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IT'S-IT


Jason Perlow
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This sounds like the same sort of thing as an ice cream novelty I got as a child in Canada. It was called "Snack & 1/2" - 2 oatmeal cookies sandwiching vanilla i.c., covered in a chocolate seal.

Yummy. Oh man they were good. I must get one of these. Only in SanFran though? No Los Angeles?

:sad:

I sense the online ordering is out of my budget...

the tall drink of water...
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This sounds like the same sort of thing as an ice cream novelty I got as a child in Canada. It was called "Snack & 1/2" - 2 oatmeal cookies sandwiching vanilla i.c., covered in a chocolate seal.

Yummy. Oh man they were good. I must get one of these. Only in SanFran though? No Los Angeles?

:sad:

I sense the online ordering is out of my budget...

Hell no, they're all over the place here. At least they used to be; I haven't searched them out in a while. I used to get them at the school cafeteria and I grew up in SoCal. I know I've seen them around.

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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I was pretty disappointed when I had an It's It. Ultra sweet and not what I expected. I think there are better versions of similar things in other regions of the country, but I can't remember the names of what I've had that are superior.

Tana, I am so happy to see your input! It's It are, to me, two stale oatmeal cookies surrounding a slab of mediocre vanilla ice cream, coated with indifferent chocolate. To my taste, even a "Dove" bar has more integrity.

If you really, repeat really, want this kind of treat, make some good, homemade oatmeal cookies, some proper ice cream, make your own sandwiches and dip them in worthwhile eating chocolate. Report back on your euphoria. :wub:

eGullet member #80.

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I was pretty disappointed when I had an It's It. Ultra sweet and not what I expected. I think there are better versions of similar things in other regions of the country, but I can't remember the names of what I've had that are superior.

Tana, I am so happy to see your input! It's It are, to me, two stale oatmeal cookies surrounding a slab of mediocre vanilla ice cream, coated with indifferent chocolate. To my taste, even a "Dove" bar has more integrity.

If you really, repeat really, want this kind of treat, make some good, homemade oatmeal cookies, some proper ice cream, make your own sandwiches and dip them in worthwhile eating chocolate. Report back on your euphoria. :wub:

Hey, Margaret, your endorsement of my good taste earns you a belly bump should we ever meet in person. :biggrin: You are right, I think: everything in an It's It tastes like, whaddayacallem...pre-made cookies in a tube? (I can't remember the name of them, so thank God for frontal lobotomies.)

A Dove bar compared to an It's It is like Mohammed Ali fighting Captain Underpants.

Well, that would be a dark chocolate Dove bar with dark chocolate interior. Actually, with a vanilla interior. Actually, any of them would be fine for most people, but "lips that touch milk chocolate shall never touch mine." :wink:

Actually, I think I'll go have a coma now. I have two chocolate truffles from Chocolate Visions made with Bonny Doon raspberry something, and who can resist chocolate with a picture of a monkey in a fez?

It's certainly not "indifferent chocolate," as you put it so perfectly. Well said. (They had to have been better once. They had to have tasted non-industrial: homemade.)

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This just in: Bob has had innumerable It's Its. He lived in San Francisco from 1972-78 (and in the bay area since 1951, with a two-year stint in Oregon). Notorious years, and he knew the city well.

He says this:

The decline in quality was dramatic. The originals were like the last vestiges of a confection of an earlier era (the Fifties). They were the very next thing to "homemade."

Even though it was commercially, mass-manufactured ice cream, it was soft and real vanill-y

The cookies tasted like they came out of somebody's kitchen. They were moist and chewy. The chocolate was dark and a very heavy dip. And when you bit them, the chocolate was so thick and frozen, from being a frozen dessert, that it kind of broke.

The chocolate was thin.

The cookies were dry and chalky and corporate and thinner.

The ice cream, instead of being hand-scooped, was a uniform little pellet. The quality of ice cream was worse than Safeway. It wasn't like it used to be, from a creamery.

The whole thing turned corporate.

I got them from the original place on Geary, ground zero, where they were produced. The real deal.

Just wanted to add that.

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I don't care if they were better 30 years ago. Pretty much everything as it applies to food was better 30 years ago, unless its an issue of where distribution improved our ability to try new things or an advancement in technology actually added something positive. I still want ITS-IT in the NY area.

I'm sure one of the local ice cream factories here could come up with a reasonable facsimile, and could replicate something close to the "original". That shipping cost from the ITS-IT web site is pretty killler.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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They may have been better 30 years ago, but the current version is still far and away better than any of the other frozen "treats" commonly available in the freezer cases around here. If it's a choice between a not-as-good-as-it-used-to-be It's-It and a can't-believe-it-was-ever-good Good Humor product, I'll take the It's-It.

