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Speaking of Ice Cream...

I am on a mission this season to try more fresh off the farm ice cream. I grew up in the Peaceful Meadows area and love the fresh rich taste of homemade ice cream. So, I'm looking for places to try not only in Mass., but those that might make a nice one day (half day) road trip within N.E.

I know there used to be a great place somewhere near the Canton area and there is a place Sam Allis just wrote about not too long ago which I can find on-line.

Looking for other suggestions, thanks.

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  1. Kimball's in Westford MA: http://www.kimballfarm.com/
    Other locations are Carlisle MA & Jaffrey NH

    Richardson's Ice Cream in Reading & Middleton MA:
    http://www.richardsonsicecream.com/

    2 Replies
    1. re: Gio

      Boston Beanstalk Coffee Co. on Salem Street in the North End sells Richardson's.

      1. re: Gio

        I'll second Kimball's! I make sure we get there at least once a year (a bit out of the way for me, but definitely worth it!)

      2. In the Canton area, I think you're thinking of Crescent Ridge Dairy, on Bay Road in Sharon, just over the Canton line.

        1. Rota Srings farm in Sterling. Try the Indian Pudding.
          Lookout Fram for gelato and sorbet. Have the new owners kept up the quality?

          1. Erikson's Dairy on Rte. 117, Maynard, Ma. is open for their 70th season, yippee!

            http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze2...

            1. Another nod for Richardson's Dairy in Middleton, MA. Great ice cream, mini-golf and an all around fantastic family atmosphere.

              1. Farfars in Duxbury is delicious.Try the grapenut custard and the banana. It's made the danish way, very creamy

                1. You might get a better response on the New England board, but here's a favourite since I was little. They have this train set you can watch too. I'm especially fond of the maple walnut.

                  http://www.shawsridgefarm.com/

                  Not too much else in that vicinity unless you know someone with a cottage on a lake or something. It's not terrible far from the Berwicks and it's a nice, New England drive with stone walls or farms on the side of the road for much of the trip up.

                  1. Just head over to Harvard Square, which is the ice cream mecca of New England.

                    The square features Baskin Robbins, Ben & Jerry's, Herrell's, Lizzy's, Toscannini and if you want to be expansive, Christina's in Inman about 3/4 of a mile away.

                    Seriously, is there any other local place with so many high quality ice cream outlets?

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Bob MacAdoo

                      I'll enthusiastically second Ben & Jerry's and Herrell's, though not a fan of Lizzy's or Baskin Robbins. Or Christina's, for that matter, which some folks love and others are lukewarm about; put me in the latter category.

                      Note that Harvard Square's Toscanini's outpost is currently closed (hopefully temporarily) for renovations. But the Central Square store is well worth going out of one's way for. As is the Emack & Bolio's in Porter Square.

                      1. re: bachslunch

                        Enjoy Ben & Jerry's while you can. Unilever owns them now, and a friend of mine in the ice cream business who lives in Burlington Vt and knows someone who works there, claims that they just switched their production line to a 12% butterfat mix (they started out with 16% and have slowly cut the quality to up the profits.) At 12%, they're likely to become just another store brand, though I'm sure they'll still charge the same high prices.

                        I've never understood the buzz about Tosci's, I often find their ice cream grainy or odd tasting, but thumbs up for Christina's though, they're the best of that bunch in Cambridge.

                        1. re: sgerard

                          Bad news re Ben & Jerry's -- what a shame. Corporate dumbing down at its worst.

                          I've never experienced a grainy feel to any Toscanini's ice cream and I've been there several times and tried many flavors. But I've found Christina's bland in flavor and weak in mouthfeel each time I've been there, and I've given it many chances. I suspect they have a lower butterfat content than Tosci's or Herrell's.

                          1. re: bachslunch

                            i have to disagree. i love christina's ever bold and changing flavors and i applaud their creativity. i highly recommend the pumpkin, peanut butter chip, and ginger molasses.

                            1. re: cherrygarcia

                              I've tried Christina's ginger molasses, and significantly preferrred Toscanini's ginger snap molasses. Tosci's seemed a whole lot richer, with much more flavor. Christina's just didn't have enough zip or mouth feel for me.

