Aced exams, completed projects, early class dismissals and TGIFs often have one thing in common on campus: ice cream. More specifically, a trip to the LSU Dairy Store.
The Dairy Store, tucked in the corner of South Stadium and Tower Drive, sells a variety of housemade ice cream flavors, as well as meats, cheeses, coffee and other food items.
A rich swirl of vanilla and blueberries creates the store’s signature flavor — “Tiger Bite,” named for its purple and gold blend. The store makes 30 of its own flavors, like cookies and cream, strawberry cheesecake and butter pecan.
Fall marks the store’s busiest season, as the start of the semester and football season keep campus bustling. The Dairy Science Club operates the store on gamedays, serving ice cream to Tiger fans tailgating in the sweltering heat. During these popular months, Dairy Store workers will make batches of ice cream about once a week, says associate professor Charles “Chuck” Boeneke.
Boeneke journeys about an hour and a half to Franklinton, Louisiana, where the University’s dairy farm sits on Bethel Road. All of the milk used to make the ice cream comes from the University’s cows at the dairy farm.
Boeneke has worked closely with the Dairy Store for nearly three decades. First, as a student worker during his undergraduate years, then as a research associate and postgraduate student, eventually moving to a full-time position with the University.
The Dairy Store is an invaluable resource for students studying agriculture and dairy sciences, he says.
“It’s a teaching and research facility is what it is,” Boeneke says. “We train students [who go on to] work for like Young Brands, which owns Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, and Kraft. Just about any major food company you can think of, we have a student or two that’s there.”
Legacy Magazine went behind the scenes to find out how the Dairy Store makes its sweet treats every week.
BY THE NUMBERS
What goes into 340 gallons of ice cream, made weekly:
120 gallons of milk
60 gallons of cream
270 pounds of cane sugar
100 pounds non-fat dried milk powder
IN THE MAKING
Once the ingredients are mixed together, the mixture is pasteurized and homogenized. The ice cream is heated to about 195 degrees Fahrenheit, held at that temperature for about a minute and then transferred to a storage tank. The tank lowers the ice cream’s temperature to about 33 degrees Fahrenheit.
After freezing, the 200-pound mixture will make about 340 gallons of ice cream. This increase in size is due to the addition of ingredients, like the cookie dough bites in the cookie dough ice cream flavor.
The Dairy Store is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.