Clemson’s Best gourmet ice cream, made with South Carolina ingredients, available locally

June 6, 2018 GMT

Four flavors of gourmet ice cream made with produce from local and South Carolina farms are on the menu at select retailers.

The new Clemson’s Best Gourmet Ice Cream – made with ingredients from local farms – is now available at Cold Creek Nurseries in Aiken, The Ole Edgefield Butcher Shop in Edgefield, The Nut House and Country Market in Ridge Spring, The Purple Hull in North Augusta, and Good Earth Produce and Garden Center in Augusta.

The flavors, produced at Clemson University, are made from milk from Hickory Hill Dairy in Edgefield, peaches from Titan Farms in Trenton, strawberries from McLeod Farms in McBee and pecans from Yon Family Farms in Ridge Spring.

Retailers have said the product flies from the freezer, according to a news release from Clemson University.

This weekend, Cold Creek Nurseries in Aiken will hold a Farm Market Food Fest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 9, at the nursery at 398 Hitchcock Parkway. The event is free, and features cooking demos from local chefs and food samplings.

Also receiving a shipment of the special ice cream this weekend is The Purple Hull in North Augusta, located at 535 Old Edgefield Road, said Chasiti Kirkland, spokesperson with Clemson University.

Staff from Clemson will be at the Cold Creek event with samples of the ice cream, including Caramel Butter Pecan, Strawberry Shortcake, Homemade Vanilla and Peaches and Cream.

“We are the first in the area to sell the ice cream, and to my knowledge, we are the only retailer carrying this ice cream in Aiken,” said Michaela Berley, the retail manager at Cold Creek. “We had to place a rush on our second ice cream shipment because we sold straight through our first shipment.”

Berley said Carolina fans sometimes are a little reluctant to buy a product from Clemson, but she added she knows just what to say to change their minds.

“You can see the Carolina fans just kind of back away when I tell them we’re selling Clemson gourmet ice cream,” she said. “I tell them, I guess you’re a Carolina fan. When they say yes, I tell them we’re all fans of ice cream.”

The Farm Market Food Fest also will feature a chef demonstration by Tavaris Lowe of Newberry Hall; music by Gavin Reily; and other food samples, including quiches from Faithful Foods, Blue Moon from Specialty Foods and goat cheese from Trail Ridge Farms.

“The hype is real,” said Nicole Yon, of the Nut House, which sold 49 pints in a few hours, according to the news release.

When news spread on social media that Clemson’s Best Ice Cream had been delivered to The Ole Edgefield Butcher Shop, owner Robert Brazell said his first delivery sold out the very same day, according to the release.

“Regular customers came in, but we also met new people who heard through friends or Facebook that we carried the ice cream,” Brazell said. “I tell them ‘Keep buying the stuff because every sale gets me closer to a Gamecock football ticket.”’

That stuff, said the Carolina fan, is “pretty darn good,” even if the packaging is orange and purple. “People are going crazy for it.”

For the university’s newest gourmet product, small-batch ice cream maker Greenwood Ice Cream worked directly with the university to handcraft four Southern flavors.

One is vanilla “but not just any vanilla,” said Hickory Hill’s Watson Dorn, whose Holstein cows produce milk ultra-rich in butter fat for Clemson Blue Cheese. “Don’t expect anything skinny under the lid, though – just a spoonful of good from some of The Carolinas’ best farmers.”

Hickory Hill milk also is non-homogenized, a rare find these days and a nostalgic return to times when a thick layer of cream rose to the top of each bottle, according to the news release. That’s what also makes the new vanilla confection “an unbelievably creamy, nostalgic ice cream like Grandma made,” Dorn said.

A 2/3 cup of Clemson’s Best Ice Cream contains 210 calories – that’s 640 calories per pint, according to the release.

Ten percent of the proceeds from Clemson’s Best fund student-related learning, scholarships, internships, research and campus programs in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, according to the release.

For more information, visit www.clemsonsbest.com.