I Love You, Aunt Poonie, and Your Caramel Pound Cake, Too
On Creamalicious' Aunt Poonie's Caramel Pound Cake Ice Cream and Adia Victoria's "Deep Water Blues"
February is Black History Month so every weekend edition of Snack and Destroy this month will feature a Black-owned snack or candy company. Buy their products! Support them on social media! They’re doing really delicious things.
Creamalicious’ Aunt Poonie’s Caramel Pound Cake Ice Cream
Target’s ice cream freezer is full of household names that have been around for at least twenty years — Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Häagen-Dazs (which I used to think was only for rich people), Jeni’s (which really is for rich people), Talenti, and more.
In recent months, though, a new name has started to pop up. Creamalicious Ice Cream is one of the first Black-owned ice cream brands to be mass-produced in America and it’s now being carried by national retailers including Target and Walmart.
In an interview with Southern Living, Creamalicious’ founder and chef Liz Rogers said she is “one of the first African American ice cream manufacturers in the world and as of today, the only one in mass production.” (Emphasis mine because what!?)
Creamalicious’ flavors are inspired by Southern desserts, recipes Rogers says have been in her family for generations. There are currently seven flavors on the menu:
Aunt Poonie’s Caramel Pound Cake
Slap Yo’ Momma Banana Pudding
Right as Rain Red Velvet Cheesecake
Thick as Thieves Pecan Pie
Porch Light Peach Cobbler
Grandma Gigi’s Sweet Potato Pie
Uncle Charles’ Brown Suga Bourbon Cake
After trying two of the three flavors available at my local Target — the peach cobbler and the caramel pound cake — I am filled with love for Aunt Poonie.
The caramel ice cream is super thick and creamy, unsurprisingly because Rogers said in that same Southern Living interview that Creamalicious ice creams boast a 13% butterfat content. (For comparison, brands like Dreyer’s and Breyers are said to have somewhere around a 10-12% butterfat content and premium ice creams like Ben & Jerry’s and Jeni’s can be anywhere from 14-16% — or higher — depending on the flavor.)
Swirled throughout that dreamy creamy base is a golden river of caramel. You know when you dig a spoon into some ice cream and the swirl of fudge or caramel or jam or whatever starts to flows out like you just uncorked a bottle of champagne? Creamalicious was full of those delectable little landmines, I kept uncovering more the further I dug into the pint.
The poundcake chunks aren’t especially flavorful — I mean, poundcake is basically just flour, sugar, and butter — but they do introduce a nice textural element. Because they’re just about the same color as the ice cream, I didn’t even notice them until I started to chew — they just appeared in my mouth like magic!
I do wish there was a little bit of salt, just a pinch of zing to balance out the double dose of caramel, but after a few more bites the unrelenting sweetness reminded me of another beloved Southern dessert, caramel cake. If you like caramel cake, you’ll love this.
Still, did I use a Wavy Lays potato chip as a spoon at one point? Yes, I did.
Hopefully, Creamalicious won’t be the only Black-owned ice cream brand on Target’s shelves for too long. Last year Target promised to “add products from more than 500 Black-owned businesses” by the end of 2025, and many other major retailers have made similar commitments by signing the Fifteen Percent Pledge.
Aurora James launched the Fifteen Percent Pledge in 2020. She tagged large retailers including Whole Foods, Target, Walmart, Sephora, and Home Depot on Instagram and wrote, “I am asking you to commit to buying 15% of your products from Black-owned businesses. … We represent 15% of the population and we need to represent 15% of your shelf space.”
Now nearly 30 global brands are on board. We can take the Fifteen Percent Pledge, too — The Consumer Commitment encourages shoppers to “redirect at least 15% of [their] monthly budget across categories to Black-owned businesses.”
Does it still count if I spend all my allotted ice cream money on just one company? I’m dying to get my hands on that banana pudding flavor and it turns out Creamalicious ships nationwide. Oh no.
Find more Black-owned businesses via the Fifteen Percent Pledge here. You can learn more about Black-owned brands at Target here.
“Deep Water Blues” by Adia Victoria
I can’t write about Creamalicious without mentioning one of the best pieces of music ever written, “Fergalicious” by Fergie!
LOL JUST KIDDING.
I do not like that song but that song has been stuck in my head ever since I purchased my first pint of Creamalicious. So let’s chase it away together, with some music from Nashville’s own Adia Victoria. Like Creamalicious founder Liz Rogers, Victoria also finds inspiration in the South, but Victoria’s songs aren’t all peach cobbler and pecan pie.
Victoria is able to capture the simultaneous beauty and sordid history of the region in a way few other songwriters can, and her skillful writing is on stunning display on last year’s A Southern Gothic.
Hopefully, you’ve already heard the album’s first single, “You Was Born to Die.” It’s Victoria’s sinister rendition of Curley Weaver and Blind Willie McTell’s 1933 foot-stomper and Victoria enlists the help of fellow Nashvillians Kyshona Armstrong, Margo Price, and Jason Isbell to turn the song into a chilling, soulful (and honestly a little scary) jam session. It’s phenomenal.
You need to hear it:
Another song on A Southern Gothic that’s at once eerie and enthralling is “Deep Water Blues,” a haunting, zero-shits-given tune that confronts and refuses the unrelenting unrealistic expectations placed on Black women.
In the deep water washing over my neighbors and
Deep water, I won't be your savior
Won't give you my life, to see you rise
You gonna learn to swim or you will drown tonight
It’s a hell of a song and I’d love to write more about what makes it so powerful but I simply cannot, because in 2015 music critic Brittany Spanos brilliantly described Victoria as “PJ Harvey covering Loretta Lynn at a haunted debutante ball” and goddammit I cannot top that! I have tried! Nothing is better! Just trust me when I tell you that “Deep Water Blues” is a song you need to hear, A Southern Gothic is an album you need to buy, and Creamalicious is an ice cream you need to eat. OK? OK. Good talk.