Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Squid Eats: Herrell's

via Herrell's

Herrell's is a Northampton, Massachusetts (NoHo) food landmark.  Tell anyone you've visited the town and they're sure to ask if you've been to Herrell's.  We went for the first time in August, then returned a couple weekends ago.

Confession time.  I'm an ice cream snob.  My offspring says so and I'm inclined to agree.  Ice cream is my favorite food in the world and I am convinced that I live in the greatest part of the world for eating it.  Sure, you know all about Ben & Jerry's, the local independent gone global, now comfortably in Unilever's portfolio.  But great Vermont ice cream extends far beyond B&J.  First, there's creemies, soft-serve ice cream to the rest of you.  It's both ubiquitous and delicious around here in the summer time.  There's plenty of great hard ice cream, too: Lake Champlain Chocolate, Wilcox, Island Homemade, Kingdom Creamery, Sisters of Anarchy.  It's all yummy.  

So, if I'm going to stand in a long, winding, confusing line for a cone, as we did at Herrell's in August, it had better be pretty darn good.  I honestly can't remember what flavor I got in the summer - the shop has 40 at any given time with 400+ in rotation.  It was fine.  Not great.  Fine.  Not worth standing in line.

As a result, I've been less inclined to go in subsequent visits to NoHo.  It's possible I even rolled my eyes when our progeny suggested it, prompting the ice cream snob accusation.  Nonetheless, we agreed to go during our most recent visit if the line wasn't too long.

I got rum raisin this time.  It was pretty darn good.  Rum raisin was my go-to Baskin-Robbins order back in the day.  I don't get it too often any more.  To be fair, one doesn't see it so much.  Herrell's was nice - truly rummy and creamier than what I remember from B-R in my childhood.  Is it as good as Vermont's best?  Probably not.  But definitely worth a stop if the line's not too long.

This ice cream snob will be back.


  1. The last few times we went to Baskin-Robbins the ice cream didn't have much flavor. We discovered The Stout Snug Creamery recently. The ice cream is so good and seriously flavorful. I had raspberry chocolate truffle and have been dreaming about it ever since.


    1. Baskin-Robbins... I haven't been since I was a kid. Seems so ordinary now. Interestingly, Bethesda, Maryland, where I went to high school, had a surprising number of decent ice cream places back in the day. No idea if it still does. It's so upscale now. Ice cream would seem pedestrian.

  2. Ice Cream is just about my favorite thing, too. My wife hates that I always want to have ice cream in the freezer, but, even though I don't eat it everyday, I want it there when I want it (which is actually pretty difficult with my son in the house, because he -does- it everyday when it's there).
    My daughter actually spent the past several years working in one of the local ice cream shops. It's incredibly popular around here and they do make some interesting flavors upon occasion (like lavender), but I don't think much of them as far as quality goes. They try to hard to imitate B-R.
    My favorite ice cream shop is in Fort Bragg (CA), of all places. Called Cow Licks (which is a GREAT name). They make a mushroom ice cream. Unfortunately, it tastes too much like butter pecan for me to like it much, but I love the idea of it and that they make it. That's not why they're my favorite. :P
    They just make -really- good ice cream.

    1. Mushroom ice cream! Doesn't appeal to me, though I think my wife might try it.

  3. I love good ice cream! In Michigan, there were several good ice cream joints, one that even had their own cows and made heavenly ice cream (you could buy it at the diary or at local stores). When I was in Savannah, you had Leopolds, which has been around since the early 20th century.

    1. In the very early days of the college search, our child expressed interest in finding a place with good ice cream, largely inspired by the famous Creamery at Penn State. There's a website for everything, of course, so naturally I was able to find a list online. #1? Clemson University in South Carolina. Didn't see that coming.