It’s hot. It’s sticky. You don’t want to turn on the oven, and quite frankly, you don’t want to eat or drink anything that isn’t cold — or, preferably, freezing. While we all know ice cream is the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) of frozen food items, there’s more to icy goodies than a cone or a cup. Try sinking your teeth into or having a sip of one of these Maine-made frozen treats, be it something for the whole family, or something meant more for grownups.
Wicked Maine Pops
Abby Freethy, the woman behind Greenville-based food and home goods brand Northwoods Gourmet Girl, several years ago launched her latest venture: Wicked Maine Pops, gourmet popsicles crafted from an array of local ingredients. It’s far from the typical grocery store popsicle, with flavors like Raspberry Jam, Strawberry Creamsicle, Banana Bourbon Caramel and a fudge pop made with serious, decadent chocolate. You can buy pops every Saturday at the United Maine Farmers Market in Belfast, or at places including Tiller & Rye in Brewer and the Belfast Co-op.
Once a delicacy found mostly in Hawaii and on the west coast, shave ice — like a sno-cone, but better — has made its way to Maine in recent years. In Portland, Zephyr Ice is a food truck offering shave ice that’s topped with a vast array of things like fresh fruit, cream, maple syrup, coconut and even sometimes alcohol; check Zephyr Ice’s Instagram page to see where it’s set up. And in Belfast, Belfast Shaved Ice & Provisions sells shave ice and other goodies out of its cute little snack stand in Belfast City Park, open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Ice cream sandwiches and pops
Ice cream is, of course, the reigning champion of frozen treats — but an ice cream sandwich or ice cream pop takes it to the next level. There are a few Maine ice cream joints that really make an art form of the ice cream sandwich, like Pugnuts in Surry, which makes Love Bars from its vast array of gelato and ice cream that are as pretty as they are delicious. Elsewhere, John’s Ice Cream in Liberty sandwiches its ice cream between crispy homemade wafer cookies. And of course, there’s always the iconic Harbor Bar, an ice cream pop stuffed with cookies and dipped in chocolate that was discontinued in the 1990s, but is now being made by Shaker Pond Ice Cream in Alfred.
Frose, and other boozy slushies
What started as a trendy way to turn rose wine into a frozen treat is now something restaurants and bars all over the place have grabbed onto, turning wine, cocktails and hard seltzer into slushies. Here in Maine, there are several places that offer slushy adult beverages, like Blaze Restaurant in Bangor, which does fruity wine slushies regularly, and you can always try a frozen marg or other frozen cocktails at Miguel’s, also in Bangor.
… or try something else entirely
Morton’s Moo on School Street in Ellsworth doesn’t mess around when it comes to its menu of frozen items. There’s ice cream, of course, but Morton’s also does a frozen horchata, based on the Mexican sweet drink made with rice milk and cinnamon, and classic malted milkshakes as well. And don’t forget an affogato — a scoop of ice cream covered in espresso.