I returned home from Japan yesterday, and one of the highlights of my trip was a visit to ICE CREAM CITY in Tokyo!
Yep, an “ice cream theme park” offering hundreds of ice cream flavors, some of which were pretty weird…
What does Viper ice cream taste like? I have no idea and I didn’t find out.
If I hadn’t been feeling so sick already with a nasty head cold (ie, diminished sense of smell and taste), I would’ve added Viper to our selection. And also Eggplant, Oxtongue, Soybean Milk, Flat Wheat Noodles, Soy Sauce, Beer, Octopus…
Even a flavor translated as: “The Cake Which Fried A Sweet Potato” (???)
The flavors that we did try were:
Dracula Cool (Garlic and Mint): Surprisingly, we all liked this! Super minty with no discernible garlic taste.
Ginger: Nice. I mean, how can you go wrong with ginger?
Tulip: Not knowing what Tulip is supposed to taste like, this was quite nice. A light floral and sweet, almost-citrussy flavor.
Hokkaido Cheese: Like Cheesecake.
Sunflower: Very rich, nutty flavor of Sunflower seeds. I might try to make this at home.
Shochu: None of us liked this. Not sure how to describe it… slightly sour, didn’t really taste like anything.
Crab: The ice cream has bright pink flecks in it, and the crab aftertaste is very subtle. Not as bad as you might think, but neither of us were crazy about this one. A bit bland.
BBQ Chicken Wing: I detected an aftertaste of deep fryer oil and there are some chewy (meat?) pieces in the ice cream. Gross.
We had a lot of fun and interestingly, all these Japanese ice creams were way LESS SWEET than what we are used to in America. Especially the ‘savory’ flavors. Next time I visit Tokyo, I will definitely return to Ice Cream City to try more flavors!
My apologies… nothing will be happening on this blog for a while as I will be leaving town soon.
I haven’t stopped thinking about ice cream flavors though. In addition to the Eggnog and Christmas Plum Pudding flavors that I’d like to make when I return, I am also toying with the idea of a red, white and green Christmas-themed ice cream terrine.
I suppose that the most obvious flavors for the RED ice cream would be cranberry, cherry or beet, and peppermint or pistachio for GREEN, but I want to do flavors that I haven’t done before so …..
I have a new ice cream maker! It’s the newest Cuisinart model, the ICE21, in RED, with a RED freezer bowl. This item has been on my Amazon Wishlist for months and it was so nice to receive this as a surprise gift from Nathan who tells me it’s “an investment”. Yes, he will be enjoying homemade ice cream for the rest of his life.
"The new machines are pretty great - they freeze much quicker than the old ones. And the dasher gets all the ice cream off the wall so you won’t have the butterfat buildup on the side of the canister"
Yep. Totally true! In only 15 MINUTES (as opposed to the old machine’s 30 minutes) my Blue Hawaiian ice cream was done! And mind you, this particular ice cream is loaded with liquor so it was extra exciting to see it freeze so quickly.
Photo on the left: 5 minutes later. On the right: 10 minutes later.
I love that the ICE21’s opening spout is large and round = mess-free and easier to clean! This machine is also very noisy… it makes a very loud whirring sound as it churns which is something I’m sure I’ll get used to. What’s more, the old ICE20 canister is compatible with this machine so now I can churn TWO flavors a day if I wanted to… :)
You are looking at FLAVOR OF THE MONTH - a 2012 calendar prepared by Yours Truly. Each month focuses on ONE flavor (or dish/beverage) and other flavors that go well with it.
I am giving away TWO COPIES of this calendar to two lucky people.
Note that these are first run *test copies*. The final version will have exactly the same illustrations but also some extra holidays.
To enter the contest all you have to do is tweet or blog about We All Scream and leave a comment below with an ice cream flavor that I haven’t already illustrated on this blog. (My twitter name is @lilita_yaya)
I will draw two names out of a hat on October 31st.
I’ll admit I don’t know much about kombucha - a “fermented yeast” known for its impressive range of health benefits and uniquely tart flavor. I was introduced to this beverage only a couple of months ago.
I couldn’t find any information online on the best way to incorporate kombucha into frozen desserts, so I treated the kombucha as I would the beer in Jeni’s Lambic Sorbet recipes.
The first sorbet was based on Hannah’s Love Potion #99 - an artisanal blend of blueberry, lavender and rose. (I received a bottle at the recent L.A. Food Swap) In this sorbet, we used unflavored kombucha to which I added the fruit and florals.
Hannah thought the result was “too sweet” but for someone like me whose palate is less acclimatized to the intense kombucha flavor, I thought this was a nice balance of sweet and sour.
My second experiment uses Hannah’s Banana Kombucha. I am still fine tuning the recipe, referring to David Lebovitz’s recipe for Banana Sorbet. The sorbet looks all gooey and soft in the photo because it just came out of the ice cream machine.
If you have used kombucha in frozen desserts, please share!
HOW COOL IS THIS - “Your Go-To Recipe for Experimenting”.
Of course, thanks to Amazon’s “Click To Look Inside!” feature, months ago I had already scrutinized those few pages and sucked in whatever information I could. So much so that I felt knowledgeable geeky enough to draw up this ROUGH GUIDE for myself…
*Note that my illustrated process doesn’t exactly match what is in the book. Jeni recommends adding the “flavor” after cooking and straining the ice cream base, but I tend to add the flavor to cook with the ice cream base.
As for the “Ziploc bag in Ice Bath” …. I am too lazy to set this up so I just stick the hot bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes or so before transferring it to the fridge. I also rarely churn the ice cream on the same day and usually let the flavors deepen overnight.
Back to the book - I love it and highly recommend it.
Lots of yummy recipes categorized by season; a pleasing minimalistic design (= easy to follow) with beautiful photos of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.
TIP: If you live in Los Angeles and don’t want to pay the $35 shipping fee to order these ice creams from Columbus OH, head on over to Handy Market in Burbank. They carry seasonal flavors too!
On June 26th, 2011 I am going to be at the Pasadena Food Swap with some homemade ice cream. I have never participated in a public food swapping/sharing event before and I’m both nervous and excited. Sign up! Join in! See you there!