Years ago, when I edited a specialty food publication, the president of one large out-of-state gourmet ice cream manufacturer called me to pitch his new super-premium line and asked for the address to send samples. When I replied with the Maine address, he was crushed. “Oh forget it,” he said. “We don’t even try to sell our ice cream in Maine. Maine has the best ice cream.” He’s right.
My first job was scooping ice cream at long-gone Deering Ice Cream in South Portland. Since then, I’ve been an ice cream aficionado. I’m not a fan of commercial ice creams or from-away concoctions. The truth about ice cream is, the closer you get to the source, the better the product will be, and in Maine, that’s easy to do. Like jimmies (a.k.a. sprinkles on a cone, dairy bars serving Maine-made ice cream dot the state.
Here are Maine shops that make-their-own ice cream. Let me know if I’ve missed one of your faves; this remains a work in progress and I can use your input. Remember, to qualify a shop must make its own ice cream or gelato. (FYI: Shain’s, Gifford’s, and Roundtop also can be found in many other small Maine ice cream shops; Stone Fox can be found at the Bayside, Camden, and Waterville Farmers’ Markets).
Old Orchard Beach
- Morton’s Moo
- Blueberry Hill Dairy Bar
- Bar Harbor
Western Lakes & Mountains