Ice Cream Mysteries, Number 45875: Peanut Butter Ripple
November 20, 2008 2:52 PM   Subscribe

Why can't I find peanut butter ripple ice cream on the West Coast? My parents live in Central Pennsylvania (Mechanicsburg/17055), and the local groceries all carry at least three different brands of Peanut Butter Ripple. But when I get back home to the Bay Area, no luck. Nobody appears to have even heard of it. So, uh, why is this? Is there a reason? Or is this, like scrapple, just one of those things that defy explanation?
posted by scrump to Food & Drink (19 answers total)
P.S. I am a Californian and I have at least heard of peanut butter ripple. But I have no idea what it is.
posted by yath at 3:04 PM on November 20, 2008

I'm in Pittsburgh, PA and I've never heard of it...
Are you sure it's not just a local thing?
posted by nikkorizz at 3:22 PM on November 20, 2008

I'm in MA, and have never heard of this. Seconding the "it's a local thing" suggestion.
posted by ellF at 3:24 PM on November 20, 2008

I think Peanut Butter Ripple (like pretzels and ice cream) is kind of a Pennsylvania thing. I am a native Californian, but my Pennsylvanian friends confirm that the savory/sweet ice cream thing is regional.

P.S. I've heard you shouldn't knock scrapple 'till you've tried it.
posted by annaramma at 3:30 PM on November 20, 2008

I have a possible two-part answer:

1)It might be a dialect thing. I know for sure that we have fudge ripple in California, but I don't recall ever seeing it actually named that (instead, "Super Fudge Swirl" or something equally market-ey). So the ice cream you seek may have some sort of catchy name instead of straightforward PB ripple.

2)That said, my very patchy recollection of the ice cream aisle does not reveal a fudge-ripple-under-an-assumed-name that doesn't come with chocolate as well.
posted by blackunicorn at 3:41 PM on November 20, 2008

Shoot, I mean Peanut Butter Ripple Under an Assumed Name! Damn, I was trying so hard to be clever I got my answer all muddled :P
posted by blackunicorn at 3:42 PM on November 20, 2008

Portland, OR. Never heard of it/never seen it. Peanut Butter & Chocolate ice cream is everywhere, though.
posted by peep at 3:47 PM on November 20, 2008

Is it really a mystery why the rest of the nation does not eat Scrapple?
posted by xammerboy at 3:51 PM on November 20, 2008

I'd always assumed Peanut Butter Ripple was an East coast thing, as I'd only read about in books by authors or set in that region.
posted by messylissa at 5:07 PM on November 20, 2008

Best answer: hey, scrump - i went to school in lancaster, close to mechanicsburg, so i am aware of it and turkey hill (!). according to t-hill's website, they only distribute as far west as ohio, but this link says you can order the 4 gallons for $86.00. i don't know about you, but it's worth it to me. OR you can invest in the special packaging for shipping cold items, and have your parents or old friends ship it to you whenever you get a craving.

i feel as if only t-hill offered egg nog year round, as well, so i usually go to PA whenever i need a fix in the middle of the summer.

also, it seems like you could introduce the folks out west to some good ice cream. peanut butter and chocolate is the the best combination.
posted by alice ayres at 5:50 PM on November 20, 2008

I grew up in Delaware (not too far from you), and I ate a lot of peanut butter ice cream (be it ripple or other) while I was there. I moved to Oakland almost a year ago.

Finding an ice cream joint that respect peanut butter is difficult. Most places make a "peanut butter cup" that is usually short on the peanut butter.

I haven't found any peanut butter ripple yet, but I've found a close substitution near my house. Don't know how close to Oakland you are, but Fenton's Creamery makes a "butterfinger" flavor that I love and reminds me of home. Here's the website.

Hopefully someone else can point us in the right direction
posted by MidAtlantic at 5:55 PM on November 20, 2008

Oooh. My dad grew up in Nurthumberland County, Central Pennsylania. He used to tell us kids about scrapple; he liked it, we thought it was gross, like haggis or something.

He never mentioned peanut buttle ripple, though, and I've never seen it in North Dakota, Texas, DC area, California, or any other place I lived.
posted by Robert Angelo at 7:49 PM on November 20, 2008

Best answer: Well, Baskin Robbins and Haagen Dazs both have a Peanut Butter and Chocolate flavor that has a a real thich swirl of firm, frozen, melty salty peanut butter in it. (It's my favorite flavor!) It's not the same, I know.

You can also DIY, of course, just squirt warm peanut butter into your ice cream with a food syringe and refreeze!

I worked at Mariannes (Santa Cruz based ice cream joint with over 70 flavors who distributes throughout the Silicon Valley), and they never even had such a flavor, so I think that means signs of finding it in your neck of the woods point sadly toward no. They did turn me on to putting peanut butter in my milkshakes, though. Dark chocolate ice cream anw peanut butter milkshake.... *gurgle*
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:49 PM on November 20, 2008

If you think scrapple is gross, wait until you get a load of souse
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 7:53 PM on November 20, 2008

I'm in Philadelphia, and I get some form of Peanut Butter Ripple at least once a month. It's not always called Peanut Butter Ripple (as blackunicorn hypothesizes). I think I've seen Peanut Butter Swirl as a comparable name. It's not such a foreign concept: the ripple is just layers of solid peanut butter embedded in the ice cream. Many brands manufacture their own versions. Besides Turkey Hill, the only brand that I'm sure makes exactly what you want is Green's. Green's version is called Peanut Butter Twirl, and it is very similar to Turkey Hill's. Edy's is a possibility (I'm only seeing Peanut Butter Cup, though). I know that Edy's is distributed on the west coast under another name, though I can't remember what (Dreyer's??). Others, like Blue Bunny's Peanut Butter Panic is similar but not a true Peanut Butter Ripple since its peanut butter is not solid, and it contains peanut butter cups. I am certain that I've had other Ripples, though.

Also, peanut butter in ice cream is not a weird combination of sweet and savory! Peanut butter usually has an element of sweetness and is in many ice cream varieties all over the U.S., even if all those varieties aren't Ripples!
posted by Mael Oui at 10:36 PM on November 20, 2008

Wait, are Friendly's ice creams for sale out west? They definitely used to have this both in the store and available in cartons. If I recall correctly, it was chocolate ice cream, though. Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl!
posted by Mael Oui at 10:51 PM on November 20, 2008

God you guys are making me hungry, and homesick! ... but scrapple is *not* gross, especially not Habersetts scrapple, (and you can mail order it in the winter months.)
posted by gudrun at 10:57 PM on November 20, 2008

Response by poster: I am simultaneously horrified and awed by the fact that I can order four gallons of the stuff and have it shipped to me. I'm going to have to do this.

Now, a word to all you scrapple-is-awful people: scrapple, despite its provenance, is actually pretty dang tasty if you fry it and put a little maple syrup on it. And, in terms of where it comes from, it's no worse than a cart dog in New York City.

If your only experience of scrapple is from reading about it, you owe it to yourself to try some, fried up. It's like haggis: easy to make fun of, but a well-made one is pretty damn good.
posted by scrump at 8:17 AM on November 21, 2008

Best answer: Making your own ice cream is very easy. I use a Cuisinart ice cream maker, cost about $50.

Here is a recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream:

More recipes for peanut butter ice cream can be found here:
posted by conrad53 at 10:41 AM on November 21, 2008

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