Jose Mier Finds History on a Cone: Butter Brickle

If you’ve read recent Jose Mier posts, you know that I’m celebrating the wide variety of unique flavors of ice cream we have to choose from. It’s almost mind-boggling. In my research I’ve stumbled across the ordinary and the extraordinary (like black seseame ice cream). Some flavors are names we recognize and others are totally new and exciting. Still others are names we may have heard in an old movie or TV shows. They’re kind of familiar and buried in the recesses of our minds somewhere under the heading “ice cream flavors we are sort of know.” I didn’t realize that I’d be in for a history lesson when I searched for butter brickle ice cream.

The name is familiar. Like I said I’m sure I’ve heard it in some old film—made when the flavor was in its heyday but I’ve never bought any, at least under that name.

Jose Mier’s Historic Ice Cream Search

So what’s historic about butter brickle? Well it turns out the ice cream flavor was preceded by a candy of the same name, made by the Fenn Bros. company out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota in the nineteen-teens. Although they’re often credited with the creation of the ice cream flavor, sources say that it was originally created at the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska in the 1920s. It stands to reason that if the candy existed previously, some enterprising Omaha chef thought it would make a great addition to ice cream. Omaha celebrates itself as the birthplace of butter brickle in a promotional video.

Butter brickle continued as a candy until the 1970s when the Fenn Bros. closed shop. The name and ice cream have changed hands over time as candy companies merged or were bought out. The name is still trademarked and you can buy actual “butter brickle” ice cream today. Braum’s is one company that makes it.. Fans of Heath Bars would find it very similar since butter brickle is actually toffee coated in chocolate, very much akin to the Heath Bar.

If you’re a fan of toffee, or just looking for a taste of nostalgia, you may want to add it to your shopping list.