The plate: Unless you have a dairy intolerance, you’ve probably had, and savored, Babcock Hall ice cream.
The ice cream is made on the west end of the UW-Madison campus in a plant established in 1951.
Babcock is named after Stephen Moulton Babcock, a UW-Madison researcher in the department of Agricultural Chemistry and the inventor of the first reliable butter fat content milk test.
At the Babcock Hall Dairy Store, 1605 Linden Drive, a single cone or dish is $2.99 plus tax, said Kari Klitzman, the store’s manager. The regular dish or cone is actually more like a double, consisting of a generous two or three scoops.
Babcock makes 15 flavors along with several featured flavors. There are usually 20 flavors for sale in the dairy store at any given time.
Why it defines Madison: The ice cream can’t be beat, whether you are a fan of the orange custard chocolate chip, a devotee of the mocha macchiato or a chocolate peanut butter enthusiast.
In summer, the lines to buy it at the Memorial Union are legendary and attest to its power over people.
It’s in such great demand that the Dairy Plant makes between 75,000 and 80,000 gallons of it each year, Klitzman said.
— Samara Kalk Derby