Chemistry in ice cream

Tonight’s date night was free and yummy! We like bang for our buck, but it’s been a while since I’ve searched for the gems. There was a time when I would find all types of treats at no cost. My favorite treat of olden NYC folklore was the three course free lunch at the French Culinary Institute – free of course because it was prepared by students. I would stare at the posters of Jacques Pepin and Bobby Flay, slowly eat my meal, and graciously fill out my comment cards.

Oh those were the days.

In light of my newfound excitement about Philadelphia, I have started to read a site or two about what’s going on. I’m seeing a bubbling of locally sourced homemade ice cream in Philly. Google as my friend I came across Zsa’s ice cream truck and Weckerly’s, two brands I’d never known existed. I knew that Pat, his mom, and I were headed on a trek to flag down the truck and/or visit Green Line Cafe for date night.

As luck would have it today both the owners of Zsa’s and Weckerly’s were presenting their treats at the Chemical Heritage Foundation today from 5-8pm. A First Fridays special to talk about the chemistry of ice cream. There was some delightful talk about air, emulsion, protein and fat. And then there was a mad dash to the counter for free samples. Zsa’s salted caramel was a perfect blend of sweet and bitter, creamy and light. Pat and I went for seconds … even though we technically were not allowed to do that. The ends justify the means in all things good ice cream. Ms. Rogers enjoyed her berry ice cream also from Zsa’s. Unfortunately they did not think anything special of Weckerly’s vanilla bean ice cream with fair trade vanilla beans. I mean, what a bold choice to bring vanilla. It’s the wrong flavor to mess up or make less than special. But I enjoyed my mint truffle flavor. Truffles were great, mint was fresh. Very different from my first love mint chocolate chip from Baskin Robbins. Pat thought it tasted like mint tea and was not a fan. He still holds a soft spot for BR. I understand. No matter how bourgeois your palate becomes, you still love the flavors of your childhood.

But we’re considering chasing that truck sooner than later and taking Weckerly’s up on my request to make ice cream with them soon. Yum!

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Zsa’s Salted Caramel sample at CHF

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