syrup. I actually made this recipe this past weekend, albeit with fresh peaches from Stonewall instead of the vanilla. It was really good, and really creamy, but MAN was it RICH! I also think 6 yolks was a little much. The consistency is great though, and the corn syrup really does help keep it from getting too crystally. I am probably going to cut back from the 1/2 cup = 2 tablespoons of sugar it asks in addition to the 1/3 cup of corn syrup.

                                            1. re: Homero

                                              true about the corn syrup not being the same as HFCS.
                                              also, some brands such as ben and jerry's use "liquid sugar" for similar results.

                                              a general chowhounding post taught me the term for the overwhipped stuff is "high overrun".
                                              i don't like it, and prefer denser, creamier textures.

                                          2. i recently read that graeter's from OH is now available at some HEB locations.
                                            it's a super premium brand (okay, writing that sounds silly; it means way less overrun).
                                            i'm going to seek out a carton of a non-chocolate variety, since i don't like the chocolate.
                                            there's a slideshow on serious eats about how they make their chip varieties--very interesting.

                                                1. re: Pmd669

                                                  I would like to know the same thing. Everybody here seems so much against it but never gives any reasons for it.

                                                  1. re: danny_w

                                                    Cause a supertaster can taste it. I can immediately taste it. It doesn't taste good. Pretty simple.

                                                    1. re: rudeboy

                                                      I don't buy it. I'd like to see a series of blind taste tests. I noticed that your original post stated "I thought that it had been tasting different for a while," after you make your announcement that Blue Bell contains HFCS. If you could "immediately taste it", why did it take "a while" for your discovery? . . . I'm just sayin'

                                                      1. re: Pmd669

                                                        It was probably two or three times, having it at other's homes and at restaurants. I'm not sure how much calendar time passed by. So it was a "while." But my decision to double-check the ingredients occurred because of what I was tasting. I know that's true. I'd be glad to do the taste tests, because I'm convinced that I can tell. I remember checking the ingredient list at HEB just because what I had tasted.

                                                        I drink a soda every now and then, but I certainly don't give HFCS to my kids. I'm not convinced that it is entirely bad, I'd just rather have other people conduct those experiments.

                                                2. The HEB brand ice cream is pretty good. I'm addicted to their dulce de leche(*). And everything else tried has been good (except "Wedding Cake"). It's only $2.50/1.75quarts. Be careful about buying the "light" versions vs. regular as it's not too obvious. But even though the light is pretty good, too.


                                                  (*) Just don't buy it at MY store, OK? :-P It seems I'm always getting the last container.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: sqwertz

                                                    the poteet strawberry, which i understand to be a summer seasonal, is pretty good too.
                                                    there was some winter flavor i loved-- it didn't have chocolate it in, because i don't like chocolate.
                                                    i think it was a pumpkin cheesecake or something.

                                                    1. re: sqwertz

                                                      Speaking of storebrand ice cream that is good, I rarely make it out to costco, but when I do I am always sure to load up on their vanilla ice cream. It really is exceptional, made with real vanilla etc.

                                                    2. If you are willing to spend $12 on a pint of ice cream, I highly recommend grabbing a pint of Jeni's Ice Cream at one of the Royal Blue Grocery stores.

                                                      She uses all natural ingredients and comes up with flavors that are out of the ordinary and most are borderline extraordinary. You can get an idea of the flavors available here:


                                                      Royal Blue seems to get a random selection so the flavors available are different most times I go in.

                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: Mike B

                                                        jeni's are amazing.
                                                        i had NO idea it was available locally.
                                                        for some reason, there is a lot of local availability of premium OH ice cream.
                                                        (see also graeter's post).

                                                        1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                          Jeni's is also available at the North Lamar Central Market for about $10 a pint. Last time I was there, I stared longingly at the Salty Caramel and Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet, but ultimately walked away. I have a recipe for her Savannah Buttermint flavor that I'm gonna try out first.

                                                          Central Market
                                                          4477 S Lamar Blvd Ste 100, Austin, TX 78745

                                                          1. re: TerryMtz

                                                            Let us know how it turns out.

                                                            She just released a first rate book on how to make ice cream which includes many of her famous flavors modified for making at home. I haven't tried making any of them yet. Every time I look through the pictures in the book it's just inspired me to go to the store and pick up a pint.

                                                          2. re: dinaofdoom

                                                            Thanks, I didn't know Graeters was available here. I'm going to have to look for a pint of their Black Raspberry Chip.

                                                            1. re: Mike B

                                                              I bought some Graeters today at HEB. The one at 183/Braker had vanilla chocolate chip, chocolate chocolate chip, mocha chocolate chip, coconut chocolate chip, mint chocolate chip, and possibly one I'm forgetting, but all were variations on chocolate chip.

                                                              1. re: stephanieh

                                                                definitely let us know how you like them.
                                                                i don't eat chocolate so i guess i will have to wait to get my non-choccy fix.

                                                                if you are interested in learning how your pint was made:

                                                        2. I never had it naturally sweetened, as I didn't live in Texas before they switched, and I could never figure out why Texans were so insistent that BB was "OMG THE BEST". I don't understand why any company would switch to HFCS today, knowing what is coming to light about it.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: CPDtrigger

                                                            Funny - when I opened this thread tonight, I was just polishing off a carton of BB natural vanilla bean. They haven't adulterated that one - it is like crack to me. You might get an inkling of what is was like for some of the other flavors if you try it.

                                                          2. Unable to eat BB anymore - super allergic to even trace amounts of any type of soy (inflames joints just like MSG) - they have soybean oil in some flavors -- used as a filler these days (cereal, whole wheat bread, crackers, etc. - it is in just about everything boxed so no boxed foods, chips.etc., or BB for us).