Now that summer has officially made itself known on the Eastern Shore (hello humidity) it is time to enjoy some of our favorite hot weather treats…ice cream anyone? But where do we go in search of a multitude of icy flavors? The Scottish Highland Creamery in Oxford is just the place if you are on the northern end of Delmarva. With over 600 varieties of frozen sweets, they are our go-to place for summer 2014.
Voted Best of the Eastern Shore: Best Ice Cream from 2008 to 2012, it’s safe to say this creamery knows a thing or two about dishing out excellent ice cream. Victor Barlow, who co-owns the store with his wife Susan Marmo, is a Scottish lad who grew up in Edinburgh. He started working at an ice cream shop when he was 15 and once he got a taste of the ice cream business, he never stopped. After learning the secret recipes from the previous shop owner, Barlow and Marmo transplanted the brand to Oxford, providing Delmarva with a blast of that cold sweetness.
Now about those 600 flavors… no they are not all sold in the store at once but rather rotate in and out. On any given day you can see 40-50 different kinds of ice cream move in and out of the creamery, all hand made by Barlow and Marmo. There’s the usual suspects of course, including the owners’ favorite, vanilla, “people who like vanilla on average have a 20 point higher IQ than other people,” Marmo told us, and “vanilla was the favorite flavor of all of these smart, famous people like Albert Einstein and Ben Franklin.”
But aside from the intellectual qualities vanilla seems to evoke, we’d like to investigate some of the other creative flavors, Maple Bacon ice cream anyone? Or how about a serving of Chai tea ice cream? In truth, Marmo told us, “there’s nothing (Barlow) hasn’t made,” in regards to ice cream flavors. Barlow also creates intermediate ice cream, which is used by chefs in between meals to cleanse the palate. A few examples include Cucumber de Minth and Salmon Dill.
Other unique flavors that Barlow has cranked out over his 32 years in the business include sweet corn, coconut curry and varieties of alcohol based treats. “We usually don’t sell those in store because we don’t like to tell kids no,” Marmo said. So if you want to sample, or overindulge in, adult ice cream, just have the Scottish Highland Creamery cater your event (and please invite ShoreBread!).
Another interesting thing about the Scottish Highland Creamery has nothing to do with the ice cream at all. Marmo, a Salisbury Alumni, is also a romance novelist. You can enjoy a delicious bowl of ice cream and a good book all produced by the same couple.
If you get your books through Amazon, then you have probably heard of Marmo. She currently has two romance novels published, For the Rest of my Life, a contemporary Romance novel that takes place in, of course, Scotland, and Just Sophie, a Western Romance story. Just Sophie is the book that put Marmo on the map, climbing to Amazon’s number one Western novel, number three on the historical novel list (which is quite an accomplishment, Marmo told us) number one on Australia’s Western list and number 12 in the UK.
How did Marmo become a writer? Well it was actually a bit of a fluke. While working at a hectic and high stress job, Marmo began experiencing symptoms of intense restless leg syndrome. As a way to calm her mind and her legs at night, she would think up stories and add on to them each night until she fell asleep. After a while, Marmo thought to herself “these stories are really good, I’d want to read them,” and so she started writing.
While you are taking a day trip on a steamy, summer day or if you’ve just hopped off the Oxford-Bellevue Ferry, stop by the Scottish Highland Creamery for a frozen dessert…with a good story.