Food trucks selling sweet, refreshing treats have hit the Utah streets this summer.
They’re offering Harry Potter’s favorite drink, sweet sandwiches and “udderly” delicious ice cream from in-state football rivals. Want to know more? Here are the details:
Wizarding wonder • Butterbeer cast a spell on Devanie Stout. After the Utahn tasted the butterscotch drink in London — while visiting “The Making of Harry Potter” studio tour — she spent the next several years developing her own recipe. She even took tasting trips to Universal Studios in Florida and California for research.
Stout initially sold her golden, nonalcoholic drink — topped with cream — at festivals and outdoor markets along the Wasatch Front before launching the “Buttereer and Nachos” truck in late January. (Yes, the second “b” is missing due to trademark restrictions.)
Cold and frozen butterscotch sodas are available in the summer; hot butterbeer magically appears in the winter. Despite the nachos in the truck’s name, the drinks are the draw, Stout said. Butterbeer, of course, is the beverage of choice at pubs in the J. K. Rowling blockbuster books and subsequent movies. While it’s a thirst quencher for young wizards, it must be kept away from house elves, who tend to become intoxicated when consuming the beverage.
Competitive ice cream • The football rivalry between Brigham Young University and Utah State University moves to the food truck circuit with the recent opening of Udder Rivals ice cream truck — which features ice cream from the school creameries.
The idea came after the BYU/USU football game in 2017, when owner Bonniejean Brucks and her husband, Danny, attended the Utah State Fair and saw creamery booths from both schools. Danny turned to his wife and said, “Not only are they rivals, but they’re udder rivals.”
The truck sells scoops, sundaes and floats made with the college favorites, from USU’s Aggie Blue Mint to BYU’s Bishop’s Bash. The truck even has an ice cream challenge, where customers can vote for the best vanilla ice cream. Right now, USU is winning.
The Brucks have eight children, and the business gives the older kids a chance to get “off the couch” and work. It also offers the couple a flexible schedule, which they need because their youngest child has Down syndrome.
Fans often show up dressed in their favorite school’s merchandise, and it’s not uncommon for parents and grandparents to forbid children from ordering ice cream from a rival school, Bonniejean said. “They each genuinely believe they have the best ice cream.”
Sweet sandwiches • Ice cream sandwiches get the royal treatment at The Penguin Brothers, a food truck turned dessert shop owned by Brandon and Blake Barkdull. The brothers, originally from California, came to Utah to attend BYU in Provo.
They bought a bright pink food truck and started selling their Instagram-worthy treats made with gourmet cookies and homemade ice cream. The food trucks — now there are two — travel around Salt Lake and Utah counties and are often hired to cater weddings, birthday parties and other special events.
The business boomed and the brothers bought a brick-and-mortar location in Provo. They recently opened a second permanent shop at 2040 S. 1000 East in Salt Lake City. The menu also include pizookies — half-baked cookies served warm with a scoop of ice cream.
Whether eating from a truck or a store, customers can pick from eight signature ice cream sandwiches, or they can create their own combination choosing from chocolate chip, oatmeal, snickerdoodle and gluten-free cookies and a dozen ice cream flavors. Options range from traditional vanilla and dark chocolate to salted caramel pretzel, blueberry lemon thyme and banana Butterfinger.