"The dinner table is the center for the teaching and practicing not just of table manners but of conversation, consideration, tolerance, family feeling, and just about all the other accomplishments of polite society except the minuet." - Judith Martin (Miss Manners)

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They may have been better 30 years ago, but the current version is still far and away better than any of the other frozen "treats" commonly available in the freezer cases around here. If it's a choice between a not-as-good-as-it-used-to-be It's-It and a can't-believe-it-was-ever-good Good Humor product, I'll take the It's-It.

Yeah, I totally agree. As far as commercial Ice Cream Novelties go, ITS-IT is still more or less a low tech, small time family business.

We buy novelty type products all the time here, and right now my go-to product is usually the Klondike. But -if- we had ITS-IT avaliable here, fuggedaboudit.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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As the coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars said to the press before his big game at Green Bay yesterday, "We're not playing any of the previous teams [who always win when it's cold]: we're playing the Green Bay Packers of 2004."

So however good something used to be, if it's not good, it's not good enough (for me). If people love It's Its, good for you: my avoiding them means more for you!

The current version of an It's It is not something I want to eat. I hope this isn't a problem for someone. Certainly what someone else eats isn't my problem.

One reason I posted my opinion is to assuage people who haven't had one, and who were afraid they were really missing something special. The other is because I was, in fact, disappointed when I tasted one. This was long before I even knew what eG was, and long long before this thread was ever born.

Give me a good ol' ice cream sandwich any day over an It's It. Less high fructose corn syrup (shudder). More smoky chocolate taste.

On second thought, make it a Dove Bar.

The opinions expressed in this post solely reflect those of the author, and are not intended to impede consumption of ice cream novelty items for anyone else.

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HFCS rules.

Okay, maybe not, but it seems to work in ice cream novelties.

Having not grown up with the ITS-IT, I don't have that same sense of nostalgia with the product that some of you Bay Area folks may have, having remembered the "better days". Certainly we've got products around here on the East Coast that have seen better days, so I empathize.

But absence makes the heart go fonder. And if something isn't as good as you remember -- and that includes novelty ice creams and food discussion websites, by all means, abstain. Don't put yourself out for our benefit :)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Certainly we've got products around here on the East Coast that have seen better days, so I empathize.

But absence makes the heart go fonder. And if something isn't as good as you remember -- and that includes novelty ice creams and food discussion websites,  by all means, abstain. Don't put yourself out for our benefit :)

You hit the nail on the head. If something isn't as good as I remember (and I've had something similar enough to It's Its that it's close enough to make the current incarnation of the It's It inferior), I can't eat it.

One of the few things that stands out of my very early life (early Sixties) was Starburst candies. We were poor, and got few such treats. In the 1990s or so, I found them again, with utter rapture. They hadn't changed! They still have the most intense flavor, identical to the candy I loved as a tot. I also love their perfect little colored wax-paper wrappers, the smell, the taffy-soft way they squish in my mouth. For something that's not chocolate, it's as good as candy gets.

The quality of Hershey bars, on the other hand, and most commercial candies I used to love, has gone straight into the toilet. I taste the chalky additives. I hate them now, and hate the people who made the decisions to compromise their original quality.

That's why I opt for fewer such treats. I would prefer to spend $1 on one dark chocolate truffle from Donnelly Chocolates (a chocolate maker here in Santa Cruz), or 50 cents for a single small square of Scharffen Berger semi-sweet chocolate, and savor the perfection, than to coat my mouth with inferior stuff.

I'm not a complete purist, obviously, and I think loving Starbursts doesn't make me any kind of an elitist.

It is definitely not in my character to continue a relationship with a food product that has declined in quality. It's too disappointing, and I've found it better to discontinue disappointment and seek kilt-flippers (as in "it didn't flip my kilt") elsewhere.

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  • 5 months later...

There's a nice article on ITS-IT in the San Francisco Chronicle (6/10/05)

There's nothing quite like the hand-held sweetness of an It's-It: cool vanilla ice cream stuffed between two chewy oatmeal-raisin cookies, then covered in dark chocolate.

The treat is as intimately tied to San Francisco as sourdough bread, as much a part of local lore as Rice-A-Roni. Dating to the 1920s at Playland-at- the-Beach, the frosty wonder represents one of the oldest local institutions this side of Stanford University. It predates the Golden Gate Bridge. It was here before the Giants. Heck, the It's-It even was born before former Mayor Willie Brown.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Oh boy! I'm going to get me one of these... I'm going there in a couple weeks!

