Continuing my quest to visit all the farms on the Maryland Ice Cream Trail, I traveled north of Baltimore. The trail is an initiative of the Maryland Department of Agriculture to promote local family owned and operated dairy farms. Last year I covered Northwest Maryland, and earlier this year I went to the locations on the Eastern Shore. There are four farms on the trail in the northeast, serving homemade ice cream with the high quality that I expect from places on the trail.
Prigel Family Creamery
Our first stop was Prigel Family Creamery, located in Glen Arm, Maryland. It is about 16 miles north east of Baltimore.
The Prigel family has been dairy farming for five generations,starting in 1895 when John Mathias Prigel starting working at what is now Bellevale Farm as a sharecropper. We visited Prigel last year, but because of a heavy thunderstorm that day the storefront had lost power and ended up eating in the dark and quickly leaving. This year we visited on a beautiful fall day, allowing us to linger and enjoy our experience there.
On the day of our visit the creamery had 20 flavors available. The list had standard flavors such as Vanilla, Chocolate, and Strawberry. Other flavors include Mint Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Peanut Butter (which I had the previous visit and loved), and Chocolate Cake. Seasonal options were Cinnamon, Pumpkin, and Apple Strudel.
I chose the S’mores and Apple Strudel flavrs, while my companion had Bobby’s Black Mud and Caramel Pretzel. S’mores has a chocolate ice cream base, with graham crackers and marshmallow mixed in. The chocolate was excellent, but I would have liked more marshmallows and crackers. The Apple Strudel had a vanilla ice cream base with apples and short bread mixed in. It tasted exactly like an apple strudel. I was pleased.
Bobby’s Black Mud has a chocolate espresso base with chocolate chips mixed in. It has an extremely strong coffee tasted. I am not a fan of coffee, but my companion is and she loved it. Caramel Pretzel has a caramel ice cream base with pretzels mixed in. The pretzels were a little soggy, which detracted from the taste. But I thought the caramel flavor was excellent.
Other offerings on the menu are floats, shakes, sundaes, and even waffles. The main sundae options are either a Brownie Sundae or a Banana Split. The shake menu is interesting. You can create your own or choose from one of their specialty shakes.
Noteworthy offerings are: Nutty Monkey, Pina Colada, and Minty Mocha Madness. One offering I found quite unique is their Cereal Shakes where the ice cream of your choice is mixed with a cereal. The options are Fruity Pebbles, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, or the special of the day.
In addition to ice cream, Prigel Family Creamery has a deli section that sells soups and sandwiches. Sandwiches include BLT, Pastrami, and Peanut Butter and Jelly. Highlights of the hot food menu are empanadas or sliders. There are also a variety of cheeses for sale.
Prigel farm has a large lawn with tables all over set, providing plenty of space for eating. The tables are not to far from the rest of the farm, and you can see the pigs grazing. It is a beautiful setting, providing a wonderful place to relax, eat fresh ice cream, and enjoy the view.
Broom’s Bloom Dairy
Our second stop was Broom’s Bloom Dairy in Bel Air, Maryland. Unfortunately, it was closed for a private event that day. So we did not get to taste any of their ice cream. But it looked like a fun place. Next year!
Our third stop was Keyes Creamery in Churchville, MD. The Keyes’ farm was started by Benjamin Keyes in the 1950s, when he and his family moved from Massachusetts to Hartford County. After he passed away, Benjamin’s son David and his wife Kelly took over the farm, which primarily produced milk. During the past decade, because of an mechanical error the were left with an oversupply. As a consequence, the Keyes worked with an Amish farmer in Pennsylvania to turn their milk into cheese, which is sold locally. Nowadays David’s daughter Megan runs the creamery, producing their own ice cream and selling their dairy products.
Keye’s had 22 flavors available that day, plus one sorbet. The top of the list contained classic flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, and Cookies + Cream. Some unique flavors included Buttery Salted Caramel and Chocolate Coconut Almond. Seasonal offerings were Pumpkin, Honey Apple Crisp, Peanut Butter, and Pumpkin Roll.
