Mount Desert Island Ice Cream

[Photos: Alexandra Penfold]

What's the farthest you've ever gone for your favorite ice cream? How about 160 miles by bicycle, including a short death-defying stretch on Route 128? On a recent trip to Mount. Desert Island Ice Cream in Portland, Maine, the group in front of me had made that trip from Boston not once, but twice. (Now those are some serious eaters!)

Founded in 2005, Mount Desert Island Ice Cream has expanded to three retail shops; two on Mount Desert Island proper in Bar Harbor, as well as a satellite branch in Portland's Old Port shopping district. Recently named one of Food & Wine Magazine's best ice cream shops in the US, Mt. Desert Island Ice Cream serves up traditional as well as exotic ice creams and sorbets--think Thai Chili, Mexican Chocolate and Banana Curry alongside Fleur de Sel Fudge and Coconut.

The frozen desserts are prepared in small batches, no more than five gallons at a time, using top-notch ingredients from Madagascar vanilla beans to Callebaut chocolate; they produce rich, creamy ice cream and light and intensely refreshing sorbets. Owner Linda Parker's cheekily named The Dude (White Russian ice cream), Scorned Woman (mango passionfruit sorbet with chili oil), and Girl Scouts Gone Wild (chocolate ice cream with crushed Thin Mint cookies) add to the fun of ordering. With an ever-evolving rotating menu of seasonally inspired flavors, any given visit is bound to yield a new "What to get?" dilemma. Fortunately, in addition to the cup and cone, they offer a four scoop "flight" for the indecisive.

Check out the slideshow for a peek at their "Fearless Flavors."

Mount Desert Island Ice Cream

7 Firefly Lane, Bar Harbor ME 04609 (map) 207-801-4007

325 Main Street, Bar Harbor ME 04609 (map) 207-801-4006

51 Exchange Street, Portland ME 04101 (map) 207-210-3432