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McCray's Farms noted as culinary tourism destination by state

Date: 6/16/2010

June 16, 2010.

By Lori Szepelak


SOUTH HADLEY -- McCray's Farm on Alvord Street is one of the many culinary tourism stops touted by the state Department of Agricultural Resources.

As tourism season quickly approaches, many of us will take to the roads to explore this region and introduce educational (and culinary) experiences to friends and families.

On a recent Thursday afternoon visit to the creamery at McCray's Farm, Mary Lou Bathelt of South Hadley brought her great-grandson Max Lacus of Holyoke to the farm so he could sample the homemade ice cream that is churned on-site. As Max spent minutes walking back and forth past the old-fashioned counters filled with tubs of ice cream in a multitude of flavors, both Alicia Gagnon of Chicopee and Steven Rogalski of Chicopee, employees of McCray's, agreed that part of the fun of their job is seeing the smiling faces of children when they are handed their ice cream cone.

McCray's features homemade ice cream in a wide range of flavors, including almond butter crunch, banana, black raspberry, bubblegum, cookie dough, cookies and cream, double dutch chocolate chip, mint chocolate chip, mocha moo, orange pineapple, peanut butter chip, peppermint stick, pistachio, rum raisin and sweet cream. Of course, McCray's also features the traditional ice cream flavors of chocolate, chocolate chip, coffee, maple walnut, rocky road, strawberry and vanilla.

McCray's ice cream is crafted with authentic recipes that promise to deliver a mouth-watering taste.

Of course, a stop at their country creamery is only one of the reasons to stop in at McCray's. The family friendly site also features an animal farm, wagon rides and an 18-hole miniature golf course.

Across the region there are many other farm stands worth a visit in addition to McCray's, according to the Massachusetts Association of Roadside Stands. Farm stands also touted by the state include Gran-Val Farm in Granville, Randall's Farm and Greenhouse in Ludlow, Val's Berry Farm in East Longmeadow, Dickinson Farms in Granby, E. Cecchi Farm in Feeding Hills, Calabrese Farm in Southwick, and McKinstry's Market Garden in Chicopee.

As Massachusetts goes into high gear promoting its culinary tourism opportunities, a Savor Massachusetts video is now available online that touts a feast for one's senses, ranging from brewery tours, farm festivals, ethnic markets and food production tours to farms with restaurants and cafes, farm tours, restaurants that buy local, wine and cheese trails and winery tours.

For more information on ways to experience all of what Massachusetts has to offer, from historical sites, cultural events, scenic routes, shopping and, of course, culinary delights, visit