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BYU's ice cream stockpile dwindling

Here's the scoop.

BYU is running out of ice cream, but fans of the university's favorite frozen confection don't need to worry — as long as they aren't picky about their flavors.

University officials say the dwindling supply will be enough to see the school through Education Week later this month, the start of fall semester classes Aug. 31, and at least the first home football game against Florida State Sept. 19.

"We are just about out of ice cream," said Dean Wright, director of dining services. "We are down to seven flavors in the three-gallon containers. We also have enough 12-ounce ice cream treats — cookies and cream, cookie dough and roasted almond fudge — to get us through the first two football games."

After that the ice cream crisis will be over, Wright said, when a rebuilt BYU creamery will be up and running, churning out up to 50 flavors to be distributed through several on-campus locations. The most popular flavors are vanilla, cookies and cream, chocolate chip cookie dough and chocolate.

When the university shut down the creamery in April 2008 for remodeling, university officials knew they had to find a way to stockpile their popular but perishable product.

"We checked with food scientists and determined we could make ice cream and store it at minus-20 degrees for up to a year," he said.

So last summer, using an off-campus ice cream-making facility, BYU produced a year's supply of the 20 most popular flavors, which have been stored in a deep freezer in Payson.

"We produced 182,000 half-gallons and 21,760 three-gallon buckets of our top selling ice cream flavors," Wright said. "So far we have sold 156,280 gallons of ice cream during the remodeling."

The old creamery is being refurbished and expanded to create a 34,700-square-foot Culinary Support Center, which will do much more than make ice cream and other dairy products. The building is scheduled to open Sept. 1.

The new building, which will consolidate much of the campus's food production, will include a centralized bakery; temperature-controlled rooms to prepare salads and sandwiches, and a cook/chill operation with 150 gallon tanks to prepare soups and sauces for distribution on the campus dining facilities and the nearby LDS Church Missionary Training Center.

A small outlet store will be kept on site at the Culinary Support Center, and ice cream and other popular BYU-produced items are available at other campus locations such as Sugar n' Spice in the Wilkinson Center's Cougareat, the Creamery on Ninth East, and creameries at various student housing complexes — Wymount Terrace, Wyview Park and the Cannon Center at Helaman Halls.

"BYU kids eat ice cream year-round," said Jerry Pingel, head of creamery production, who is proud of the university's product. "We don't do anything below 12 percent butter fat. We buy the best ingredients. We have the best fed cows. We use the best vanillas, the best fruits. We don't shortcut anything. You can't make better."

Once it's up and running, the creamery will be able to produce up to 150 flavors of ice cream, although only 50 are available at a time, and some, like the novelty Tabasco-flavored ice cream, have a limited appeal and are produced only on rare occasions.


Flavors on hand

vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, cookies & cream, roasted almond fudge, chocolate chip cookie dough, mint chocolate chip, raspberries & cream cheese, peanut butter cup, pralines & caramel, earnestly chocolate, rocky road, LaVell's vanilla and graham canyon.Heady