When one cup of joe is not enough, grab a bowl!
Right now, the natural question is where to find a pint of the finest coffee-flavored ice cream you can imagine. The answer is blowing in the wind but not for long. Carolina Almond Coffee the fifth flavor of Clemson’s Best, is gradually making its way into stores. If you find it, scoop it up. If you can’t, ask for it by name or take a request form to your local grocer: https://clemsonsbest.com/ice-cream-finder/.
The new flavor debuted quietly in September, and fans who got the first taste were enthusiastic. Reviews are so favorable, in fact, that Carolina Almond Coffee is outpacing in some stores Caramel Butter Pecan, clearly the crowd favorite since April 2018, when Clemson University announced plans to trademark for retail its new ice cream brand.
Walt Deptula, a sports talk radio personality for WCCP The Roar, was one of the first to try Carolina Almond Coffee in late August when brand officials received final samples of the new flavor from the manufacturer. He loves coffee ice cream his producer gives him a new brand to try every Christmas season. He tried this one on air. “As God as my witness, I have just tasted Carolina Almond Coffee for the first time,” he raved. “This is my new favorite. It’s fight-your-neighbor-for-it kind of good. It’s freaking outstanding.”
Some Upstate Bi-Lo stores featured the new flavor in demos the day Deptula sung its praises tried during his weekday “Road Rage” show. No one turned up their noses at the grocery store debut, even those who said they don’t usually do coffee-flavored ice cream — possibly because the fudge content is just right in this one, confirming the University’s decision to develop a chocolate recipe for Flavor Six. Those demos did it for Bi-Lo, which carries Carolina Almond Coffee and the other four flavors at its Seneca, Pendleton and Anderson stores.
Ingles, the one major grocery store chain that sells Clemson’s Best in most of its locations, has yet to stock the newest flavor, although it was developed at the suggestion of its own VP for frozen foods. Scott Pigeon, the university representative who oversees Clemson’s Best, hopes to have it in the freezers at Ingles soon. And talk around the office coffee pot is that at least one other supermarket with major presence in the Southeast is seriously eyeing Clemson’s Best. Many private-label retailers have embraced it, however, and news of the new product gradually is spreading.
Select scoop shops and restaurants in South Carolina serve Carolina Almond Coffee, too, now that Sysco Foods, a major food distributor, has named Clemson’s Best Ice Cream its premium brand in certain regions.
Grocery store managers can decide for themselves what locally made products are sold at individual locations, whether that’s Bi-Lo, Publix, Food Lion or Fresh Market, Pigeon said. “Sometimes it just takes consumer demand.”
To find a find a retailer near you, visit https://clemsonsbest.com/ice-cream-finder/. Click the link for a form you can use to persuade local store managers to order some really good stuff.
Carolina Almond Coffee, like each of the Clemson’s Best flavors, is a super-premium ice cream, meaning that it’s made with 16 percent butterfat. That’s a lot if you don’t know much about ice cream, and it’s more than many national brands. It’s also made with milk from South Carolina cows and with grounds from 100 percent Arabica beans roasted by Stone Roastery, a family-owned coffee shop in North Augusta, S.C. Chocolate-covered almonds, a decadent fudge ripple and espresso flavoring round out the major ingredients that account for 1,080 calories in a one-pint container.
Taste is not the only reason fans are loyal to the Clemson brand, however. Sure, the iconic paw carries weight, but there’s a much bigger story at play. For every pint of ice cream sold, the university gives 10 percent of its profits to the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences. Brand officials announced last month that $19,000 has been paid forward since last April. Money goes to the CAFLS Advantage program, which promotes learning beyond the classroom. Opportunities include undergraduate research, on-the-job training and participation in summer camps. Students also can enroll in study-at-home programs and travel abroad.
Highlighting South Carolina family farms is equally important to the Clemson’s Best brand, Pigeon said. Four South Carolina farmers contribute the milk, fruits and nuts found in Homemade Vanilla, Strawberry Shortcake, Caramel Butter Pecan and Peaches –N-Cream and, now, Carolina Almond Coffee. Farm families involved are Hickory Hill in Edgefield; McLeod Farms in McBee; and Titan Farms, and Yon Family Farms, both in Ridge Spring.