                            2. re: bachslunch

                              My current B & J's favorite is Caramel Sutra, half caramel ice cream, half chocolate, with a caramel core. Ummm. Haven't noticed a dip in quality, yet. and ice cream is supposed to be sweet.

                      2. I'm having a senior moment but there is a place in Lower Mills (Dorchester) that does fabualous homemade ice cream.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: tomaneng

                          It's the Ice Cream Smith. I wouldn't call the ice cream fabulous, but it is good -- solid flavors with a few creative ones thrown in. The best special flavors seem to run out by the middle of the month. I missed Indian Pudding last September and was very put out. It's certainly the best (umm, only) in the area. I wouldn't say it's worth a special trip, but it's a good local option.

                        2. Anyone familiar with any of these roadside ice cream places?

                          Carter's in Haverhill?
                          Sullivan Farms in Westford?
                          Sully's in Chelmsford?

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: jackattack

                            Sully's in Chlemsford is excellent! We live closer to Kimballs Carlise location, but we usually go to Sullys due to its proximity to the ball fields. They have the best peanut butter sauce, which I get over choc chip. Last night I tried the Maple Walnut frozen yogurt. Thumbs up. I live for September when Pumpkin is available - definitely prefer Sully's Pumpkin over Kimballs. But I must add, I had an incredible Heath Bar Crunch experience when Kimballs opened up for the season this spring!

                            1. re: jackattack

                              Carters in Haverhill is great.

                              I also love Englands Micocreamery in downtown Haverhill.

                              I

                              1. re: jackattack

                                Sullivan Farms is in Tyngsboro, not Westford. Although it's close to Westford and Chelmsford. It's on 3A overlooking the Merrimack River. Best homemade ice cream anywhere!

                              2. Crescent Ridge Dairy in Sharon. Cows, farm, ice cream stand and incredible Hot Fudge Sundaes

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: tmanpro

                                  just went to the crescent ridge dairy bar this past weekend. a true dairy delight. it's basically an ice cream stand (and a small retail shop to the left) with maybe 10 service windows and 15 high school kids scooping in the back. very friendly service. a small (3.75) is literally a pint of ice cream. i didn't see anyone get a large, but i'm sure i'd have to share it with three other people. the mississippi mud (coffee ice cream with oreos and whole (!) toasted (!!) almonds) really hit the spot. it's a bit of a trek from boston but worth it, especially to see the cows swinging their tails.

                                2. A nice drive up north towards Lake Winnepesaukee - Rt#11 just before you get to Alton - Johnson's has GREAT ice cream! I make it my stop on the way home and it's my whole evening meal! You can continue on up the lake to Alton Bay and browse around a bit too. There's another ice cream stand at the bay, (sorry - can't remember the name at the moment) but it's not quite as good as Johnson's.

                                  1. Yes, this would be a half day trip but well-worth it. Go to Cherry Hill Farm in Danvers for delish homemade ice cream. It is right off Route 128 and then head down to Gloucester/Rockport to the shops and beaches.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: taxi

                                      Thanks for the note about Cherry Hill. In the '80s, my dad would bring my mom and I here after coming back from Good Harbor in Gloucester or whatever NH or ME beach we were at. Recently, he and I have tried to find to see if it was still there, it but we forgot which exit it was. Thanks to you, I found their web site and saw it is exit 21. And they still have my dad's old favorite flavor, Frozen Pudding.

                                    2. If you can be free on a Thursday afternoon/early evening, the Brookline farmer's market has a truck/stand with homemade ice cream. I've only tried the chocolate, but it was quite rich and delicious.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: cmd

                                        Benson's...Boxford Mass
                                        Puleo's Salem
                                        Mad Maggies No Andover

                                        1. re: AnneM

                                          Love Mad Maggies, but not crazy about Bensons. Have only been once- based on posts from this board. Got the seasonal flavor- peach- and it was creamy, but not very peachy tasting. May be I should try it again, and get a "standard" flavor.

                                          1. re: AnneM

                                            That's right - forgot about Puleo's. My father-in-law loved their strawberry frappe - said it was his best at the age of 80!

