South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

Davis Dairy Plant’s “McCrory Maple” ice cream

Kendra Folkerts
South Dakota States newest ice cream flavor takes around five gallons of syrup to make one batch

South Dakota State’s “McCrory Maple” ice cream has grown in popularity since being released in early 2023.

South Dakota State University is famous for its SDSU ice cream, produced by the Davis Dairy Plant on campus. A majority of the employees at the plant are students at SDSU. McCrory Gardens is a botanical garden near campus that has maple trees.

The idea to collaborate with the dairy plant came from McCrory Gardens grounds manager, Christopher Schlenker, according to Lisa Marotz, director of operations for McCrory Gardens. The gardens staff reached out to the dairy plant on a Zoom call in April 2022 with the idea of a collaboration on a maple ice cream flavor.

The employees at McCrory Gardens usually tap the maple trees for sap in the spring. It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup, and five gallons of syrup for the finished ice cream batch.

“It’s going to be reliant on what we get for syrup,” Marotz said when asked if the flavor will become a permanent flavor for SDSU. The amount of syrup produced depends on the spring weather. For maple sap collection, it would ideally be freezing at night, and above freezing during the day. “Last year was not a good year,” Marotz said, because the weather went from freezing cold to warm very fast.

The ice cream is made by adding maple syrup to the ice cream base, which is made of milk, cream, and sugar, and then freezing it. Additionally, a small amount of maple flavor is added.

“The only real challenges are making sure it maintains the safety and quality that we have for all of the products that come through SDSU,” said Steve Beckman, manager of the Davis Dairy Plant. This includes making sure ingredients are coming from a safe place. “Luckily, this is right here on campus, and maple syrup is produced in a way that is pretty food safe,” Beckman said.

“I really enjoyed the ice cream,” said SDSU student Aubrey Kerkaert. “I will be going back to get more.”

Marotz said that when the ice cream was first released, they couldn’t keep up with it, and that the release went well. “The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” Beckman said.

McCrory Maple Ice Cream is sold at the Dairy Bar on campus, through the Davis Dairy Plant, and at McCrory Gardens.

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