With 22 flavors spread before him, Maryland Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance had a hard time deciding which Kilby Cream ice cream to try.
Hance, accompanied by Deputy Secretary Mary Ellen Setting, made a stop at the Rising Sun-area creamery Tuesday afternoon to help promote its participation in the state's first Ice Cream Trail. The visit to the Strohmaier Lane store was his last of seven. He's sampled a lot of ice cream.
“I haven't had a bad one yet,” he said, adding, “There are no bad ones.”
As he studied the glass case, Hance said he searches for unique flavors that can only be found in smaller operations such as Kilby Cream.
“I stay away from the (store) flavors … try to get something special,” he said.
Amanda Huff, one of the “super scoopers” on hand, offered Hance a taste of several flavors. From that, the secretary chose a serving of Piggy Chips, which contains vanilla ice cream, made from the cows at the Kilby farm, and blended with homemade toffee chips, peanut butter and chocolate chips.
“This morning, I had Monkey Butter,” he said. The vanilla ice cream swirled with caramel, peanut butter and banana chunks creation was the specialty at a creamery in Berlin.
“The best part of the trail is that ever farm is different,” Hance said.
Kilby Cream also sells ice cream in pints and quarts, ice cream cakes and other frozen treats as well as its own glass-bottled milk. Behind the shop are a playground and a corn maze for entertainment.
At another farm on the state’s trail, Hance said folks could watch the cows being milked as they eat their ice cream.
Traveling ice cream fans are encouraged to participate in the trail and visit all seven stops. Collecting stamps on a provided passport at each location could result in winning $50 in ice cream and several other prizes including a cookbook and a DVD.
Hance said people have until Sept. 7 to make the circuit to all seven stops on the Ice Cream Trail.
“The ice cream trail has helped,” said Phyllis Kilby, chief financial officer of the family-run business.
Kilby said there has been 100 flavors developed at the creamery so far, including sugar-free selections and two flavors made with wine. Ravens Berry has become a seasonal favorite, she said.
“It's black raspberry ice cream with blueberries and dark chocolate swirl,” she said.
She has noticed that children prefer Cookie Monster, adults butter pecan and “active older adults love Tractor Tracks.”
Kilby's personal favorite is Meg's Marathon Munch, developed by her daughter Meg, a marathon runner.
“Meg wanted an ice cream with … good nutritional value for runners,” she said. “I like anything with cranberries in it.”
Not every flavor is a hit, however, she admitted.
“Sweet potato. It was a nice idea, but it didn't work,” she said.