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Hoodsie Cups | The Classic New England Ice Cream Treat

Can't decide between chocolate and vanilla? Go for a Hoodsie Cup -- one of New England's favorite ice cream treats since 1947.

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Here in New England, the Hoodsie Cup has been the saving grace of those who can’t decide between chocolate or vanilla ice cream since 1947. The 3 oz. paper cup neatly (well, nearly) divided in half by the two flavors is a product of the Massachusetts-based Hood dairy, and is one of the regional treats many New Englanders claim to miss the most after moving away, perhaps because they’re a lot harder to pack into a suitcase than a roll of Necco Wafers or six-pack of Moxie.

It might also be that, for many of us, Hoodsie Cups (or just plain “Hoodsies”) are a tastebud-reminder of childhood, when the cups were often handed out at birthday and classroom parties, summer cookouts, and church suppers. We remember pulling up on the little tab that peeled back the paper lid to reveal the ice cream below, and  gleefully digging in with the accompanying wooden spoon, which was really just the shortened, hourglass-shaped equivalent of a tongue depressor.

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Like the aforementioned Necco Wafers and Moxie, if you grew up with Hoodsies, you probably hang onto an ardent fondness for the little cups, but unlike Necco Wafers and Moxie, Hoodsies aren’t an acquired taste. In New England, where ice cream is king, the Hoodsie remains a popular treat nearly 70 years after their introduction. In fact, since Hood is the official ice cream brand of the Boston Red Sox, you can even show your Sox pride while enjoying a Hoodsie. We call that a win/win.

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Today Hoodsie cups are sold in bags of 10.

Aimee Seavey

Today, Hoodsie Cups are sold at grocery stores in bags of 10. Since my memory of eating Hoodsies is so firmly coupled with the wooden spoon I thought there would be a stash of them in the bottom of the bag, but there wasn’t so I made do with a regular spoon, which didn’t feel right. Perhaps the wooden spoons are relegated to the convenience store ice cream freezer or ice cream truck?

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But where’s the wooden spoon?

Aimee Seavey

Wooden spoon or not, the Hoodsie Cup remains a clear New England favorite. I was reminded of this a few years ago when my family got together to celebrate the 97th birthday of my great-great Uncle Jim, and when it was time for dessert, my grandmother leaned over to me and gestured toward the table, which was laden with cakes, cookies, gelatin salads, and yes…the familiar red and white cups. “Go get something for yourself,” she urged, “but when you do, can you bring me back a Hoodsie?”

hoodsie cups

Hoodsie Cups – a New England ice cream favorite since 1947.

Aimee Seavey

I brought back two.

Are you a fan of Hoodsies?

Hoodsie cups

This post was first published in 2014 and has been updated. 

Comments
  • Ok. I just moved back to the North Shore of Boston after spending some time in Florida. How could one ever forget the Hoodsie! I agree with the comments by some however that the wooden spoon would be a plus as would a picture in the cover that could be traded my kids todaywith the

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  • I’m 88 years young- and remember Hoodsies with movie stars on the inside cover in the 30’s -why do you say 1947?

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    • Hi Elva. It’s Hood says that Hoodsies debuted in 1947 (http://hood.com/products/hoodsie-cups/), saying “With chocolate-flavored ice cream on one side and vanilla on the other, these 3-ounce single serve cups have been motivating kids to clean their plates since 1947.” We wish they’d bring back the movie stars!

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  • Kudos to Y’all who are showing off that your memories are still intact, e.g. Yes! the movie star pics under the lid! In Lowell in the ’50s, we called dances in stinky gyms, record hops. Earlier they were reportedly know as Hoodsies…I don’t know why…maybe they served Hoodsies? Elsewise, maybe closer to Baahstan, girls who were underage to date, but “in love” with Dudes with a car were called Hoodsies as they were often found leaning/sitting on the Guy’s hood when he parked to show it off. (Last year I paid $2.95 in New Mexico to recall the taste of a Moxie…indeed, it was still ugly! LOL Created in Lowell, it somehow became the official State drink of Maine!)

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  • Grew up in East Boston in the 40’s and 50’s and remember sitting on curbs with my friends eating Hoodsies and getting free Hoodsies at the Gem a local movie house on the 4th of July!!!
    Yum!

