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New England dining >>> Spruce Pond Creamery, Franklin, Mass.

Spruce Pond Creamery in Franklin, Mass., Makes Heavenly Ice Cream

by Alicia

If you really love wrapping your tongue around great ice cream, you shouldn't miss any opportunity to visit Spruce Pond Creamery in Franklin, Mass. Trust me: this is the stuff you've only dreamed about, if you haven't tried it yet.

My personal favorite is Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: enormous chunks of rich cookie dough and the biggest chocolate chips I've ever seen. This isn't vanilla ice cream with a few spoonfuls of dough thrown in for looks. This is to-die-for ice cream the way you'd make it yourself, if you were poised over the ingredients on the hungriest day of your life.

What makes Spruce Pond ice cream so unbelievably delicious? Head ice cream maker Marc Bluestein says the secret to success is to handcraft the very best ingredients in small, five-gallon batches, and "don't skimp". A dairy makes the cream to his specifications. Only all-natural ingredients and flavors are used. In what he calls old world style, they make their own chocolate bases, chop their own chocolate and other candy, and hand mix everything. Hand mixing ensures that every cone or dishful of ice cream contains a generous amount of its own particular flavorings. It also allows them to maintain a "low overrun", i.e, a low proportion of air in the mix. For you and me this means a richer, denser ice cream than can generally be found elsewhere. Anyone who's sampled a lot of ice cream around the region, or even around the world, will not fail to be gloriously impressed.

I'll mention just a few tempting flavors here. There are many more. Some are always available, others are available on a rotating basis with similar flavors, and new ones frequently appear on a trial basis.

Black Strawberry: black raspberries, strawberries, and flecks of chocolate.
Raspberry Chocolate Truffle: need I say more?
Honey Graham: caramel base with graham crackers. (And the milk's already "in there"!)
Baci: Frangelico and hazelnuts, with white/milk/dark chocolate chunks.
Vanilla: ever popular, this delight gets its taste from real Tahitian vanilla beans.
Black Forest: double dark chocolate base, walnuts, burgundy cherries, and cherry Kirwasser liqueur.
Peanut Butter Cookie Explosion: this is a new flavor, not always available, but popular when it is.
Sorbets of various flavors, made with generous amounts of real juice.

Spruce Pond ice cream seems to be one of the best-kept secrets in Massachusetts. However, Rhode Islanders honored it three times in their "Best of Rhode Island" awards. It's the ice cream of choice at Capriccio's (a fine-dining restaurant in Providence), the Brown Faculty Club, and Maximillian's, which is Spruce Pond's "sister" restaurant in Providence. There, I understand, the ice cream is simply called "Maxie's".

But Massachusetts is gaining a better appreciation for the high quality treat in its own backyard. Recently, the new PGA golf course in Norton chose Spruce Pond to supply the ice cream for their clientele. Because Spruce Pond not only makes an outrageously delicious ice cream, but can create any flavor for any occasion, including unusual variants as lavender or green tea, I can only wonder where their fabulous homemade creations will pop up next - and look forward to being wherever that is.

Spruce Pond Creamery is located on King Street, Franklin, just a minute or two north of King Street Exit 16, route 495. Look for the friendly, light-colored building with the wraparound deck overlooking the pond. It's a great location to enjoy a wonderful home made meal, or ice cream, or both. Note: all the cooks are certified chefs, and all the food is made with the same attention to quality ingredients and customer satisfactions as the ice cream.

Spruce Pond Creamery
King Street
Franklin, Mass.
Tel. (508) 520-7900


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