Harbor Bars, Chessters, and Chipsters: In Praise of New England Novelties
Several weeks ago, I received an email from Keith Davis, a Maine entrepreneur who has devoted the past few years to reviving a beloved Maine treat called the Harbor Bar. Harbor Bars are chocolate-dipped ice cream sandwiches filled with either vanilla or mint ice cream. They were first created in the late 1970s as a summer project by members of the Blake family, founders of Friendly Ice Cream, who had a house in Northeast Harbor. The bars were a local phenomenon and over several years, they spread throughout New England, but the Curtis family sold the company in the 1980s and Harbor Bars eventually disappeared.
Davis has been reintroducing the bars in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, and will soon expand his reach to New York and Pennsylvania. He told me he’d be in New Hampshire in the coming weeks for sales meetings and offered to drop some bars off at Yankee’s offices in Dublin.
They were a huge hit. A delicious blend of cream, crunch, and chocolate. As one colleague wrote in a grateful email, “Loved the cookie and not-too-thick ice cream layer (just enough to not drip all over). The (slightly bitter? Semi-sweet?) chocolate brings a nice contrast.” Keith uses Callebaut chocolate—very good stuff.
This got me thinking about other regional ice cream novelties, like Vermont Chessters (also ice cream sandwiches), and Carvel Flying Saucers and Chipsters (the company is headquartered in Farmington, Connecticut). I’d love to hear from Yankee’s readers about their favorite local treats, current or past. What are/were your favorites? Are there any other brands you’d like to see revived?