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.