Menu Banner

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It’s It…and the Magic of Local Ice Cream Traditions

When we first moved to the Bay Area, one of Nate’s co-workers told him about It’s-It Ice Cream. We tasted the mint flavor and, in all honesty, weren’t that in love. Then, the other day, they were sampling the original vanilla flavor at Costco. My girls of course begged for some, so I gave them each a sample. I was going to pass on it myself, but decided I may as well give it another try. After one bite, I threw a box in the cart to take home!

I did a little research about It’s-It Ice Cream before sitting down to write this post. It’s-It has a very fun and unique-to-the-Bay-Area history, which you can read about on their website. It’s-It Ice Cream even has an entry on Wikipedia. This ice cream must be serious business! I love that it’s been around forever and is so tied to the local culture. It’s fun to eat something and know people nearly 100 years ago ate the same thing.

It’s-It is simply vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two oatmeal cookies (with tiny raisins…we didn’t even notice those until last night!) and dipped in dark chocolate. They have a few other flavors, and you can find them throughout the West or order online. And I love their retro packaging.

As I was munching on my It’s-It last night, I couldn’t help but think of other similar ice cream creations in other parts of the country, creations that people stand by for years, creations tied to the history of a place. Newport Beach has its Newport bars and chocolate dipped frozen bananas. North Scituate, MA has it’s Wilbur Wheels. Cape Cod simply has homemade ice cream everywhere you turn, each town on the Cape claiming theirs is the best.

What is it about ice cream that inspires such tradition, loyalty, nostalgia? The possibilities for creating new frozen treats are endless, so everyone can find their own claim to fame. And maybe ice cream just tastes so good we can’t help but keep coming back for more.

As always, I love hearing about where you live and your own traditions. Share your town’s/region’s/state’s favorite ice cream treat! And who knows, maybe one day I’ll get to try them all…one can wish!


  1. 1

    I live in St. Louis, MO. We have a local ice-cream stand called Ted Drewes. It’s actually not ice-cream at all, it’s frozen custard. This means the treat is SUPER thick (and super caloric…but we don’t think about that when having this treat!). They make what’s called a concrete. Once they’ve blended the frozen custard with your choice of mix-ins, they turn it upside down and not a drip of wonderful frozen custard falls out. It’s thick, and rick, and AMAZING!

  2. 2

    oh no! it’s it’s at costco? if it has hit the north bay already, i will probably gain 20 lbs this summer! i love it’s its!

  3. 3

    I’m so jealous that you can get these. They used to sell them for lunch at my middle school–the mint ones are my favorite! I haven’t had one in ages and am now totally craving one. May have to see if I can make my own version.

  4. 4

    I remember selling it’s-it’s after school at my Jr. High ice cream stand. What good memories, I can still taste the cookie. I had no idea they were a regional thing until I went to college.

    My favorite ice cream from my mission, was creamies. People would give them to us while tracting in Salt Lake. Those are the best ice cream pop I’ve tasted.

  5. 5

    I was SO sad to leave Cliff’s behind in NJ. For some reason my family cannot figure out I have a thing for soft ice cream. I LOVE CLIFF’S! I love that they always have the chocolate and vanilla and then another rotating flavor…like mint (which they will swirl with the chocolate), raspberry, strawberry, etc.

    • Mawa

      Almond joy shakes from Cliff’s – yummmmm. There are lots of good things about living in New Jersey – Cliff’s is just one of them!

  6. 6

    I grew up in Southern California and we had these in our school cafeteria. I remember they were delivered by the It`s It`s truck. I have not thought of these ice cream sandwiches in years! Thanks for bringing back the memories!

  7. I *heart* It’s-It! The mint are my favorites but I won’t deny any flavor offered! My high school photo class would sell these out of the classroom freezer for $1/piece… I don’t know how I made it through my years of puberty without plumping up like a marshmallow! These things are divine!

  8. 8

    Well, for ice cream we’ve become snobs and usually only eat homemade – but, Kimball’s is the best store bought.
    I have a poster of the Periodic Table of Desserts. It has It’s It on it and no one around here knew what it was!! I looked pre-internet wonders like Wikipedia….
    I’ve tried to make everything on that poster. Made up something for It’s it. Looks like I’m going to have to order online just to complete my boast that we’ve had everything on that poster!
    Thanks for the education!!
    love you

  9. We have a similar ice cream sandwich treat here in the south from Blue Bell ice cream. I don’t know how far their distribution goes but I know it was started right here in the central Texas region. People take their Blue Bell and Dr.Pepper floats very seriously down here.

  10. 10

    Oh, and Mad Martha’s on Martha’s Vineyard!

  11. 11

    I used to get that ice cream in my high school cafeteria every day! I love it and haven’t seen it since 🙂

  12. 12
    Craving It

    Ok, true story…I had a serious It’s It craving a couple of weeks back so my lovely wife (not knowing) about this product went to the local grocery store and returned with garden variety ice cream sandwiches. Fast forward to last night (July 12, 2012) I went out hunting for an It’s It ice cream sandwich myself. One gas station, two convenient stores, and one open til midnight pharmacy later I found myself sitting in the car Googling “It’s It”. Little did I know I couldn’t get it outside of California. First, In and Out Burger and Round Table Pizza, now favorite childhood ice cream…uggghhh!

    Craving from Northern VA

    • Jane Maynard

      your comment is awesome (and tragic, of course!)…guess you need to plan a trip to CA pronto! 🙂

Leave a comment

1 Trackback