With a heat wave coming (already here in fact) and temperature records being broken at an alarming rate across Europe, most people’s thoughts are turning to the task of staying cool and hydrated.
And ice cream.
Ice cream is eaten all year round (only wet weather dampens demand), but comes into its own in the summer months. An important part of a day out and a treat for the children that, somehow, doesn’t seem as “bad” as crisps, sweets or chocolate.
In the past few years ice cream lovers have become more sophisticated in their tastes and the newest offers have been positioned around a super-indulgent experience, with exotic flavours, descriptors and, sometimes, a touch of nostalgia.
In the US in 2018 the winning flavours in the annual What’s Hot in Ice Cream competition (run by the International Dairy Association) were the Signature Reserve Brazilian Guava Cheesecake ice cream, Spicy Mango Raspberry Fiesta ice cream and a Pomegranate and Sweet Potato Medley Bar. A mishmash of flavours that work together – just.
Which brings me to Three Twenty, a new ice cream parlour or “Ice cream Lab” located on Dublin’s Drury Street, which has an unusual manufacturing technique using liquid nitrogen. This enables rapid freezing of the ice cream at a low temperature which results in smaller ice crystals being formed with less air than is found in traditional ice cream. And a richer, creamier, denser ice cream that doesn’t require stabilisers and fillers.
The flavours are interesting and more reminiscent of desserts than ice cream.
I opted for the Red Velvet during my recent visit. The ice cream itself has an almost stretchy texture and is extremely dense in taste – the organoleptic qualities alone are worth the rather expensive outlay of €5 per tub (€6 for a large). It’s not the best option if you are in a hurry – each ice cream is made to order using individual mixers and takes several minutes to prepare.
Verdict: An acquired taste which may be a little on the pricey side for many. I do plan to return however to try out another flavour (may even bring the kids next time!).
Five facts about Ice Cream which might surprise
(1) The first ice cream cone was produced over a century ago in 1896 by Italo Marchiony, an Italian emigrant, in New York City. He was granted a patent in December 1903. Although Marchiony is credited with the invention of the cone, a similar creation was independently introduced at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair when an ice cream vendor ran out of cups and asked a nearby waffle vendor to roll up his waffles to hold the ice cream.
(2) Contrary to popular belief, Häagen-Dazs is actually an American ice cream brand, established by Reuben and Rose Mattus in Brooklyn, New York in 1961. They liked the name as it was “Danish-sounding,” and felt that Denmark was known for its dairy products and had a positive image in the United States.
(3) According to World Atlas statistics, New Zealand leads the world in ice cream consumption with a per capita intake of 28.4 litres per year, followed by the US and Australia. Ireland lies 8th at 8.4 litres.
(4) An ugly turf war known as The Ice Cream Wars took place in Glasgow in the 1980s between rival criminal organisations using ice cream vans as a front for selling drugs and stolen goods. Van operators were frequently involved in violence and intimidation tactics and even murders, which led to a lengthy court battle and, eventually, exonerations for the accused.
(5) In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of every July as National Ice Cream Day (in the US). In the proclamation, President Reagan called for people to observe these events with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.”
“Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.”
Don Kardong, Runner and Author