I am generally loath to leave Durham when there is no pressing obligation to go elsewhere, and Maple View Country Store (beware the mooing web site) (6900 Rocky Ridge Road) is technically in Hillsborough, but I decided that it was worth the trip not once, but twice, in the past week. Reasons why: (1) it’s a beautiful drive; (2) one should eat as much ice cream as possible while there is still warm weather to be had; and (3) front porches + rocking chairs = awesome.
Getting there was a challenge, but that is half the fun since it is a pretty drive (and my friend has a convertible). The directions on the website are pretty vague, and include directions such as “just before the [road which is not marked with a sign where you are supposed to turn] turns to gravel…” which can be a bit mysterious for the uninitiated. This all just adds to the bucolic charm of visiting a place where you eat ice cream while looking out upon the pasture where the cows who produced the milk graze.
On my two recent trips to Maple View, I took full advantage of the samples and tasted honey toasted almond, black walnut, chocolate gelato, chocolate raspberry, butter pecan, and Carolina crunch. All of them were fresh, delicious, and had just the right balance of creamy and sweet. The honey toasted almond tasted like nothing more than Cheerios milk, and my favorite was the chocolate gelato, which was very rich tasting without being heavy. They also offer a variety of sundae toppings including wet walnuts and a fantastically silky dark chocolate fudge sauce. Recommended combo: chocolate gelato with the extra super rich dark fudge sauce, whipped cream, pecans, and a cherry, all for $3.50.
Obviously, the main reason to go to Maple View Farm is the ice cream, and that is all I got, but you can also buy ice cream, milk, butter, eggs, and, randomly, boxes of beef. Next time, I am totally getting a box of beef.