The Bottom Line: I am sorry to see the stand-a-lone Baskin-Robbins stores go, but I am relieved that the franchise is still around. How else would I get my ice cream fix?
Like every red-blooded American I love ice cream. Having lived in both Asia and Europe for a considerable amount of time, I can testifyunder oath if necessaryto the superiority of American ice cream. As a matter of fact when I was living overseas ice cream was one of the things I missed most about my homeland. Many a hot summer day in Germany I craved a nice pint of hand packed Baskin-RobbinsMint Chocolate Chip ice cream, mixed with Gold Medal Ribbon.
Baskin-Robbins isin my mind and to my taste budsthe pinnacle of ice cream. And with 31 delicious flavors, there is something in the shops repertoire to please even the most discerning palate. The company was established in 1945 and until recently it could boost close to 5,600 stand-a-lone stores in over 40 countriesthough I never saw a Baskin-Robbins overseas, sniff, sniff.
But a funny thing has been happening to the stand-a-lone Baskin-Robbins storefronts in and around my city of Aurora, IL; they have been disappearing. I found this out the hard way when my and my wife went to have a nice banana-split one day this past spring after taking in a movie. Our taste buds set we drove over to the local Baskin-Robbins only to find that it has been closed. On a whim, a week later I popped in on the other store in my immediate area only to find that it too had closed! In a panic I rushed home and logged onto the Internet and surfed over to the Baskin-Robbins website; it was still active and there was a promotion on-going; so where were the stores?
As it turns out Baskin-Robbins, headquartered in Canton, Massachusetts, is now a part of the Dunkin' Brands, Inc., a family of companies that comprise Dunkin' Donuts and Togo's. But last December Dunkin' Brands was itself acquired. So now my beloved Baskin-Robbins ice-cream stores are now co-located with select Dunkin' Donuts; there are two such stores in my immediate area.
The strength of the Baskin-Robbins brand has always been their great ice cream selection. While the company has offered over 1000 different flavors over the intervening years, the stores only carry 31 flavors at any one given time. And these include 21 regular and permanent flavors call to you from big cardboard tubs from behind the clear glass freezerssamples are available upon request, thank you.
Baskin-Robbins 21 regular and permanent flavors
o Cherries Jubilee o Chocolate o Chocolate Chip o Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough o Chocolate Fudge o French Vanilla o Gold Medal Ribbon o Jamoca (Coffee) o Jamoca Almond Fudge o Mint Chocolate Chip o Nutty Coconut o Old Fashioned Butter Pecan o Oreo Cookies 'n Cream o Peanut Butter n Chocolate o Pistachio Almond o Pralines 'n Cream o Rocky Road o Truffle in Paradise o Vanilla o Very Berry Strawberry o World Class Chocolate
In addition the 21 regular flavors Baskin-Robbins offers seasonal (America's Birthday Cake, Banana Nut, Baseball Nut, Cotton Candy, Lemon Custard, Pink Bubblegum, Strawberry Cheesecake), as well as regional flavors that help round out the 31 flavor wheel. In addition to the ice cream to be had behind the class cases in one scoop, two scoop, hand-packed pints, and made to order sundaes, and shakes, there are also ice cream cakes to be had. And to my delight there are pre-packed quarts that cost a rather hefty $4.39 but can usually be found on sale for 2 for $7.00, which of course is up from 2 for $5.00 only a few years ago; yes my fellow Americans there is inflation in the nation and it is now stands at 3.50%.
o Baseball Nut o Chocolate o Chocolate Chip o Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough o Gold Medal Ribbon o Jamoca Almond Fudge o Lowfat Espresso 'n Cream o Mint Chocolate Chip o Old Fashioned Butter Pecan o Oreo Cookies 'n Cream o Peanut Butter 'n Chocolate o Pralines 'n Cream o Rainbow Sherbert o Reeses Peanut Butter Cup o Rocky Road o Vanilla o Very Berry Strawberry
Since I have diabetes (sniff, sniff) I cannot indulge in ice cream the way I used to, but I refuse to give it up and I refuse to eat diet or reduced sugar; if I am going to have ice cream, Im going to have ice cream! And since I eat so little ice cream these days, I dont like having it in the freezer because it just ends up forming ice and that is no fun. So now I have given up the store bought stuff and gone back to Baskin-Robbins hand-packed pints. Why because I can polish one off in two sitting without unduly raising my blood-sugar. And the costabout $3.79 a pint nowguarantees that I only purchase them about once a month.
My favorite flavor of Baskin-Robbins ice cream is Mint Chocolate Chip; Baskin-Robbins has the best I have tasted so far. The ice cream is creamy but not overly so. The mint flavoring is strong but not over powering, and the chocolate chips are not really chips, but small flakes of chocolate that literally melt in your mouth. The effect of eating the ice cream is heavenly.
I am sorry to see the stand-a-lone Baskin-Robbins stores go, but I am relieved that the franchise is still around. After all how else would I get my ice cream fix? And how would the planet live without the worlds greatest ice cream?