Hoodsie History

baker-hoodsies.jpgGoing home for the holidays is always a nostalgic experience, especially when it comes to food. I spent a week at my parents’ house in Massachusetts, and the first thing I did after dropping my suitcase by the front door was head straight for the fridge—or more specifically, for the freezer. Every year, in anticipation of my brother’s and my arrival, my mother stocks up on all the ice cream flavors we loved as kids: Oreo-mint, cookie dough, chocolate-fudge brownie.

As I dug my spoon into a carton of Ben & Jerry’s (no bowl necessary), I tried to remember the first time I ever tasted ice cream. How old was I? What flavor was it? Was the ice cream store-bought or did we go out to a special shop like Friendly’s or the Newport Creamery?

While I couldn’t recall the specific moment my love of the sweet stuff was born, I did remember—quite vividly—an ice cream treat I adored as a kid. One I had forgotten about. One I hadn’t had in years: the Hoodsie.

Hoodsies are produced by Hood, a Massachusetts-based dairy company. They were invented in 1947, but I didn’t have my first one until about 1987, when I was 6 years old. A Hoodsie, for those who don’t know, is a small waxed-paper cup decorated with red polka dots and filled half with chocolate and half with vanilla ice cream. Hoodsies come with a small wooden "spoon" (more like a paddle), and taste incredibly airy and light, almost like frozen whipped cream.

On Ice Cream Day (Friday) at my elementary school, Hoodsies were one of three dessert options after lunch, along with Nutty Buddies and Rocket Pops. They were everybody’s favorite and always the first to go. I can still feel the nervous anticipation of waiting for my turn in line. Would there be any left? What if the boy in front of me got the last one and I was stuck brushing the (then objectionable) peanuts of a soggy Nutty Buddy?

These days, walk down any supermarket freezer aisle, and in addition to the pints and gallons, you’re sure to find an array of ice cream sandwiches, from Klondike to Skinny Cow. But I’m interested to know what else you’d like to see. What is your favorite, long-forgotten ice cream treat? When was the last time you had it, and at first bite, did it—in that way that only ice cream can—make you feel like a kid again?

Photograph from Hood

About the author: Lucy Baker is a graduate student in the writing program at Sarah Lawrence College. Before returning to school to pursue an MFA, she was an assistant cookbook editor at HarperCollins. She lives in Brooklyn and is currently obsessed with all things fennel.

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