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  • Olive

    I am 86 and remember Hoodsies well from 1936-8 in Massachusetts, so I don’t understand 1947 as the start either. Only the outside design has changed.

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  • I recall Hoodsies, as do many others, from my childhood, and still have a lid with Maureen O’Hara’s photo on it. These movie star photos were placed on the inside of the lids in the 40’s. The Hoodsie Cup has changed, however, over the years, with the bottom being recessed and the top also pressed down. We can accept that, in the light of corporate concerns for the bottom line, but recently I have purchased the product which, I suppose, due to poor quality control, is ‘missing’ some ice cream. The poured product is caved in on one side or the other, and in some more recent purchases, the dome of ice cream is without anything around the edges. The price remains the same, but the quantity of ice cream has diminished, in these instances. Is this merely an error or oversight, or is this the standard practice we face in the future? I hope the reputation of Hoodsies will not be tarnished by inept or careless quality control….”Where’s the ice cream?”

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  • Loved these as a kid. I grew up Lowell and Nashua – we always had a bag of Hoodsies in the freezer. I live in Atlanta now and I found these at BJ’s!! I may have to get a bag today!!

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  • The most important fact about Hoodsies was left out!! The lid’s backside was a black and white picture of a movie star, with a circle of waxed paper over it. We traded these pictures, and always hoped for one we had not yet gotten!!

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  • Another nice article, Aimee. Though I grew up in the Midwest and was thereby deprived of the joys of a Hoodsie, we had our equivalent from some other dairy company. What I liked most is your comment about the flat, wooden spoon. You’re absolutely right–it doesn’t taste the same without that little “canoe paddle” acting as the vessel from cup to mouth!

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  • Hi Jerry. Thanks for your comment! I got the date of 1947 directly from the Hood website (http://www.hood.com/products/hoodsie-cups/). They say “With chocolate-flavored ice cream on one side and vanilla on the other, these 3-ounce single serve cups have been motivating kids to clean their plates since 1947.” Perhaps Hood made a similar ice cream treat before the Hoodsie? Or perhaps they have the date wrong? I’ll work on solving the mystery!

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  • Warren and Berniece are right on target. I am 81 and grew up in Dorchester MA. Hoodsies were around in the thirties. The Hood Milk Company used to deliver milk in horse drawn wagons until a fire in the barn killed the horses. I think around 1943

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  • We had a similar dessert here in the South. The spoons were in a little box on the ice cream cooler. Now they are sold 10 in a bag and the little spoon is attached to the lid. They are still a nostalgic treat,even though the ice cream doesn’t taste any different.

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  • Love this comment ! I was raised in Roxbury but move to Dorchester in the mid to late sixties. Love Hoodsies and miss Howard Johnson’s. Live in Las Vegas now.

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  • Hoodsies, Necco Wafers, and Moxie: Those products brought back good childhood memories. Living in the Arizona desert now, I miss them. I do order Moxie on line. Thanks for the memories

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  • Hoodsies……yukk, even as a kid ( and I am 79 now) Hoodsies were garbage ice cream, chalkie and pretty tasteless and we lived just outside Boston so they were fresh. Maybe Hoodsies had to be aged to taste good but I doubt it.

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  • Warren

    I have to disagree with the assertion that “Hoodsies” were introduced in 1947. I grew up in Dorchester, Mass. in the thirties, and forties, and one of the traditions on the fourth of July was to go to Garvey Park on Neponset Avenue, and receive “Hoodsies”. I know we did this in the late thirties, and early forties. I remember “Hoodsies” fondly, and wish you could buy them in Dallas. Incidently we had Hood milk etc. delivered as long as I can remember.
    My wife, and I never miss going to Friendly’s, whenever we see one in our travels. We miss Howard
    Johnsons since I was brought up on their ice cream.
    As far as coffee ice cream you cannot beat Blue Bell coffee ice cream. However it is sold mainly in Texas, and Oklahoma.
    Enjoyed the article.
    Warren and Berniece Rand

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  • Maureen

    Loved them as a kid and loved them as a teacher. Easy and yummy!

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  • Loved them and usually it was vanilla first then chocolate but sometimes a little of each. Did they ever make strawberry ? The Necco wafers ( loved the chocolate ) and Moxie were loved as well.

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