Happy Vanilla Ice Cream Day!
The most popular flavor of ice cream in the United States is said to be vanilla. Honestly, it's not what I ever choose first when there is a big list of choices, but it is familiar and simple and at the same time it's the only flavor I will ever have in a sundae.
I'd have to say my two favorite vanilla ice creams are the now non-existent Brigham's French Vanilla and Carvel Vanilla (but this might not even count since 1. It has to be covered in rainbow sprinkles and 2. It might just be for sentimental reasons). I do recall once having an amazing vanilla gelato at Papa Razzi years (maybe 15 or so years) ago, but this could be a glorified memory and/or maybe it was a one time thing. I don't know enough to really count it among my favorites.
Above all, it's not that I don't like vanilla, or even that I haven't enjoyed the vanilla that I have had -- the thing is, I just don't think I have been blown away by any vanilla -- there aren't many vanilla's (see exceptions above) that really stand out and make me want to order vanilla above all other flavors.
I want to know what you think. What's the best vanilla ice cream you've ever had? Was it in a carton? Homemade? At a stand? At a shop? Was it french vanilla? Did it have specks of vanilla bean? Please do tell!