Scottish Highland Creamery
Freshly Made Ice Cream
Located at 314 Tilghman Street Oxford, MD Next to Schooner's Landing Restaurant
Call (410) 924-6298
By VICKI FISHER
The (Easton) Star Democrat
OXFORD, Md. (AP) - Avocado, salmon and dill, and tomato and basil are not flavors you would expect to find at an ice cream shop, but Victor Barlow is not your typical ice cream maker.
Barlow's extensive collection of ice cream recipes puts Baskin and Robbins to shame. Thirty-one flavors? Try 500.
A native of Edinburgh, Scotland, Barlow says he has more than 500 recipes for ice cream in his cache, but his wife, Susan, thinks it's more like 600. The reason he tries so many flavors, he says, is because it gets people talking.
"I'll try anything," says Barlow as he mans The Scottish Highland Creamery cart at the Oxford Farmers market July 12. The weather is muggy, to say the least, but Barlow sweats it out while wearing traditional Scottish attire, kilt and all.
Barlow grew up in Edinburgh and lived above an Italian ice cream parlor that dated back to 1907. He began working there at age 15 and later became the shop's manager, the only person outside of the family bloodline to learn the secret family ice cream recipes.
After meeting Susan while she was on vacation in Scotland, the two moved to the U.S., married and opened an ice cream and fudge shop in Georgia. They later moved to Easton and opened The Scottish Highland Creamery in Oxford this April.
The ice cream and fudge shop is located behind Schooner's Landing along Tilghman Street near the boat ramp and Barlow sells ice cream at the Oxford Farmers Market on Wednesdays. He also scoops ice cream at private parties and corporate events around the Mid-Shore and even as far as Frederick.
The ice cream has led to long lines outside Schooner's Landing with customers even coming in by the boatload from the dock there. Barlow also has been doing a lot of business at private and corporate events serving ice cream in a kilt, of course.
The flavors at the Highland Creamery change on a daily basis. On Wednesday there was tiramisu, Mexican vanilla, Belgian chocolate, strawberry, cookies and cream, lemon sorbet and tomato and basil, which Barlow says is popular at dinner parties as a palate cleanser between meals.
"At the end of the night, I open up a beer and decide what to make the next day," Barlow says. Sometimes he gets up as early as 6 a.m. to start making fresh ice cream from his small machine at the shop in Oxford. Barlow uses local ingredients, fresh milk, cream and butter and flavorings imported from Italy. The Belgian chocolate comes from Belgium.
"It's an Italian recipe with Scottish flair," he says.
What sets it apart from other ice creams, Barlow says, is that it's not mass-manufactured and includes hand-prepared ingredients. The end result is an ice cream that is much like Italian gelato, which is how it is presented in rectangular metal bins.
There are at least 14 flavors made everyday, he says, and the most popular are Mexican vanilla, Belgian chocolate, cookies and cream and strawberry. In Scotland, however, the most popular flavor is whiskey, he says. He's also made Guinness- and Baileys-flavored ice cream.
The one flavor that was the biggest failure? Tuna. "That didn't go too well," he says.
Some other flavors he's tried include Gatorade, lavender, Pooh Bear crunch, corn, bubble gum, birthday cake, Moon Pie and Old Bay sorbet.
Many customers request flavors, Barlow says, and he usually knows each of them by name, face or favorite flavor after their first visit. Nearly all of them know him on a first-name basis, too.
"His calling is this," says Susan, who can be found at the shop near the boat dock. "I'm so proud of everything he does." When Barlow decided to take a break from making ice cream a few years ago, Susan says she'd never seen someone look like the life had died from their eyes like his.
"It's just what he's meant to do," she says.
Information from: The (Easton, Md.) Star Democrat
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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