Gen X at 40

Canada's Favorite Blog


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Arthur -

For some kind of reason that store reminds me of the ice cream store on the road to Tatamagouche.

Alan -

Red? White? Sells ice cream?<p>Did you change your URL again?

Arthur -

Red? White? Sells ice cream?

No: Just the line up and the scenes. And the weather.

Did you change your URL again?

I did a couple of months ago, yes: that's the time Alfons' server went down and it was decided that we were supposed to scoop up that h' domain.

Alan -

I thought I had changed my link then. I will update.

portland -

you know i never really got the fundy dairy bar or the co-op because you can go into a grocery store and buy that ice cream. i didn't dislike them but you see my point. now let me tell you story. settle in.

it's a dark and stormy night, rain and wind, 45 degrees and just miserable. and so we pull up to beals ice cream in south portland, me and the kid - who else could it be - the kid all tired from her last swimming lesson, all red eyed from chlorine, and marcia sees us out the window and shouts for joe to get the tee shirt. it's a beauty; light green with blue letting and a couple of great cones framing the words "old fashioned ice cream." i'm thrilled, really pleased, and they won't let me pay, and my kids eyes are big like we've found the holy grail. "you're gonna wear that shirt to school tomorrow dad?" she asks. "sure kid, sure, if you want me to." and so the next day comes, a tuesday, and i wear my new shirt into my regular reading gig. i just catch the end of sharing. "anybody else got something?" asks the teacher. "yeah," says my kid, "stand up daddy, stand. this is my daddy. he's beal's best customer, he got a free shirt." "woooo," say the all kids and they look at me new like i've got super powers or something, "wooooo, that's a nice shirt." "yeah," i say, "yeah, it is a nice shirt. i can hook you up. woo back at you."

Alan -

I meant no slander on Beals. You make me because you know what is good for me.

portland -

no slander taken. as if anyone could. and by the way anybody can make kooky flavors, good as they may be. but, ultimately, you judge an ice cream joint on their chocolate. it's the only way.

Alan -

I disagree but only because I love no chocolate. It is just not in me. I say vanilla on the cone and strawberry in the milk shake. Oh but that coconut. I booked two days in Ithaca coming back just to have it again.

Bill -

I'm a huge fan of Purity's Mint Chip. Years ago, Howard Johnson's made one that was very similar...same type of subtle, melt-in-your mouth chips. Alas, Howard Johnson restaurants are now scarcer than hen's teeth, and I haven't seen their ice cream on supermakret shelves in at least twenty-five years. The great thing about Purity is that they'll also sell you dry ice (at a very reasonable price) so that you can take home a couple half gallons even if you live several hours away.

Becca -

Hi! Just surfed in while searching Purity on the web. I am an Ithaca girl who has lived away more than there. I love me some Purity and gorge every time I am in town. I use it as an ice cream standard (poor other establishments).

I wanted to suggest trying the Maple Walnut. Very few places make a maple walnut flavor and Purity does it very well. My mother can never get enough when she is there because she can never get a Maple Walnut in Virginia where we live. I am a fan of the bittersweet, mint chip and butter pecan, but usually have to have a taste of mom's maple walnut just for good measure.

Enjoy on your next trip through!

Alan -

Actually in Canada maple walnut ice cream was distributed free to elementary schools throughout the Trudeau era ('68-'84), fully funded by the Federal government <i>even</i> during minority governments and the short lived Conservative minority government of Joe Clark in 1979, so many my age are very familiar with it.

Vicky Snell -

We spent two weeks in Ithaca this summer, and devoured your ice cream literally every night. We became hooked on the creamy texture and fabulous flavor combinations. Your employees will remember us, since our favorite "regular" orders (there were 5 of us) always included at least one sundae of butter pecan with your fabulous butterscoth sauce. We even bought T-shirts prior to our departure!

Please, please, please give us the name of your butterscotch sauce! We're going through withdrawl here in Atlanta, and althought we know we cannot enjoy your wonderful ice cream, at least we could savor a part of our Purity indulgence in Atlanta with one of your products that travels well.

Thank you! We'll be back next year!


Alan -

"We" are not Purity, Vicky. Merely a fan like you.

Bruce -

No, but I am! My wife Heather and I bought Purity from the granddaughter of the founder in 1998 just as it was about to go out of business. We have restored it to its stable condition today. I just love to read of people from all over discovering and enjoying our ice cream.

To fill in some of the gaps in the postings above: Purity was founded in 1936 and we still use the original recipes and very high end ingredients which most ice cream makers have long since stopped using due to cost (we are just too dumb and too scared to change the recipes!).

We actually MAKE ice from cream and milk and sugar. Most ice cream makers, little and big, say they make ice cream, but what they mean is that they buy a base "mix" from a dairy, which arrives in bags or tankers, to which they then add flavors, chips, etc. as they send it through freezing machines to turn the liquid mix into frozen ice cream. Most do not even use real cream anymore. Even some of the brands that you might think of as really good. Even some of the brands you might frequent by the side of the road. "Making ice cream" from scratch is done by very few any more...

About those "shards of chocolate". We do use very expensive chocolate. And our suppliers say we are the only ice cream maker they know of that uses the grades we buy. But the fun point is that we get huge blocks of bittersweet chocolate, melt them down, and then inject the stream of molten chocolate into the river of freezing ice cream where it shatters into those incredibly small and thin shards. It is fun to watch happen!

Making a better chocolate is allegedly the reason why old Leo started Purity in 1936.

But I have to agree with the person who thinks that Vanilla is the test of the ice cream makers' art. I am most proud of our Vanilla. We use a grade of Madagascar bourbon vanilla that is so expensive and rare that in the past few years when there have been storms off that coast of Africa that have greatly damaged the vanillia production we have been in dire peril of not being able to get our grade in the quantities needed. We have because we persevered and paid alot, but the end result is pretty wonderful.

Long posting. sorry. I was happy to see that some folks have found happy times at Purity. That is why we got into it...have you ever seen anyone frown while eating ice cream? Few things in life have that effect on people. Cheers and come visit often!

Bruce Lane

Alan -

Hey Bruce! Thanks for posting. We are big fans of Purity here at GX40 HQ and if I wasn't on I-90 heading east I would be just west of I-81 eating your ice cream. I particularly like the coconut. My seven year old here loves the mint chocolate chip. We'll sure be back.

local girl -

Purity ice cream is good stuff. But hate to burst your bubble, It's not the stuff that old Leo made!!!! Falls short of the glory of his original creations. The bittersweet USE to be the absolute best, large, large chunks of bittersweet, not the small shaving you get now. You may have his original recipes, but you don't have his magic touch. With the low fat world everyone seems to teeter on these days, the ice cream has suffered from corners being cut. Its just not the creamy stuff Leo made. Sorry to let you all down, but ask any local (local meaning 50 or more years here), IT JUST ISNT the same stuff. Too bad they found the need to do away with the wonderful ice cream bars, fudge pops he use to make. Now that was REAL purity quality. Unfortunately the Home Dairy pulled the same act on the locals and tried to imitate the original owners gift of food.

Alan -

Cars suck, too.

Jonniellen Chesnick -

I came across your website while looking for someone who still made bittersweet ice cream. I read how you make it with the chocolate shavings not with the chunks. This is how the bittersweet was when I was a little girl. I have never found anyone who made the bittersweet this way, which is the best. I would love to be able to taste that ice cream from when I was a child. Would I be able to order some of this ice cream and do you ship it? Please let me know by e-mail if you can do this. This would be a wonderful treat after thirty some years of not tasting this delidious ice cream. Thank you, Jonniellen Chesnick.