Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Tony’s Taste of the Town: A not-so-vanilla ice cream experience


As the Crimson Tide heads into State College, Penn. this weekend, the team is bound to run into the deep tradition that is prevalent in the town. However, fans looking for tastes of tradition need not only focus on the Alabama vs. Penn State football game, as Penn State is home to perhaps Pennsylvania’s sweetest hangout.

The Penn State Creamery located at 119 Food Science Building University Park, Penn., has been open for more than 100 years, serving students and residents of State College ice cream and dairy products as rich as Penn State tradition itself. The shop, which specializes in ice cream, has become a Penn State hot spot and a must see for people visiting State College.

“It just drips Penn State tradition,” storeowner Tom Palchak said.  “It is a student environment. It is a nice place for students to take a break after classes.”

Due to the booming dairy industry in Pennsylvania, the creamery boasts some of the freshest ingredients you will find in an ice cream shop.

“Our ice cream is unique,” Palchak said.  “It is very fresh, the milk and cream. There are some days when the milk and cream come just a few days earlier. We use rich cream, fresh milk, and our flavors are natural. We don’t skimp out on anything, from the pecans to the peaches.”

Palchak said that vanilla is by far the most popular flavor, and one of the fan favorites is a flavor called Peachy Paterno. The peach ice cream features a vanilla background with peaches and nectarine puree. However, the secret to the flavor comes from the genuine peach schnapps, which is added to pull out a rich and distinct peach flavor.

Walking into the store, fans are greeted with Big Ten flags that drape the windows, as well as a five by eight American flag that is centered in the shop. The courtyard, adorned in blue and white awnings, can hold up to 200 people, something that comes in handy on game days when the store is packed with hungry fans.

“You are not going to be believe it,” Palchak said. “I mean you just have to see it, because you aren’t going to believe it. There are lines that go on for blocks for an ice cream cone. It is just a part of what they do.”

Penn State fans of every kind frequent the store whenever they can to get their hands on the tasty tradition.

“I grew up an hour outside of State College,” Penn State alum Phil Goldfeder said. “My sister, who was seven years older than me, snuck me into the student section one game, and that was the first time I went there. Ever since then, whenever we would go and visit her at school ,we would go and visit The Creamery as well. It was just something we did every time we went through State College. “

The shop is even the inspiration of the famous ice cream company Ben and Jerry’s, as the two founders mastered their craft in The Creamery’s ice cream course.

“Ben and Jerry both took the ice cream short course by mail in the 1970’s,” Palchak said. “In 1974, Ben Cohen came to Penn State and took the two week ice cream short course; when he returned, that business really became what it is today.”

Palchak said he advises fans visiting the shop before the game to arrive around 1:30 p.m. to avoid missing the game.

If you are looking for a true taste of State College on your visit to Penn State, The Penn State Creamery is a spot too sweet not to stop.

“It is wonderfully delicious,” Goldfeder said. “The whole experience is extraordinary.”

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