Regional foodstuffs occupy a special place in many hearts. Not just the hearts of those who have call the region home, of course, but also those who once called the area home and miss the distinctive flavors and sweets they came to know and love.
Even those who never lived in a place can love a particular libation or treat. Look at the popularity of Faygo pop (Michigan) or Blue Sky soda (New Mexico) or the beloved Blue Bell Ice Cream, as much as staple of a Lone Star childhood as learning all the lyrics to "Deep in the Heart of Texas."
But Blue Bell buffs got some hard news last springtime: All of the Brenham-based company's cold treats were to be pulled from the shelves, due to listeria concerns.
Fans took to social media to wish Blue Bell well, to bemoan facing the heat of summer without the popular brand in the freezer, and to see when it would return.
The much-anticipated return came at the very close of August, at least around Texas and into Alabama, where Blue Bell is back for sale. Which means that those people who dig digging into a carton of ice cream in the dog days can still get their Blue Bell summer experience for 2015, as least for a few days more.
There's a handy map, in fact, helping people track the treat's return.
As for where to find it, and when, around Los Angeles? Blue Bell wasn't available in Southern California until fairly recently (there was, in fact, a now-inactive Facebook page rallying for the Texas treat to make its way West to the Golden State).
Whipp'd, which has a Huntington Beach location and one in West Hollywood, serves a wide assortment of Blue Bell flavors, but it'll be "a couple of weeks" yet, per management at the Huntington Beach location, before they'll be back scooping the good stuff.
The OC shop also revealed that the restaurant has been fielding "calls all day" for a number of weeks now. On the other end? People wanting to know when their Blue Bell would be back.
Fans will also want to keep an eager eye on L.B. Cool Treats, which is located inside Randolph's Smoke House on Central Avenue. The ice cream shop also serves Blue Bell, but a message says it is closed, temporarily, due to the springtime recall.
Few regional snacks have achieved the superstardom that Blue Bell has built for itself over the last century-plus. Thank goodness we can find it around California, and thank goodness those people who once called Texas home, or Alabama or Mississippi or one of the areas where Blue Bell is a favorite, will soon find the flavorful goodie once again.