Two of Wisconsin’s favorite farm products met this week in Babock Hall and they’re getting along very well. The UW-Madison’s dairy plant churned its first batch of Happy Cranniversary, a cranberry-flavored vanilla base loaded with whole cranberries and swirls of a cranberry sauce, on April 24. The new flavor, now on sale at the Babcock Hall Dairy Store, was created in honor of the 125th anniversary of the UW College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
Among the first to taste it was Allison Dungan, an outreach specialist with the CALS- based Dairy Coordinated Agricultural Project, who came up with the name and idea—one of more than 400 submitted. Also on hand were members of the Heiman and Berlyn families, owners of Rubi Reds, a Wisconsin Rapids firm that supplied the key ingredients—infused cranberries, a cranberry syrup to flavor the vanilla base, and the cranberry “variegate” that comprises the swirls. Rubi Reds has found ways to include cranberries in dozens of artisan products—brats, cheese, vinegar and trail mix, to name a few—but this is their first foray into ice cream, and they were enjoying the moment. “It’s fun to be part of Babcock Dairy,” says Marcy Berman, who operates Rubi Reds with her husband, Steve, partners Kurt and Kelly Heimanand and their families.