Nitrogen Ice Cream? Aw Yiss.
As a major fan of the original frozen treat, I'm always excited to see new ways it can be made and consumed (see my article on Rolled Ice Cream). However, I am also a skeptic of food trends - anything that is beautiful to watch be made and take pictures of, but lacking in taste, especially when compared to the food it evolved from (for example, the rainbow bagel).
Enter Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream, just about the most futuristic-sounding thing I have ever heard. I like chemistry; I like ice cream. This seems, to me, like a combination of two awesome things that will probably result in a science-y performance ending in me getting a sweet treat.
The Place with the Goods
Having learned of its existence, I headed into the great city of Washington, DC to Love 'n Faith Community Café, which features nitrogen ice cream on its extensive menu. With me I brought a few tasters, my sweet tooth and an apple to eat after in order to justify the experience.
The café was adorable, nestled on U Street NW, away from the majority of the bustle in that area. Surprised at the massive menu, we all ordered our ice cream, then watched in amazement as the masters set to work.
First, our ice cream connoisseur poured what appeared to be fresh cream into a stand-mixer and heated the bottom with a blow torch.
Then, with a pitcher of liquid nitrogen, they make the magic happen.
How cool is that?! Bill Nye would be so proud of me rn.
The final product, despite being frozen by chemical madness, was great. Admittedly not much to look at, it's still airier than normal churned ice cream. It didn't have any presence of freezer burn or icy-ness, but was rather fluffy and overall rich in flavor (if you read my other article about rolled ice cream, this is basically its antithesis). Bottom line, it was really good ice cream.
That being said, it was just that - ice cream. There's nothing flavor-wise that makes this ice cream more exceptional that any other decent ice cream. The process that goes into it really is all that makes it special. That being said, it is one hell of a process, so I still highly recommend.
Is Nitrogen Ice Cream the future? Who knows (yes). Is this café adorable and worth visiting, even for the lactose intolerant? Yes (because they have kick-ass smoothies and juices). Is ice cream wonderful regardless of how it's made? Absolutely.