Does anybody know approximately how far the radius is which sells these things in the area? My son just moved to Lemoore, CA and I'm wondering if he knows about them. (I have no idea yet how close Lemoore is to anything, but I'll be finding out soon. :smile: )

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Lemoore is in the middle of the central valley, just south of Fresno, and is over 200 miles south of San Francisco. I wouldn't expect to find It's-Its there. You can have them FedEx'ed to your house direct from the factory. Check out the website here.

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

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We used to get them in Santa Barbara which is almost 400 miles south of SF. Not sure wherelse but if you call and find their distributors they can tell you exactly where to find them. They may be more widly distributed in Summer, such as campgrounds or ballparks. Unfortunetly for me they are not available here in Santa Monica.

David West

A.K.A. The Mushroom Man

Founder of http://finepalatefoods.com/

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I read the Chron article last week and was instantly seized by the need to have one. When I managed to get my mitts on a 3-pack at Safeway that night, I was crushed: They're terrible now. And no, I wasn't one of those folks who ate them 30 or 50 years ago at the beach... I am comparing them to It's-Its I had within the last 3 to 5 years.

Actually, I'm being a little harsh: Everything was the same except for the ice cream. It was never premium stuff, but I remember it being at least as good as supermarket brands. Now it's on par with the stuff you get in a plastic cup with a wooden spoon. Yech. Ruined the whole thing.

~A

Anita Crotty travel writer & mexican-food addictwww.marriedwithdinner.com

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I still gotta have one on my trip. It's on my list of California things I want to try. So far: an It's It; an In-n-Out Burger; a deep-fried artichoke; and a taco from a taco stand.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Lemoore is in the middle of the central valley, just south of Fresno, and is over 200 miles south of San Francisco.  I wouldn't expect to find It's-Its there.  You can have them FedEx'ed to your house direct from the factory.  Check out the website here.

Be sure to check in the ice cream freezers at gas stations/convenience stores if they don't have them at his local supermarkets and if you don't make it out closer to the Bay area.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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So short of heading over to Dodger Stadium, how could I get some It's-It's in Southern California?  I'm even willing to order them if they could be shipped.  Wouldn't it be fun for an event?

YOu don't have to go cross country. I saw an Its-Its recently in the freezer of Arco's gas station. I think where the 710 freeway ends near CalstateLA. But I could be thinking of some other gas station in LA, so I wouldnt be making a pilgrimage to the 710 Arco. If I ever buy gas there, which is likely, I'll check again.

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Downtown is an It's-It dead zone. Best bet is to hop any of the streetcar lines outbound and get off at Church: Safeway has them in 3-packs. I haven't seen them in singles anywhere since this thread started.

There's also a safeway walking distance from you at the corner of 4th and King, but I don't know if they carry them.

~A

Anita Crotty travel writer & mexican-food addictwww.marriedwithdinner.com

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Oh boy!  I'm going to get me one of these...  I'm going there in a couple weeks!

Does anybody know approximately how far the radius is which sells these things in the area?  My son just moved to Lemoore, CA and I'm wondering if he knows about them.  (I have no idea yet how close Lemoore is to anything, but I'll be finding out soon.  :smile: )

Lemoore is in the middle of the central valley, just south of Fresno, and is over 200 miles south of San Francisco.  I wouldn't expect to find It's-Its there.  You can have them FedEx'ed to your house direct from the factory.  Check out the website here.

Be sure to check in the ice cream freezers at gas stations/convenience stores if they don't have them at his local supermarkets and if you don't make it out closer to the Bay area.

It's It is good! I found one the very first morning of our trip, in the convenience store of a gas station in Lemoore (maybe the gas station... Lemoore is a very small town), and had it for breakfast. :wub:

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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  • 1 month later...

I never got to Safeway last time. But I just got back in town for LinuxWorld Expo, and be it as it may, across the street on Kearny from R&G Lounge, where I had some very fine roast pork and chow mein for dinner, was a grocery store (David's -- guy doesn't speak any English, but he's got damn good junk food, including a selection of Pocky and Tim's potato chips) stockpiled with these puppies:

gallery_2_1391_19606.jpg

I had a chocolate one. Mmmmmmm.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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  • 4 months later...
I never got to Safeway last time. But I just got back in town for LinuxWorld Expo, and be it as it may, across the street on Kearny from R&G Lounge, where I had some very fine roast pork and chow mein for dinner, was a grocery store (David's -- guy doesn't speak any English, but he's got damn good junk food, including a selection of Pocky and Tim's potato chips) stockpiled with these puppies:

I had a chocolate one. Mmmmmmm.

Jason you should of called and I could of told you where you could score some. :smile: or I could of dropped some off to you.

and I am sorry for introducing you to these truely San Francisco Treat, but it does give you a reason to come back to San Francisco.

Next time your in town give me a call.

Daiv

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