Temperatures are heating up, and summer is here. From the farm to the table, there’s no better way to celebrate the summer than with fresh seasonal favorites made in Maryland. Whether you grab a cool scoop of ice cream, crisp fruit or refreshing brew, there is no shortage of mouth-watering cuisine to indulge in during the upcoming months.
“From produce at farmers’ markets to breweries and wineries to fresh caught seafood, Maryland provides a bounty of seasonal favorites for visitors and locals to enjoy,” said Liz Fitzsimmons, managing director, Maryland Office of Tourism.
As summer heats up, cool down with ice cream flavors you can only find in Maryland. Satisfy your salty and sweet tooth with the Old Bay™ Caramel Ice Cream at the Charmery in Hampden. Enjoy the locally loved Maryland Berger cookie in cold form at Scoop Ahh Dee Doo in Historic Ellicott City and Uncle Wiggly’s near Towson. Feeling daring? Try the Sweet Corn flavor or the Lyon Distilling Vanilla Rum at Justine’s Ice Cream Parlour in St. Michaels.
If you want to savor every flavor before you name a favorite, travel along the Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail until you’ve made the ultimate choice. The trail is made up of nine dairies that make their ice cream and sell it at their farm. With locations from Ocean City to Washington County, you can track your progress around the state with the Ice Cream Trail Passport.
Fresh local produce also brings sweetness to the table. Stroll around one of the many farmers’ markets located throughout Maryland and get your basket of succulent fruits and vegetables. Blueberries, cherries, peaches and melons are in season, as well as carrots, corn, summer squash and tomatoes. Commit to the state’s annual Buy Local Challenge, July 23-31, with a pledge to eat at least one thing from a local farm during the week.
Can’t stand the heat? Get out of the kitchen and support area farmers at one of many farm-to-table restaurants throughout Maryland. The Bagby Restaurant Group sources much of its produce, eggs, pork, and lamb from its own Cunningham Farms in Cockeysville. Founding Farmers in Montgomery County is a Certified Green Restaurant™ and has the stamp of approval from the Food Network. Head to Herb & Soul for a rich taste of authentic soul food prepared with fresh local proteins and vegetables.
Nothing says summer like a delicious steamed blue crab, Maryland’s delectable state crustacean. Order up a bushel with a take-out option from Weste Point Crab House or Conrad’s Seafood Restaurant. Or avoid the mess with a savory crab cake from Koco’s Pub or Costas Inn, endorsed by Kathie Lee and Hoda from the Today Show. It’s a seafood lover’s haven at Hemingway’s Restaurant, where the chef supports Maryland Watermen by using only domestic crabmeat, Maryland Rockfish, wild-caught Atlantic and Gulf shrimp, and local produce. Look for the Maryland True Blue logo signifying restaurants using local crabmeat.
From market to pitcher, Dragonfly Farms Vineyard and Winery combines fruit juice and wine in its Love Happiness Sangria. See how Maryland wine goes from grape to bottle as you explore vineyards along the self-guided Maryland Wine Trails. Feed your appetite for history along the Antietam Highlands Wine Trail or dive into local seafood between stops on the Chesapeake Wine Trail. Crack open a seasonal brew or two with Flying Dog’s Old Bay Summer Ale or DuClaw Brewing Company’s Blueberry Citrus Wheat Ale. Head to North Beach on July 23 for DrinkMaryland, a first of its kind local craft beverage event with an open air farmers’ market feel celebrating all things made in Maryland.
In Maryland, summer really does offer something for every taste. For more information on local culinary delights, visit www.visitmaryland.org or call 1-800-719-5900.