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This strawberry is a hidden gem on the North Fork. (Photo by Victoria Caruso)

As I continue my journey to taste all the North Fork has to offer, I find myself taking suggestions from my friend and fellow reporter, Victoria Caruso. 

Often, we are in the same boat when it comes to striking a balance between savory and sweet — we both need a decadent treat at the end of a long work day, even if we just ate a full lunch or dinner. Her suggestions never cease to leave me feeling fully satisfied. 

During her own exploration of the North Fork last summer, Victoria came across the often-overlooked ice cream at Polak Farms in Riverhead and was instantly obsessed. Back in January, when I first started working at northforker, she mentioned the ice cream to me and I knew I had to try it.

Months before the farm stand opened, the two of us stalked the farm — insistently checking their social media and even going out of our way after an assignment, driving by to see if their small freezer was outside. 

The family-run Polak Farms has a small, cash-box-operated farm stand located on West Lane. Aside from their ice cream, they sell seasonal home-grown fresh fruits and vegetables as well as homemade zucchini bread, jams, and honey. 

One Friday afternoon, after months of waiting, Victoria informed me that strawberry ice cream was for sale. I was excited — summertime for me is defined by strawberries and I’ll jump on any chance to enjoy the delectable red berries even after their short season on the North Fork.

Victoria picked up two brown tubs of the creamy dessert and I met her at her house to try. Upon opening the cartons, I was thrilled to find that the ice cream was a shade of soft pink and had tiny flecks of berry throughout. As I took my first bite, I was shocked at how refreshing the strawberries were. 

The ice cream was not too sweet and the strawberry was just subtle enough to not overwhelm the creaminess of the dessert. The ice cream itself was almost the same consistency as frozen yogurt. While we paired the treat with a pint of strawberries Victoria also picked up from the farm stand, I would imagine it pairing perfectly with any of the fresh fruit cream pies from Briermere Farms just down the road. 

With the early summer sun shining down on us, Victoria and I sat on her blue porch chairs and enjoyed the pint-sized desserts. The pleasant combination of summer heat and creamy ice cream was just what we both needed to round out our week.

Polak Farms sells a rotating list of ice cream flavors depending on what is in season. From blueberry to honey vanilla and even pumpkin spice in the fall, I’m excited to try them all. To see what they have for sale this August, check their social media @polak_farms or drive by the farm stand for yourself at 565 West Lane, Riverhead.