A Visit to Great Falls Creamery

20161214_164847046_iosIf you’re on a visit to Great Falls Park or the Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in Fairfax County, you must stop by Great Falls Creamery in the Great Falls Village Centre. It’s a convenient break after exploring the trails or watching the waterfalls. I stopped by after scouting the Billy Goat Trail in the park.

Enjoy any of 22 different flavors of ice cream! They can turn any flavor into an ice cream sandwich, shake, float, sundae or banana split if you need something more interesting than your standard scoop on a cone. Turn your ice cream into a work of art with the 11 available toppings. Don’t forget to get your loyalty card stamped! Buy 10 cones, get 1 free.

It’s a creamery so they carry a small selection of dairy, baked products, drinks and snacks.

One note about finding this place. It’s located on the back end of the shopping center and has a small sign in front. You’ll miss it if you blink at the wrong time while driving by. Also, they’re happy to take your credit card as long as it’s not American Express.

Great Falls Creamery / 766 Walker Rd, Great Falls, VA 22066 / (703) 272-7609 / Facebook / Twitter / Yelp Reviews

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Maryland Ice Cream Trail Information

dreamstime_s_29193986 - Ice Cream
© Sunguy | Dreamstime.com – Ice Cream Sign And Tent Top Isolated.

I updated my Maryland Ice Cream Trail page. I added a plan to cover all nine creameries in three weekend trips and a map for planning. Let me know if you have any questions.

What’s the Maryland Ice Cream Trail? Maryland has nine dairy farms that offer fresh ice cream. Together, they make up the Maryland Ice Cream Trail. Visit each creamery and get your trail passport stamped. The program runs during the Summer and ends in September.

We visited all eight of the creameries on the 2015 trail. We limited our visits to two locations for 2016, Kilby Cream (our favorite) and Woodbourne Creamery (new to the trail for 2016). We will re-visit all the creameries for 2017. Fun times on an ice cream road trip!

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Honey Wine, Mead and the Rise of the Meadery

dreamstime_s_41993320-3d-bee-with-corkscrewBreweries are great places to try beer. Wineries are great places to try wine. Now you can take a day trip to your nearest meadery to try honey wine or mead.

Mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey. Like wine, mead can be dry, semi-sweet or sweet. A growing number of entrepreneurs are launching businesses dedicated to making this medieval brew. The result is an explosion of variations on the humble honey wine.

I’m on a hunt to find any meaderies in Maryland or Northern Virginia. I’ll also try interesting meads made with fruits, spices or hops frm around the country. Linganore Wines in Mt. Airy, Maryland (Carroll and Frederick counties) makes a Medieval Mead. B. Nektar Meadery makes a mead called Dwarf Invasion. It falls in the interesting category because it’s made with cherry and hops.

Trying to learn more I found a group of Facebook about mead but it’s not active. I also did some reading. There are more types of honey available than grape varieties. This creates a world of possibilities for anyone’s honey drinking pleasure. Will they call it the “craft mead” market? Time for a road trip and some mead tasting!

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Found Some Paw Paw

paw-paw-photoI’ve written about paw paw in two posts, Presenting The PawPaw and The Search for a Paw Paw. I was looking to taste a paw paw this season. I nearly missed it!

I called a couple farms that sell paw paw. Both told me the season was done for this year. Paw paw season starts around the last week of August and can go until the middle of October. This year, unfortunately, there was a cold spell that ended the season early. In short, no more fresh paw paw this year.

This presents a question and a problem.

The question – You can get apples, bananas and other fruit nearly all year around thanks to global trade. Why can’t I find paw paw out of season? Well, here’s a Youtube video with the answer. I simple terms, I’m told the paw paw tastes great, but it doesn’t travel well. It’s a very fragile fruit.

The problem – How can I taste a paw paw this season? Thank you global trade! It’s too late for fresh paw paw but I can get it frozen. Integration Acres Ltd. sells seedless frozen paw paw pulp and other paw paw products. The frozen paw paw is only available while supplies last. I order a bag of frozen paw paw and two flavored paw paw pops (1 cherry & 1 strawberry). I got an email the order was shipped today. I’m looking forward to this.

I saw a post that’s great timing for my little project. Smithsonian Magazine did a post called, “Tired of Apples? Pick These Exotic Fall Fruits Instead“. It lists the paw paw along with six other exotic fall fruit. More stuff to try. What a wonderful world!

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The Search for a Paw Paw

dreamstime_xs_59258417 - Common Pawpaw FruitI did a post on the Paw Paw back in February. Well, this is the season for the largest edible fruit indigenous to the United States. Tasting a paw paw is on my bucket list and I only have 3 weeks to go for the 2016 season!

Paw Paw trees are find in many Maryland State Parks. I’m told there are trees on the Billy Goat Trail along Maryland side of the Potomac River. That trail is also on my bucket list. That’s two for the price of one! I’m hoping to find a fruit stand on my way to the trail.

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Presenting The PawPaw

dreamstime_xs_59258417 - Common Pawpaw FruitThe pawpaw (also paw paw or paw-paw) is the largest edible fruit indigenous to the United States. The tree can be found in some Maryland State Parks. My interest in the fruit started back in September. Both the Elk Neck State Park and the Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary sent Tweets with photos as the fruit was ripening on trees at their locations. Comments like “delicious” and “a cross between a mango and a banana” were shared in the tweets. I made a mental note to look into this.

Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Program has a web page with information on the pawpaw related to the state. The fruit can be found throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  Fruit develop on the trees in September and October.

I will try the fresh fruit when they come into season for 2016. To get a taste sooner, I’ll have to try a preserved version. I ordered pawpaw jam from a specialty foods company. I’m looking forward to tasting something that’s “a cross between a mango and a banana”. Let me know if there are any paw paw fruit stands around Maryland.

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