A not-so-plain history of vanilla

There’s nothing “vanilla” about vanilla.

As a flavor, vanilla is consumed all over the world as a flavor additive (in ice cream and custard, for example), as an extract (in cookies), and for the beans (for your delicious Vanilla Latte).

The flavor may only be one-third of the ice cream “power trio” of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla, but it’s the most popular flavor in the world by far. But it’s also been termed “the default” flavor by many. That’s hardly fair, as we’ll learn below.

Why vanilla gets a bad rap

How vanilla became synonymous with “average” is a story that goes way back to the 15th century.

It was the Spanish who brought vanilla back to Europe with them in the 15th century after explorer Hernando Cortes bobbed around the seas stopping off at various islands in what is now Central and South America. Cortes was pretty fond of vanilla and his benefactor, the King of Spain, was delighted by it too. Mostly his taste buds were delighted, and very soon it was a popular flavor in Spain and throughout Europe.

But how did it get to be labeled “plain”?

The short story: vanilla is extremely stable, so chefs used it as a base ingredient in many concoctions and dishes. Later, when the masses began to consume vanilla (as it became cheaper), they added other things to it, like nuts, berries, and jellies and jams. (Yum). As a result, vanilla was seen as “boring” — something that was lacking unless you added other items to it.

That sentiment has survived to this day, though recent trends have helped squash it a bit. The explosive popularity of yogurt as a commercial food item, which started in the 1960s, has helped foster vanilla as a flavor that can stand on its own legs. The beans are extremely popular today because of the coffee industry and the prominence of vanilla flavored coffee.

Ironically, though vanilla still gets tagged with the “bland” label, the ground product of the bean is one of the most expensive spices in the world. Only saffron draws a higher price on the open market.

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24th Annual Tuttle Ice Cream Festival


Ice Cream So Good It Launched a Festival

TUTTLE, OK – (May 12th, 2015)The 24th Annual Tuttle Ice Cream Festival, sponsored by Braum’s, will take place Saturday, June 20th in downtown Tuttle from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It was originally slated to take place in May, but was rescheduled due to the threat of severe weather.

As the name implies, ice cream will be the main attraction thanks to Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Stores…just hearing the Braum’s name conjures up visions of scrumptious ice cream.

“The Tuttle Ice Cream Festival is a great partnership between the City of Tuttle and Braum’s that began over two decades ago. It continues to grow every year and gives us a chance to celebrate the wonderful community that is home to our farm, plant, bakery and dairy,” said Drew Braum, President and CEO. Continue reading

Have Your Cake & Ice Cream Too!

New Sundaes 2015 Indulge your taste buds and delve into our new sundaes! Choose from Pecan Praline Cake, Cherry CheeseCake, White Chocolate Raspberry CheeseCake, and the Molten Lava Cake. Or you can even have all four!

Braum’s BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger

BBQ Bacon Burger-HC logoThis scrumptious cheeseburger is made with a third pound, 100% pure Beef Patty and is topped with hickory smoked bacon, two slices of Pepper Jack Cheese, Pickles, Onions and then we pour on thick and rich BBQ sauce for an explosion of flavor.

It is also available as a grilled or crispy chicken sandwich.



Eggstraordinary Breakfast is Here!

Bagel Omelette logo

Braum’s is taking two ordinary breakfast favorites and making them eggstraordinary! The new Bagel Omelettes are putting a spin on two breakfast classics by combining them for a delicious combo unlike any other. We start with fresh ingredients from the Braum’s Fresh Market like tomatoes, onions, peppers, real cheddar cheese, and country style ham, then we place it all on a toasted plain or everything bagel – the choice is all yours. The Bagel Omelette comes in five tasty versions: California, Spanish, Western, Vegetarian or Spinach and Mushroom. These eggstraordinary bagel omelettes are available now at your local neighborhood Braum’s.


Braum’s Milk – 100% Natural and rBGH FREE!

At Braum’s we believe in natural – especially when it comes to our milk. Braum’s milk comes exclusively from our private dairy herd on two of our Oklahoma farms – Tuttle and Shattuck. We also grow the majority of the feed for the dairy herd – a 100% vegetarian diet of alfalfa hay, cottonseed, barley and other grains. Ingredients that come from the land, not a lab. No growth hormones, no antibiotics, nothing but 100 percent pure goodness in every glass. 

Braum’s Fresh Market Has What You Need


Stop by Braum’s Fresh Market for over 150 fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables (and don’t forget our full line of dairy and bakery products). From apples to oranges, beef tenderloin to pork chops, milk and ice cream, and everything in between! And, you are guaranteed the freshest products on the market because we deliver to our stores every other day! Fresh, convenient, and always competitive -that’s Braum’s! Stop by and check out our fresh selection!

Braum’s Offers Bakery and Plant Tours!

Ever wonder how Braum’s makes their delicious ice cream, milk, ice cream cones, cookies, breads and more? Check it out in person by taking a free tour of our state-of-the-art Bakery and Processing Plant on the Braum Family Farm in Tuttle, Oklahoma (45 minutes southwest of Oklahoma City). 

We offer our BAKERY and PLANT TOURS by RESERVATION ONLY Monday through Friday at  9:00 or 11:00 a.m. We are currently booking tours for this month and the next two months only. Tours are free of charge and last approximately 2 hours. 

During the tour, guests will enjoy a 15 minute video, a sample of Braum’s Ice Cream and bakery fresh cookies, and a tour of our Bakery and Processing Plant where you can see how we make and package milk, ice cream, a variety of dairy products, cookies, ice cream cones, breads, buns and more! 

Reservations are required and space is limited so in order to accommodate each group we ask that you make your reservations well in advance. We can accommodate approximately 28 guests per tour. If you are interested in booking a tour (and for more information) please contact us at (405) 478-1656. We look forward to seeing you at Braum’s!

Stop by Your Neighborhood Braum’s – We’re Open!

Come see us. We’re in your neighborhood and we’re open! Stop by for breakfast, lunch, dinner, ice cream creations made right before your very eyes, the finest milk and dairy products, and all your grocery needs! 

All Braum’s stores are open SEVEN days a week: Sunday through Thursday from 6:00 a.m.-10:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 6:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.