When traveling through Vermont and along its borders, travelers may have noticed signs for a peculiar thing called a 'creemee.' At first, it looks like a spelling error - did someone mean to spell 'creamy' or 'creamee'? In reality, every sign is intentional; the creemee is somewhat of a novelty and a specialty around these parts of New England.

In no different a way than one would find sugar on snow throughout the sugaring trees of New England and Canada, the creemee is so ingrained in Vermont's culture and lifestyle that they don't say 'we're going out for ice cream' or 'we're getting some soft-serve.' The proper term is 'we're going for some creemees' and, to those who aren't familiar with the term, it might seem a bit strange.


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Those who haven't had the tremendous delight of trying this soft-serve ice cream have no idea what they're missing. And those who have might find themselves craving it on many a hot summer afternoon, unable to find a creemee anywhere outside of New England or even Vermont. While the term is simply just a way of saying soft-serve, there's something magical about this type of ice cream, in particular, that has both locals and newcomers coming back for more each time.

Who Started The Creemee Business?

While Vermont is wholly known for Ben & Jerry's (although its creators were from Merrick, Long Island, in New York), creemees are rooted in its history. While it would be fine and dandy to be able to definitively say 'this is who created the original creemee,' it's that part of history that still remains much of a mystery. Since a creemee is soft-serve ice cream, one would need to travel back to the origins of soft-serve in order to make that determination. It's believed that the popular ice cream trend started sometime during the 1930s but when, exactly, and by whom, is still up for debate. The two companies most commonly thought to have invented the ice cream are Carvel and Dairy Queen, although no one has ever claimed the honor.

With that being said, it's uncertain who created the actual type of ice cream, as well as who decided to name it a 'creemee.' But, somewhere along the way, it happened, and the name stuck around. Nowadays, you won't see 'ice cream shop,' in Vermont and will, more often than not, be able to find 'creemee' shops. These are treated just like regular soft-serve ice creams with the exception that some believe those found in Vermont are creamier, hence the name, or might actually contain more butterfat than other soft-serve ice creams. Whatever the case might be, there's no debating that trying a creemee while in Vermont is undoubtedly a rite of passage. While many shops are seasonal, there are some that stay open through the cold winter months and offer creemees year-round and, if you're a Vermonter, it wouldn't be all that uncommon to get a creemee in the dead of winter.

The Famed Maple Creemee

There are all kinds of creemees. Some shops have their own special flavors while others stick with the tried and true vanilla and chocolate. You can have a creemee dipped in chocolate or another type of candy coating, or you can have jimmies or sprinkles wrap around its enormous, towering swirl. No matter how one eats a creemee, it's bound to be delicious with no flavor being better than the other... except for one.

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The famous maple creemee is something that Vermont, specifically, is known for. This ice cream is true to Vermont's roots, history, and agriculture, as maple syrup is simply just a part of life in this region of New England. These creemees can be found at sugarhouses and are always on tap, so to speak, at local creemee shops. So for those who haven't tried any creemee yet, the first choice you make should probably be one of the maple variety.

This flavor is intriguing because the maple flavor isn't as pronounced as one would expect that of maple syrup to be. It's a light flavor that's sweet but not enough to make your teeth ache (like fake maple syrup would), and it has a hint of smokiness to it that plays unusually well with the caramel notes in the ice cream. The experience, in short, is one that is truly Vermont and nothing else really comes close. When passing through, even if you're not a soft-serve fan, you might just find yourself succumbing to the maple creemee way of life.

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