Dole Whip is a non-dairy frozen dessert. The most popular flavor, pineapple, can be found at Disneyland and precious few other places. The first time I went to Disneyland (or possibly Disney World), my dad ordered a Dole Whip from the unassuming Dole stand near the entrace of Adventure Land. It was the ideal refreshing treat for a hot waiting-in-line sort of day, and I was pleased to find Dole Whip readily available back home in Rochester at the ice cream shop in Marketplace Mall.
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The plentitude of Dole Whip in my youth turned into a cruel drought when Rochester’s poor economy caused the Dole Whip to disappear (it’s always the first sign) and no other sources emerged. The occasional trip to Disneyland during college certainly helped, and our Honeymoon in Hawaii (conveniently set on islands that were known sources of Dole Whip) got me through some tough times. I’m very grateful to the woman at the “Send a Pineapple Home” shop in Kauai who made a special batch of Dole Whip for me and anticipated my return every day that week. But I knew that to really be content in life, I needed a reliable local source of Dole Whip.
For several years, I’ve had recurring dreams about Dole Whip. I’m usually in a mall or walking down the street and I see an ice cream shop. As I get closer, I think that maybe I see something that looks like Dole Whip. I start walking faster and I can clearly read the sign now, but I’m still cautious. I casually ask, “Excuse me, do you have Dole Whip today?” And they do. And it’s pineapple. And they give me a free cone. And here it was all this time, just around the corner from the house.
I’ve made several attempts to make pineapple ice cream based on recipes that claim to taste just like Dole Whip. I’ve dragged my wife to ice cream shops that sell pineapple sorbet because some girl said on her MySpace page that it was just like Dole Whip. I’ve even compiled a list of known Dole Whip locations based on quarterly extensive Google searches that are frustratingly polluted with pages about Bob Dole when he was Majority Whip. So just in case I ever find myself in Chesapeake City, MD, I know that I can stop in to The Real McCoy and feed the Dole Whip monkey. I’ve always held out hope that one day I’d find it locally. Any time we’re at some street fair or walking down a main street in a town we haven’t been to before, I say to Marni, “It’ll be a day just like this, at just some random ice cream shop when I’ll find it.” But such hopes were finally concluded recently when Marni called the Dole Whip distributor to try to find a local vendor for my birthday. I had called the distributor myself years ago, but they wouldn’t give me any information at the time. Marni had better luck. It turned out that there were no current customers in the Bay Area, but Great America had placed an order earlier in the summer. Marni called Great America and they said that they had some on-hand, but didn’t know if or when they would serve it.
During a routine Dole Whip Google search, I discovered that a distributor in Hawaii was selling Dole Whip on eBay (I had previously been told that only ice cream businesses could buy the mix and that Dole Whip could not be made at home). I placed an order and tossed our Cuisinart ice cream maker bowl in the freezer to prepare. I tried five times to make Dole Whip, all ending in failure. The stuff simply wouldn’t freeze. So I put the Cuisinart machine aside and bought some heavier iron — the Lelo 4070 Gelato Junior. This 45 pound beast of an ice cream maker has a built-in compressor, so there’s no freezer bowl that will quickly defrost and leave me with Dole Mush.
I’m very pleased that after about 45 minutes in the Lelo, Dole Whip mixed at home turns into something very closely resembling Dole Whip purchased at Disneyland. It’s a tiny bit icy and the consistency is a bit off, but it’s close enough to shut me the hell up about Dole Whip for a while. Here are the pictures showing the creation of the Dole Whip, including the Cuisinart disaster and the Lelo success. Here’s the eBay Member who sells Dole Whip regularly.