Thursday, July 10, 2014

Vermont Journal II: Creemee

photograph by Hallie Cohen
The search for the perfect Creemee ends at the 1 College Street in Burlington, Ice Cream Bob’s. You drive through the campus of the University of Vermont and then descend right down to the shores of Lake Champlain where paddlers launch their canoes into the water. You’ve taken some detours. Al’s French Fry’s on Route 2 advertises a Creemee, but it doesn’t seem like the real thing. It’s has the maple coloring but not an authentic maple taste (Al’s makes up for it with its great fries, which can accompany cheese and corn dogs). But Bob’s is the real thing and the real thing doesn’t always require the maple coloring. It doesn’t need to oversell its product with faux color; it’s pure whiteness is belied by the olfactory sensations that are created. Looks can be deceiving when you’re talking creemees. Bob’s is the grail for those who are looking for the correct proportion of soft serve custard and maple syrup that make for the perfect creemee. Burlington Bay Market & Cafe on Battery Street has enough of a reputation with regard to creemees to engender controversy “Did Burlington Bay tell you they use real Vermont maple syrup?” an Ice Cream Bob’s employee is quoted as asking in “Dairy Diary: A Burlington Creemie Tour” (Thread  Magazine, 9/17/12) If you’re ever driving through main street on the Isle La Motte you will pass Island Delights which offers creemees that soar to the heights that an establishment like Bob’s achieves, but you have to be at the right place at the right time (which means not arriving before noon on a Sunday when the latter establishment is closed). Why all the big to do over a Creemee? Let’s just say that once you get a taste for it, the taste never goes away and continues to call, the Scylla and Charybdis for soft ice cream lovers cruising through Northern Vermont.

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