Terms like “farm fresh” and “locally sourced” are usually reserved for North Fork restaurants and food festivals. But they also extend to North Fork ice cream as well, as more farms and stores create their own homemade confections. Where else could you eat sweet corn ice cream, order two scoops of “Peconic Swamp Thing” or try a flavor called America?
HARBES FAMILY FARM
“Corn is one of the biggest crops here on the farm,” explained Ed Harbes, manager of Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck. “With 50 acres of corn, we sell fresh corn, ready to eat corn and we do roasted corn, so we thought during the summer our customers would enjoy a corn custard. Custard is a type of ice cream that has more egg content, so it’s richer and creamier. To that we add our own sweet, roasted corn, puree it down and incorporate it into the custard base. People are really enjoying that flavor of ice cream and we’ll serve it as long as the corn season lasts, which is usually to the end of October.”
Harbes Family Farm is located at 715 Sound Avenue in Mattituck. They’re open everyday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 631-298-8000.
THE ICE CREAM PATCH
The Ice Cream Patch’s Honey Nut & Sugar Snap Pea Ice Cream
(Credit: Monique Singh-Roy)If it’s growing in the fields, it’s on the menu at The Ice Cream Patch in Mattituck. They’ve taken the “field to cone” concept one step further with their creative line of homemade flavors, which are only available as long as the produce is on the vine. Created by Jennifer DiVello and partner John Pastore, they take produce cultivated at Jennifer’s mother’s farm, Patty’s Berries and Bunches, and weave them into flavors like Lemon Basil, Honey & Nut, Sugar Snap Peas and Lavendar Vanilla.
“I wanted to serve something cool, but at the same time teach consumers about the growing patterns on Long Island,” explained Jennifer DiVello. “People know very little about what grows out here and when. Sugar Snap Peas opens the season in June, then there’s Strawberry Fields Shortcake and so on. We try not to get boring; I’m big on unusual flavors.”
Cucumber-flavored offerings will be on their way soon, and pumpkin, apple pie and maple walnut — made with New York State-grown maple syrup — will be available later this season.
At Magic Fountain homemade ice cream shop in Mattituck, they’re serving up America on a cone. Their America is vanilla ice cream with bits of Twinkies mixed in, along with red, white and blue sprinkles. Created by Manager Jennifer Hunt, America — the flavor, not the country — is so popular it’s making its second summer appearance.
“Originally we dyed the ice cream red, white and blue, but that was kind of hard, took too much time and people didn’t like the food coloring for their kids,” Hunt explained. “It was always vanilla, the only difference is now it’s plain vanilla with twinkies and the red, white and blue sprinkles, so this sells better.”
Magic Fountain Homemade Ice Cream is located at 9825 Main Road in Mattituck. They’re open 9 a.m. till 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays they stay open till 11:30 p.m. 631-298-4908.
NORTH FORK CHOCOLATE COMPANY
At North Fork Chocolate Company in Aquebogue, co-owners Ann Corley and chef Steve Amaral are rolling out the red carpet for their new ice cream tastings.
“We’re an ice cream tasting room, not an ice cream parlor or a place to go for ice cream sundaes,” explained Corley. “At our tasting room you can do a tasting flight of two, three or four flavors. You can also do scoops and we’ll soon be making our own waffle cones.”
North Fork Chocolate Company partnered with Goodale Farms for this venture. Using Goodale’s milk and eggs, the ice cream is made on their premises, where it’s pasteurized and sanitized. All the flavors are made with local ingrediants like strawberries from Sujecki Farms for their Strawberry Buttermilk ice cream; Aldo’s espresso goes into their Mocha Chocolate; and sea salt from the North Fork Sea Salt Company is used in their Sea Salt Almond Chocolate.
The North Fork Chocolate Company is located at 750 Main Road in Aquebogue. They’re open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday & Saturday. 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sundays & Mondays.
For pure creativity, it’s hard to beat Snowflake Ice Cream Shoppe in Riverhead. Using natural ingredients from local institutions like Briermere Farms, owner Stuart Feldschuh creates original flavors from scratch. They even take customer’s suggestions such as the recent Matzah Mash made with chocolate covered matzah pieces with caramel in vanilla ice cream. Snowflake’s Cannoli ice cream is legendary and was even featured on the Food Network.
“I make the cannoli ice cream every summer — we had it a few weeks ago, but it’s a ton of work,” Feldschuh explained. “We start with the ricotta, which takes tons of stirring and straining because we don’t have real heavy duty equipment here. Our best selling flavor right now is probably Peconic Swamp Thing, which is chocolate ice cream with fudge brownie and a raspberry weave through it.”
Another popular flavor, Banana Split, was handed down from Snowflake’s previous owner. “Everything starts out as a vanilla or chocolate base,” explained Feldschuh. “We puree real bananas and it’s just really different. Everybody used to do that in the 1940s and 1950s — now you just buy a flavor that’s nothing like the real thing. That’s what I try to do. I try to keep it as real as I can.”
Snowflake Ice Cream Shoppe is located at 1148 West Main St. in Riverhead. They’re open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day.