It's not every day one gets to tour an ice cream factory. This was my second. And I must say that despite the difference in size, I'm much more impressed with the Spotted Dog Creamery in Salt Lake city than the Ben & Jerry's factory in Vermont.
The latest meeting of the Utah Bakers Dozen included a tour of the Spotted Dog Creamery, an ice cream demo and tasting, and an ice cream and cupcake social. John Winders, owner of the Spotted Dog, is one of the coolest people I've ever met. He's mellow, friendly, and looks a little like a young Bill Murray.
He made 4 flavors while we were there: vanilla, strawberry, strawberry banana, and coffee. I only had the chance to sample the first two, and they were dang good. He actually has a good couple dozen or so flavor bases that he can go from, and he doesn't mind special orders. I thought the Bloody Mary ice cream that he had a chef request once was particularly interesting. That is certainly the only reason I can think of why I would have seen V8 and Lea & Perrins sitting on the flavor shelves. Iron Chef America, here he comes!
There were a few very interesting things about John himself. For instance, when he goes out and peddles his ice cream by the cone, he only uses very tiny cones. He believes that ice cream is an excellent treat, but overconsumption just isn't right. He's the first ice cream vendor I've ever heard of that actually encourages moderation. Apparently, he's even lost a few customers over the issue. He told us about people leaving him voice mail saying, "hey, I just ate a whole pint of your ice cream at once, so there!"
Sadly, Spotted Dog ice cream isn't all that easy to get outside of Salt Lake County, but much to my excitement, he tells us that we should be expecting him in Utah County soon enough. I liked this guy. I like him enough to give him a shameless plug. You need to buy his ice cream. You need to buy it because he gives to the community. You need to buy it because he's a big supporter of various animal organizations. You need to buy it because he's the little guy. If nothing else, you need to buy it because it's some of the best dern ice cream I've ever tasted.