Gastro Obscura tell us what it’s it – This classic San Franciscan ice cream sandwich is it, isn’t it?
What’s so delicious that everyone exclaims it’s “IT!”? It’s an It’s It, of course. These ice cream sandwiches, featuring two old-fashioned oatmeal cookies dipped in dark chocolate, have been a San Francisco Bay Area classic since 1928.
George Whitney, inventor of the It’s It, was known as “The P.T. Barnum of the Golden Gate.” Whitney managed and later owned, a seaside amusement park called Playland-at-the-Beach, located on Ocean Beach in San Francisco. It was at Playland that Whitney first began peddling the original It’s It, using vanilla ice cream.
The frozen goodness became an instant hit at Playland, where it was sold exclusively for more than 40 years. After the amusement park closed down in 1972, a man named George Mavros continued selling It’s Its on Ocean Beach. Eventually, It’s Its found new ownership and an urban home in SoMa in San Francisco, where they steadily gained traction as a popular treat, on or off the beach.
In 1976, a larger factory opened nearby to accommodate the increasing demand for It’s Its. This location is still operational, and now reportedly makes 100,000 treats per day. It is also home to a factory store, where visitors can try all seven varieties of It’s Its, including vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, mint, cappuccino, pumpkin spice, and, most recently, green tea.
Today, It’s Its are sold in 8 states. Clearly, the classic confection’s reputation precedes itself: In 2011, It’s Its sold a reported 14 million sandwiches, despite spending no money on advertising.
what’s your favorite treat that makes you say ‘it’s it?’
“it is what it is, it is what you make it.”
when you go to the grocery
to get some ice
for your food
after a wild and windy rainstorm
knocked your power out
you pull out your bags of ice
only to find
a secret ice cream stash
placed there by a brilliant grocery worker
hidden for later
and your day is made.
“greater than the tread of mighty armies is an idea whose time has come.”
but we both
always have green eyes
usually wear glasses
sometimes like to get fancy
and never fail to enjoy ice cream
what better time to celebrate national ice cream day than a week before winter begins?
“i doubt whether the world holds for anyone a more soul-stirring surprise
than the first adventure with ice cream.”
image credit: christine de carvalho, darling lola designs ‘ice cream bae’ in watercolor