Road Trip! Destination: Maryland ice cream country
Food can't get any fresher than from the farm. That's the allure of Maryland's Best Ice Cream Trail — eight dairies that make a variety of ice-cream products directly for consumers.
While large corporations dominate the American food market, the family farms on Maryland's ice-cream trail buck that trend. Many also sell their products at local stores; a few have even begun local home delivery of milk.
Just as craft beers and farmers markets have their devoted fans, the ice-cream-making dairies also have thousands of regulars. Expect the standard offerings — vanilla, chocolate and strawberry — but also the fruits of enthusiastic experimentation in flavors and textures.
Most places sell cones, floats, milkshakes and ice cream in bulk, while a few have cafes for a meal.
These dairies all tout the care they give their animals — that includes grazing as a substantial part of nutrition. Most stress that they don't use growth hormones or antibiotics in raising their herds.
The dairies are spread across the state, making it likely one is on the way to destination spots from the western mountains to the beaches of Ocean City — not to mention Baltimore and Washington.
Prigel Family Creamery
A fifth-generation farm, Prigel Family Creamery began making ice cream four years ago. It makes its own ice-cream mix from scratch in vanilla and chocolate. It also sells milk and some frozen meats.
There are 22 flavors of ice cream and three kinds of iced yogurt for sale. The most popular is Bobby's Black Mud, chocolate with coffee flavor and cappuccino chips. Prigel's make a lemon ice cream — not a sherbet or sorbet — and caramel pretzel.
In addition to floats and milkshakes, ice cream is sold in quarts and half gallons.
Prigel's is at 4852 Long Green Acre Road, Glen Arm.Details: 410-510-7488 or www.prigelfamilycreamery.com
With more than 100 years of dairy farming in the family, Kilby Cream began making ice cream in 2005. Its product line includes milk, butter, eggs, meats and breads.
Kilby's best-selling ice-cream flavors include Birthday Cake, Minty Moo, Java Chip and Butter Pecan. Seasonal flavors include Blueberry Cheesecake and Key Lime Pie. Kilby's also offers three kinds of spiked ice creams for those over 21, as well as sugar-free flavors.
Kilby Cream is at 129 Strohmaier Lane, Rising Sun. Details: 410-658-8874 or www.kilbycream.com
South Mountain Creamery
The first of Maryland's dairy farms with an on-site dairy processing plant, South Mountain sells more than two dozen flavors.
Its less commonly encountered varieties include Bubble Gum, Coconut Joy, Blueberry Swirl, Eggnog, Lemon Meringue and Orange Pineapple.
It also offers glass-bottled milk and other dairy products, including cheese, yogurt, meats, breads and dog treats.
South Mountain Creamery is at 8305 Bolivar Road at Middletown. Details: 301-371-8565 or www.southmountaincreamery.com
Rocky Point Creamery
In addition to selling pints and quarts of its homemade ice cream, Rocky Point has more elaborate products like sundaes, banana splits, milkshakes and malts and soft-serve ice cream. Beverages include fresh milk, sodas, iced tea and coffee.
Rocky Point is at 4323 Tuscarora Road, Tuscarora. Details: 301-874-5005 or www.rockypointcreamery.com
Broom's Bloom Dairy
On a farming site dating to pre-Revolutionary times, Broom's Bloom Dairy has 12 to 18 flavors at a time and has made more than 100 flavors. Among its current crop of less-common flavors are Caramel Cashew, Graham Cracker Cake Batter and Maraschino Cherry and Chips.
The farm has a cafe that serves soups, salads, mac and cheese (with cheddar and parmesan), eight kinds of sandwiches and four varieties of quiche.
Broom's Bloom Dairy is at 1700 S. Fountain Green Road, Bel Air. Details: 410-399-2697 or www.bbdairy.com
Ice cream is the newest addition to the Keyes family dairy farm, which began more than 60 years ago. All flavors are hand-mixed and made several times a week from the morning's milkings.
Among the more than two dozen flavors are Cow's Feet, Chocolate Chip With Peanut Butter Swirl, Goose Feathers, Cake Batter With Fudge Ripple, Cappuccino Crunch and Buttery Salted Caramel. Seasonal flavors include Peach, Pumpkin, Cinnamon Apple Pie, Cotton Candy and Bubble Gum. Keyes sells ice-cream cakes, pies and sandwiches.
Keyes Creamery is at 3712 Aldino Road, Aberdeen. Details: 443-619-4975 or www.keyescreamery.com
Misty Meadow Farm Creamery
With more than three dozen flavors of ice cream, sorbet, wine sorbet and frozen yogurt, there are plenty of choices at Misty Meadow.
Chocaholics have more than 10 flavors to consider, including Dizzy Cow — biscotti ice cream with chocolate and crunchy cookie swirls. Seasonal options include Sour Green Apple and Chocolate Gelato. Several flavors are labeled either sugar-free or made with Splenda.
Other menu items include freshly baked scones, soups, sandwiches, chili, hot dogs and sausage dogs.
Misty Meadow is at 14325 Misty Meadow Road, Smithsburg. Details: 301-824-2112 or www.mistymeadowsfarmcreamery.com
Chesapeake Bay Farms
Proud to be “all about decadence,” Chesapeake Bay Farms begins its ice-cream-making process within a half hour of milking. The flavors are made with big chunks of fruit, cookies, nuts and candy. Sixteen flavors are available at any given time.
Among the current flavors are Uncle Pete's Chocolate Insanity, which adds mocha fudge sauce, chocolate fudge brownie pieces and dark chocolate chunks to dark-chocolate ice cream. The Blueberry Crunch uses full blueberries and shortcake pieces.
Chesapeake Bay Farms is at 8905 Logtown Road, Berlin. Details: 410-629-1997 or www.chesapeakebaycheese.com
Mark Kanny is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7877 or firstname.lastname@example.org.