Rejoice, favored few, for your long lost love has returned! Blue Bell ice cream arrived on store shelves in Texas on Monday, and if you’re anywhere near where the distribution is taking place, then your social media threads are doubtlessly overrun with triumphant shoppers gorging themselves on ice cream at an ungodly early hour of the morning.
There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth last April when it was learned that Blue Bell would not be available for purchase for the duration of the summer. Facing the hottest months of the year without the heavenly frozen bliss that is Blue Bell drove many southerners (and Texans in particular) absolutely out of their minds, and left them more than a little irrational.
The summer of 2015 was the first time in over a hundred years that Texans had to go without Blue Bell, and the prospect was not well received. Distraught Blue Bell fanatics in several states took to social media to express their panic at the impending triple digit heat.
In some cases that panic turned to defiance as the stores removed the ice cream from shelves and personal supplies of Blue Bell began to dwindle. Some design-savvy Blue Bell fans even combined the Blue Bell logo with the historic “Come and Take it” flag of Gonzales, Texas.
Once all the ice cream had been recalled and was no longer available for public consumption, a black market ice cream trade sprang up. Listings on Ebay and Craigslist suddenly had pre-recall Blue Bell for thousands of dollars per carton. Ebay even had to step in to remove all the listings.
The fervor soon lost steam, and it was back to business for the rest of the summer. On support group pages such as the Facebook page We Stand With Blue Bell Creameries Blue Bell devotees largely pledged to go without ice cream until Brenham was back in business, but after a while even hardcore ice cream purists turned to different varieties for solace. The overwhelming consensus seemed to be that other brands mostly taste like disappointment.
Then, a light appeared at the end of the tunnel in mid-July when Texas billionaire Sid Bass grew weary of waiting for his bowl of Cookies ‘n Cream and decided to finance a Blue Bell comeback. Bass is described as an investor and philanthropist, and he was practicing both when he decided to bankroll the Brenham creamery.
The anticipation is finally over now, but the madness still hasn’t abated, as ice cream deprived Texans flock to the stores to get their first taste of untainted Blue Bell in months. The hashtags #bluebell and #bluebellisback were trending on Twitter yesterday while social media filled up with images of sublimely happy people celebrating the long-awaited return of the favorite ice cream of the South.
The Twitter saturation got so prevalent that in Dallas Guide Live reported on the fact that almost everyone made the exact same joke about the Blue Bell delivery people: “Not all heroes wear capes”.
Stores filled up in the early morning hours with excited shoppers and were literally lining up to get to the freezer case that contained the coveted frozen treats. In anticipation of Blue Bell mania, many vendors decided to post purchase limits on the freezer doors to curb any would-be ice cream hoarders. Thankfully no one was trampled in the excitement, and now we can all sleep soundly without the tremors or night sweats of Blue Bell withdrawal.