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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ice Cream Social

We had a great time competing at the third annual Slow Food Atlanta Ice Cream Social last weekend. I made some new friends and got to eat some wonderful ice creams. If there is one thing that really struck me about the event it is that ice cream is a blank canvas. It really is a great medium to experiment and be creative.

There were some amazing ice creams there, some were great, some were good ideas who needed some help with execution, and some suffered from the 95 degree temperatures. It may have been hot, but can you think of a more perfect time to eat 20+ different ice creams?

My Maple Ice Cream with Candied Bacon came in second place. The winner made strawberry ice cream with white balsamic and pepper. It was good. I tried to get the winner to guest blog the recipe, but she balked. She is launching a company making ice cream and ice cream cakes and understandably doesn't want to share. I'm going to try and work on her for something else.

Other than mine, my favorite was from Jake's Ice Cream. It is easy to understand why he is the reigning king of ice cream in Atlanta. He made Peach Cobbler Buttermilk Ice Cream. It tasted like summer. Unfortunately he fell victim to the heat and the ice cream didn't hold up well, otherwise I would have expected him to win.

Here is a highlight of some of the other flavors:

  1. Mulatto chili chocolate - This was great. I had experimented with spicy ice creams before. My problem was that they really confuse the brain. As Dan??? the ice cream maker told me, spicy ice cream works, but only in a small quantity as a component of a bigger dessert. You would never think about sitting down to watch TV and eat a big bowl of the stuff. He is absolutely right.

  2. Honeysuckle - one bite and I was 6 year old kid again, picking apart flowers to get to the nectar. Unfortunately, the texture didn't hold up. I would think this one would be better as a sorbet. Still, I applaud the time and effort needed to make this one. Each flower has only a tiny drop of liquid. This was a herculean effort to get enough flavor for two gallons of finished product.

  3. Low fat lemon ice cream - made with nonfat milk and olive oil. Light, clean and refreshing. This stuff was so creamy you would never know it was low fat. They did it through molecular gastronomy. It was the biggest surprise. I am trying to get these guys to share the recipe.

  4. Malted banana - really great. Banana ice cream is tricky if you use fresh bananas because they turn brown. They did a great job keeping the color right and it was very tasty.

  5. Basil ice cream with roasted peaches - this one had a great flavor, unfortunately the chef did not bring any dry ice. As a result, it was roasted peaches in a cold cream of basil soup. Tasty for sure, but heat was her enemy. I may make a variation on this one.

I will repost the Maple bacon recipe in a few days.

Now is the time for me to start planning for next year. I have some ideas, but I want to hear from you. Please drop me a note here in the comments section, or at

1 comment:

Matt Labbe said...

It was good to meet you. It seems that your favorites were my favorites. The winner from Imperial Pint (I think) was definitely in my top 5. My wife's first pick was the Honeysuckle, but I couldn't get past the icy texture.

The lemon was interesting too. I'd love to see the recipe. The supercold temps really made it melt on the tongue.

I never was in the mood for the basil ice cream, so you're making me sorry that I passed on that.

I look forward to seeing what you come up with next year.