Where to Taste Vermont's Silky, Sweet Maple Creemees

Summer is the season when local ice cream and maple syrup join forces.

<p>courtesy of Palmer Lane Maple</p>

courtesy of Palmer Lane Maple

Vermont may conjure images of fall and apple orchards, covered bridges and small town charm, or glittery winters and frosted ski trails. But in the summer, world-famous ice cream and rich maple syrup come together in the maple creemee (yes, spelled just like that).

Nothing short of perfection, Vermont’s signature frozen treat is a genius combination of the state’s two most famed products: high-quality milk and high-quality maple syrup. This frozen treat is almost too much goodness to be swirled onto one cone. Vermonters, like myself, are fiercely proud of the maple creemee, as we should be. It’s an ode to Vermont’s heritage, the time-honored craft of maple sugaring, and farming.

A maple creemee is surprisingly very simple to make — it’s the ingredients that stand out. Makers use the richest cream from Vermont cows, mix in locally tapped liquid gold from the maple trees that cover the state’s hills, and finish with pinches of sugar, vanilla, and salt. This is poured into soft serve makers, and sweetness spirals out.

Related: This Rural Vermont Ice Cream Stand Is My Favorite Part of Summer

The creemee does indeed live up to its name — it is made with a lower milkfat content than typical soft serve and is kept at a warmer temperature as it’s meant to be soft and velvety. Toppings can be added, and many local creemee hotspots offer options, but to me, it’s not necessary. The pure, maple-sweetened soft serve is enough, just as it is.

Vermont lore has it that the creemee was created to wow fairgoers at the Rutland State Fair back in the early 1900s. Some think the name was influenced by Vermont’s northern neighbors, the Québécois, who call ice cream crème glace. All I know for sure is that the first time that I had this unassuming beige cone at the Tunbridge State Fair, my world was forever changed.

You can find a maple creemee at roadside stops, general stores, farmstands, and sugarhouses — every Vermonter has their own personal favorite. And each creemee is just a little bit different, depending on where the ingredients were sourced and the grade, quality, and quantity of the maple syrup.

Palmer Lane

<p>courtesy of Palmer Lane Maple</p>

courtesy of Palmer Lane Maple

Undoubtedly, one of Vermont’s most well-known creemees is from Palmer Lane in Jericho. Run by a mom, pop, and their two daughters, Palmer Lane is not only committed to making an array of premium maple products, they are focused specifically on the creemee, offering it year-round. You can try a maple creemee here on its own, with other flavors like chocolate or black raspberry, or my favorite way, topped with maple sprinkles.

Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks

<p>courtesy of Morse Farm</p>

courtesy of Morse Farm

The Morse Farm sugar shack is a highly rated creemee specifically because it is, for lack of a better term, very mapley. The intense maple flavor is a result of this farm’s own pure maple syrup, known in Vermont for decades.

Canteen Creemee Company

<p>courtesy of Canteen Creemee Company</p>

courtesy of Canteen Creemee Company

Canteen Creemee Company is making major ripples in the Vermont creemee scene due to their innovative approach, serving up maple creemees twisted with ginger or topped with maple cotton candy. This takeout hotspot in Waitsfield typically has lines for its famed creemees and other creative frozen treats.


<p>Jenna Rice</p>

Jenna Rice

One of my personal favorites is Scoops, a charming ice cream shop along Woodstock’s Central Street. They use maple syrup from the family-run Bourdon Maple Farm which produces organic syrup sourced from its bird-friendly and sustainably managed habitat. The syrup is beyond delicious. I have it sent across the country to me so I never run out in Los Angeles. Scoops’ creemees are best enjoyed on the eatery’s porch or next to the Ottaquechee River in this quaint village, which happens to be the town where I grew up.

Now as an adult, the creemee is more than a treat. It tastes of memories of home, of childhood, and of Vermont. Each lick takes me back to sunny days, cows on the pasture, falling leaves, wood-burning fireplaces, spring’s frosts, and fresh snowfall. Maybe because you can only try a true maple creemee in Vermont, the real secret ingredient to the velvety cone is the special place where it is enjoyed.

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