I'm generally not one to go on and on about the specific products I use, apart from cookbooks and chefs I might like, but I thought I'd break my own mould a bit and wax poetic about one of my favourite things, Island Farms ice cream.
When I was in university, I fell in love with all things Island Farms, beginning with their frozen yogurts, specifically their chocolate frozen yogurt. I also fell in love with their yogurts, especially the "vanilla plus" line (to this day, Black Cherry is still my all-time fave). From there, I fell in love with their line of orgasmically brilliant ice creams, my favourite being Moose Tracks.
There was an IF plant right in downtown Victoria, and I loved the fact that I could see where some of their products were being made, and it was obviously local. Drive up-island towards Nanaimo, which I did often, and you could see IF dairies - all local.
I moved to Ontario upon graduation from university, but when I came back to the coast to visit, I always coveted IF products. When I went to culinary school in Vancouver four years ago, I was thrilled to see that T&T carried IF dairy products, and I immediately stocked up on chocolate milk and yogurt. Our culinary school used IF Victoria Style Cream Cheese, and I loved the tartness of it compared with the competition's (I never gave it much though in uni, but in culinary school my tastebuds were just starting to become more refined). Access to IF was one thing that screamed "home" to me.
I came back to BC to live in 2006, and luckily, everywhere I've lived since then, I've had access to IF dairy products. IF was taken over by Agropur, a Quebec dairy company, and I've heard that not all of IF's dairies and plants are on the Vancouver Island now. I can't taste a difference, however.
But let's get back to ice cream, because IF ice cream of any flavour is the stuff of the gods. As mentioned, my favourite flavour is Moose Tracks, which is vanilla with peanut butter cups and a fudge swirl. Any flavour in the Denali Premium line is outstanding, though. The Tin Roof Sundae is also fabulous, and at one ice cream stand in Victoria, I even had...oh, man, this sends shivers up my spine...Nanaimo Bar ice cream! Nanaimo Bar ice cream! I can't describe how good it was! But, I have yet to see this flavour make it to my local overpriced grocery store. IF has also brought out a Chocolate Plus line, and I have nearly polished off a container of Coffee Truffle Delight. It was stunningly rich and chocolaty, with just a hint of coffee in it.
Drooling much? I have yet to find a brand of ice cream I love more (I used to buy Cadbury's Dairy Milk ice cream, which was to die for but they discontinued it and I haven't seen it in any new incarnation around my local places at all), though I do make a wicked chocolate & Bailey's ice cream myself. Actually, most ice creams I make are pretty awesome, but even I can't beat my old favourites from IF.