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Category Archives: Indiana

Excellent Indiana Ice Cream

Okay, so I didn’t get to go to Europe with Beth for research this time around, but after she got back we did take a trip to northern Indiana (partly for some other book research for me) and on the way home we made a stop at Fair Oaks Farm for their famous ice cream and cheeses. It’s right along I-65, maybe an hour from Chicago. Coming from Chicago, you can’t miss the billboards! “Our Whine Cooler” (with a picture of ice cream) and “We Dairy You to Stop” among others.

The cheesiness of their billboards aside, I can unequivocally say that their reputation is well deserved. The mint chocolate chip ice cream may have been the creamiest I have EVER tasted, and that’s saying quite a lot. The chocolate was also very, very good. Bethany got the butter pecan and the peach and those were exceptional as well.

Then there’s the cheese. We bought some to take home and the Butterkase in particular is divine. We also had grilled cheese sandwiches while there–I had the Havarti with pepper and Beth had the cheddar. Both were lovely and exactly what we wanted for a light-enough lunch to leave room for ice cream.

If you have kids along, there’s even Mooville, their outdoor playground… and even without kids, I confess we couldn’t resist jumping on the enormous “Dairy Air jumping pillow.” So if you find yourself a bit peckish while driving I-65 between Lafayette, IN and Chicago, this place is well worth a stop.

fairoaks

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2009 in food, ice cream, Indiana

 

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A Midwestern Treasure!

I’d been hearing good things about FARMbloomington, a locally-owned restaurant in downtown Bloomington that boasts a diverse menu of organic and locally grown foods. But not until last week did I finally have the chance to check it out for myself.  Five of us stopped by after a show (Beth’s show, which was fabulous–but that’s a different topic) for drinks and dessert.  Beth had been there once before and said the ice cream was wonderful. (Yes, she should have blogged about it then!)  With five of us, of course we ordered five different desserts and everyone tasted everything.

Oh. My. Goodness.

I’ll start by saying that ice cream does not have to be gelato to be outstanding! Okay, we already knew that from Berthillon’s in Paris, but FARMbloomington’s chocolate ice cream is every bit as good and a whole lot more accessible from the midwest!  For vanilla lovers, the vanilla was just as exceptional. Smooth, creamy, very, very flavorful.

Moving beyond ice cream, the apple pie (okay, with ice cream) was fresh, warm and excellent. The carrot cake was one of the best I’ve tasted. The coffee ice with vanilla ice cream was something different, but also very good. And the red velvet cake was as velvety as the name suggests and very chocolatey.

This place isn’t cheap, mind you–desserts ranged from $6 – $9 and the drinks from $5 – $9– but taken in the light of an experience instead of just “drinks and dessert,” well worth the price and the drive.  Highly recommended!

 
 

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Gelato in Indiana!

Yes, it’s true!  We heard about it a little while ago, but scarcely dared to believe it.  Finally, this weekend, we drove up to Clay Terrace in Carmel to check out Gelato Da Vinci ourselves.  And it’s twoo, it’s twoo!  Perhaps not up to Florentine standards, but perfectly passable gelato, right here in Indiana. How exciting is that?

We had to try the chocolate, of course, as that’s our standard. Not the best we’ve had, of course, but not the worst, either (and this is compared to gelato around Italy, so “not the worst” is actually pretty high praise). We also tried the rose (not as intense as Fenoccio’s, but not bad at all), the “love affair” (Tia Maria and coconut) and the “Italian kiss” (bacio, which is basically nutella). But the standout was the creme brulee. Excellent! Definitely a flavor to go back for.

Afterward, we tried a scoop of the blueberry sorbet, mostly out of curiousity, and it was okay, but if I hadn’t seen the sign, I might have guessed it was raspberry.

Clearly we’ll need to go back for further research–though if anyone knows of any other gelaterias in Indiana, please share!

–Brenda 🙂

 
 

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