                                        2. Pretty far afield for the Boston board, but the University of Connecticut has a dairy bar on its campus that makes ice cream from the milk of the dairy cows at the Ag school. If you're in the area of Storrs, worth a visit.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                            how bout non-farm ice cream thats across from a farm stand? Does that count? In West Peabody after the shopping plaza, left on Lake Street, theres a place called Scoops, but the sign says Binkys so i dont know which is the real name. Tasted their homemade icecream and it seemed very good but I am addicted to their Banana Split Tornado. Its vanilla soft serve (or you could get chocolate) and its blended(like the Dairy Queen Blizzards) with fresh banana chunks, strawberries and pineapple and topped with a scoop of hot fudge. Its a drippy delicious fruity mess that feels dedadent yet healthy with the fruit. And if you miss farms, go across the street (once summer starts) to the Farm Stand there. They have family run farm and fields around the state and sell the produce here. Really excellent esp the corn and tomatoes. And then you can run across the street to Zuckers and try to end the pig out with a fresh hot challah bread. If they are closed, you can pick up the bread at Muntsys sub shop next door.

                                            1. re: chompie

                                              Ron's in Hyde Park. The best! When Clinton was running in his first campaign they stumbled on Ron's and then had it shipped to the White House. It's all home made by Ron who is usually at the counter. It's on Hyde Park Ave next to the police station. Grapenut, a brownie nut fudge combo, rum raisin...I could go on and on....the best!

                                              1. re: catsmeow

                                                I'll second Ron's, which I liked very much.

                                              2. re: chompie

                                                I grew up in Peabody and a 16 year old boy started an ice cream shop named Binky's to save some $ for college! I was addicted to the steak bombs at Muntsy's. I wish I were there right now eating one and having a binky's/scoop coffee cone!

                                            2. Lots of great comments and here are my 2 cents worth ... I personally think that farfars in duxbury is TDF (and worth the trip - or whatever else it may cost you! Just bring a cooler filled with ice so you can take a gallon home)... On the other hand and almost at the other edge of the NE universe (is connecticut actually considered part of NE??? ;) )... is a hidden gem somewhere on the farm-campus that is the University of New Hampshire. I would recommend their ice cream without reservation... perhaps worth a side trip if you are heading to portland or portsmouth.

                                              It is kind of hard to find BAD ice cream anywhere in this part of the kingdom, so when friends from other parts come to visit I proudly serve them lobsters AND a selection of the ice creams from various parts.
                                              happy brain freezes to all

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: cornFusion

                                                Sorry to hear about Ben & Jerry's, just on principle. I never liked their ice cream, though. I found it waaaaaaay too sweet.

                                                The best ice cream I've ever had (apart from that one they make in Texas --Dixie Bell?) is Berkshire Ice Cream. You don't even have to drive to Great Barrington to get it; their website says you can get it here:

                                                One Beacon Street Cafe & Berkshire Ice Cream
                                                1 Beacon Street
                                                Boston, MA 02210 (map it)

                                                Sebastians & Berkshire Ice Cream
                                                100 Summer Street
                                                Boston, MA 02210 (map it)

                                                The texture is amazing, the amount of sugar is just right. And the flavors! My God, the flavors: Ginger. Espresso Crunch. Black Raspberry (my personal fave). Vanilla, chocolate and coffee, of course. They've even got a Dulce de Leche and plenty of other exotica at their "scoop shops." Go look at them here:
                                                http://www.berkshireicecream.com/

                                                1. re: SSqwerty

                                                  No Berkshire Ice Cream at One Beacon!

                                                  The rain was getting me down and I thought ice cream would bring me up. Sauntered on down to One Beacon and there is no One Beacon Cafe - just a Rebecca's. Asked a few people who worked in the ginormous building "Where is the Ice Cream?!" and they looked at me like I was a bit crazy. One guy told me Rebecca's *used* to be Sebastians so maybe that is the missing link. Will try Sebastians on Summer Street next week. For now this TollHouse cookie sandwich from 7-11 will have to cut it...
                                                  Also - Rancantore's kulfi ice cream is the best flavor on earth. Shop in Lex Center and another on the Belmont/Watertown line. Go today.

                                                  1. re: Deelicious47

                                                    Aw heck. Thanks for trying! Obviously their website needs an overhau. Gosh --I hope they didn't go out of business!

                                              2. Rondeaus in Palmer, MA -- a 45 minutes/1hr west of Boston... exit 8 off the mass pike!
                                                Amazing & cheap!

                                                1. Has anyone tried P.S. Scoops in Southie, near Salsa's?