The ice cream comes in three sizes: single, double, and triple. However, even with the single you can get three flavors. And that is what we did. I chose Goose Feathers, Pumpkin Roll, and Buttery Salted Caramel. My companion chose Cappuccino Crunch, Black Raspberry, and Cow’s Feet.
Goose Feathers consists of a cake batter base with a chocolate swirl mixed in, while Cow’s Feet has a peanut butter base with chocolate chips mixed in. The Pumpkin Roll had a very strong pumpkin taste, a bit too strong for me. The Cow’s Feet has a nice peanut butter flavor; it is my favorite of this bunch. My companions favorite was the Black Raspberry.
Keyes Creamery has a small about of lawn chairs at the side of the building, perfect for eating in a relaxed setting. They also have a covered patio with picnic tables.
There is also a corn maze behind the main building and right next to the seating area. This looked like a lot of fun, although we did not have time to go into it.
In addition to cups and cones, Keyes also has sundaes and ice cream cakes for sale. There are 15 sundae varieties available. This includes standard ones such as Hot Fudge, Peanut Butter, and Reese’s . But they also have some unique offerings with names like: Unicorn , Carnival, Chocolate Lovers, and Muddy Duck. Unicorn starts with Cotton Candy flavored ice cream and adds rainbow sprinkles and a sugar cone, while Carnival is similar as it also has rainbow sprinkles but with strawberry ice cream and a cake cone. Muddy Duck has vanilla ice cream with chocolate sprinkles and chocolate and vanilla sauces.
Also available is a small selection of groceries. There are dairy products: a variety of cheeses and butter. There is also meat and prepared food. The meats are ground beef or hamburger patties, and the prepared foods are Pulled Pork, Sloppy Joe, and Beef Chili.
Our final stop was Kilby Cream, located in Rising Sun, MD. The founders, Bill and Phyllis Kilby are an institution in Cecil County, having farmed dairy cows for over 50 years.
However, in 2017 the Kilby family retired. They sold Kilby Cream to two couples: Cliff and Andrea Sensenig and Ben and Liz Flahart. Both families are from Pennsylvania and are experienced farmers. The Sensenigs are fourth generation dairy farmers, with over 100 years of experience. The Flaharts don’t have that pedigree but they grew up on farms, operate a crop farm and trucking company, and have long been friend’s with the Sensenigs. Together, they keep the tradition of family owned dairy farming alive.
Kilby has 25 flavors of ice cream. This includes standard flavors such as Vanilla, Chocolate, and Strawberry. They also have Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin, which I assume were seasonal offerings. Some flavors of note are Maryland Madness, Minty Moo, and Cowconut. Maryland Madness has a vanilla ice cream base, with mix ins representing the colors of the Maryland flag: lemon flavoring, raspberry swirl, chocolate chips, and white chocolate chips. Minty Moo is a mint ice cream with chocolate chips. And Cowconut is a vanilla ice cream with coconut flavorings.
I chose Black Cherry and Tractor Tracks. My companion ordered Cookie Monster and Holstein Cream.
Tractor Tracks is advertised as is vanilla ice cream with peanut butter and fudge swirls, along with peanut butter cups. But the scoop I got had a chocolate base. The chocolate ice cream is very good, but wished there was more of the mix ins. I also enjoyed the Black Cherry, which has a very strong cherry flavor.
The Cookie Monster is essentially a cookies and cream colored blue. Quite creative. It was also chuck full of cookies. The ice cream is also rich and creamy. Together, this made it our favorite of the bunch. The Holstein Cream is unflavored, showcasing the high quality of their ice cream
Other dairy products for sale at Kilby’s include Strawberry or Blueberry flavored milk. There is also an area for petting animals (pet at your own risk). Helpfully, the farm has a hand sanitizer station for cleaning up after petting. There is also a small playground that was getting a lot of use while we were there. It is great for small kids.
Prigel, Keyes, and Kirby all have top quality ice cream with unique flavors. And all have scenic views of the country side, providing wonderful environments to relax and eat. I recommend all three of them. The main choice in choosing between them is whether you want to do a corn maze, pet animals, or use a playground. Otherwise, you cannot go wrong with any of them.