I'm not a winter person, so there are many reasons why I look forward to spring. But one thing I look forward to every April is the opening of the Bellvale Creamery.
There is no better ice cream out there than Bellvale. The ice cream comes straight from their own dairy farm, so it's as fresh as you will ever get. The menu on the site is a little dated. Flavors come and go, and some of them are seasonal. However, the best flavors stick around. My favorites are the Great White Way (white chocolate ice cream with raspberry swirl and dark chocolate chunks) and Bellvale Bog (dark chocolate ice cream with fudge swirl and brownie bits). They introduced two new flavors this season. One is Warwick Whirlwind, which is a caramel ice cream with peanut-butter-filled, chocolate-covered pretzels. The other is Black Dirt Blitz. It's a very intense chocolate ice cream with chocolate cookie crumbs and toffee bits. The Black Dirt reference comes from the nearby town of Pine Island, famous for its volcanic black dirt and abundant onion crop.
Walk into the Creamery and the first thing that hits you is the smell of their homemade waffle cones. Lines can get long, but there is plenty of friendly counter help who scoop your ice cream generously. They have all of the traditional accompaniments like sundaes, cones, and milkshakes (you would not believe how many scoops they put in their milkshakes). Then you walk outside to eat. Below you is the Warwick Valley in all of its splendor. The view is spectacular. You can see towns and farmland for miles. Look straight below you and you can even see the dairy farm.
In the late summer and fall they have a small farm stand as the farm is more than just a dairy farm. I don't think I need to say the quality of the produce is excellent.
As the days grow shorter and colder, the Creamery closes for business. It's always a sad occasion. I try to stock up on few quarts for eating at home. The ice cream is still delicious of course, but the experience is not quite the same.
If you're ever traveling through Orange County, NY (NY Renaissance Faire anyone? How about a trip to Mountain Creek Water park in nearby Vernon, NJ?) make a stop here. You will be so happy you did.