Quantcast

Hoodsie Cups | The Classic New England Ice Cream Treat

Can't decide between chocolate and vanilla? With Hoodsie Cups -- a favorite New England ice cream treat -- you don't have to choose.

Here in New England, Hoodsie Cups have 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.

hoodsie cups f
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.

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 more than 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.

hoodsie cups

Today Hoodsie cups are sold in bags of 10.

Aimee Tucker

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?

hoodsie cups

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 dessert,” she urged, “and 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?

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

SEE MORE:
5 Favorite New England Ice Cream Flavors
The Friendly’s Cone Head Sundae
Favorite New England Candy Brands & More

Comments
  • Loved the Hoodsie cups, disliked the flat wooden spoons that felt dry as bark on the tongue.

    Reply
  • Reader

    I’m a New Hampshirite currently living in “extended exile” in Illinois, but I remember Hoodsies fondly and miss them. Here in the Midwest there are single-serve ice cream cups kind of similar, and I always think of Hoodsies whenever I run across one of those, but of course there’s only one Hoodsie!

    Reply
  • My husband Uncle worked for Hood. He was a mechanic, if you remember the Hood truck were painted yellow. Every room in his house was painted yellow, including the maple kitchen set LOL

    Reply
  • ReaderLast15300

    I am 74 and also remember the Hoodsies from my childhood, especially with the picture on the back of the lid and the wooden spoon that was always attached. I worked in Boston and remember seeing the Hoodsie factory on my way home on the train. Oh, for the good old days!

    Reply
  • judithr9

    Growing up in MA in the 40’s and 50’s, we always had Hoodsies at birthday parties. We kids loved them as a special treat! I’m sad to hear that the wooden spoons are no longer included. I like to think they added to the flavor!

    Reply
  • Reader

    I remember eating these in the 40’s and inserting the spoon into the ice cream to turn them into popsicles. I don’t know how they stayed on, but they did and we all enjoyed eating them that way.

    Reply
  • my son recently found a Hoodsie lid cover with Lucille Ball’s picture on it. He does construction work in the Boston area

    Reply
  • Im 78 remember Hoodsies before 47. Wish I could get them in Ca. They would be great to have in freezer for snacks for great grandchildren. I can find maple walnut ice cream on rare occasions in a ice cream store. Miss all those goodies you mention, esp coffee ice cream and Eclipse coffee syrup. about a year ago a small shop opened in Encinitas, Ca. called Lobster West. They sell N.E. lobster rolls with the split top rolls. Expensive, but a great treat! Took my daughter there for mother’s day, She had to admit they were the best. Except for visits now and then, have been away since 1962. Still miss all the great foods you talk about as well as special places like Lincoln Woods swimming. Hope to come in fall of 18 and will try to fill up.

    Reply
  • Sandra

    I miss my Maple Walnut Ice cream. It’s non existent in Arizona

    Reply
    • SaraD

      Sandra, unfortunately, you can’t get Hoodsie Cups, but you can get Maple Walnut ice cream in Phoenix, at Mary Coyle, on 7th Street a little south of Bethany Home. They make their own ice cream.

      Reply
  • Connie

    I, too, remember the Hoodsies from my childhood in CT. When I read the article, my first thought was that I couldn’t believe I was ten when they were introduced. After reading others’ comments, I know that I remembered correctly and that yes, I was younger. In fact I have a picture of me eating one at age four,mat nursery school! Hood doesn’t know its own history??! We can’t all be wrong.

    Reply
  • Good thing John Hood came to Massachusetts from England in the 1600’s! His descendants, the Hood brothers, my ‘cousin’ ancestors, started Hood’s Dairy, resulting in the wonderful Hoodsie ice cream cups we all grew up with. I never knew I was related till I recently did my family genealogy @ 83 years old.

    Reply
  • Maureen

    I loved Hoodsies as a kid and as a first grade teacher too. A nice classroom treat on a hot day in June. Better than a Popsicle. Easy to pass out, no sticky dripping and no arguing over flavors!

    Reply
  • Heather

    My grandparents lived in Rhode Island and would treat us to Hoodsie Cups. I live in NY and have seen them sold at my local Price Chopper.

    Reply
  • Does anyone else remember a Hoodsie version in a blue and white cup? The vanilla had a subtle orange flavor and I preferred it to the regular Hoodsie.

    Reply
  • In reading the comments I saw Blue Bell ice cream (available in the south–I am in MS). mentioned, but they failed to mention their vanilla/chocolate called the “great divide. However as far as I know it is only in pints and gallons. We had a famine for ?blue Bell in the spring when it had a recall. Folks were standing in line the first day it came back. We love our Blue Bell!

    Reply
    • Richard

      Blue Bell is garbage. This article is about Hoodsie cups.

      Reply
  • 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

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

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
  • 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!)

    Reply
  • 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!

    Reply
  • 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.

    Reply
  • 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?”

    Reply
  • 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!!

    Reply
  • 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!!

    Reply
    • Yes!my favorite was a Hoodsie Cup around 1945 and we collected and traded the movie star photo lids! Often thought about that.

      Reply
  • 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!

    Reply
  • 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!

    Reply
  • 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

    Reply
  • 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.

    Reply
  • 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.

    Reply
  • 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

    Reply
  • 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.

    Reply
  • 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

    Reply
  • Maureen

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

    Reply
  • 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.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Enter Your Log In Credentials
This setting should only be used on your home or work computer.

Send this to a friend