Have you heard of liquid nitrogen ice cream? It’s all the rage now. I know, it sounds frighteningly scientific, but all you need to know is that the liquid nitrogen is used to flash-freeze milk and turn it into ice cream right before your eyes.
Why do you need this in your life? Well, first, it allows you to have customized flavors. And second, the rapid freezing process keeps the milk particles from forming into ice crystals, producing an ultra creamy texture that I have never experienced in traditional hard ice creams. Imagine a cross between hard ice cream and soft serve.
Creamistry is a popular chain of liquid nitrogen ice cream shops — they have over thirty locations in California alone. Most importantly, they have dairy-free options, and not just sorbet. You can have your ice cream made with a coconut milk base.
Plus, you have a pick of many different flavors, some of which I’ve never seen in dairy-free form. Like Nutella. I’ve never had Nutella ice cream, let alone dairy-free Nutella ice cream. So at the first Creamistry I went to, in Montclair, CA, I ordered a coconut milk base with Nutella mixed in. One topping is also included, so I chose chocolate chip cookie dough. The “creamologist” asked if I wanted it sprinkled on top or mixed into the base, so I chose mixed in, hoping for a Ben & Jerry’s-like result.
Unfortunately, the Nutella flavor was barely detectable, and the cookie dough was so macerated that it was also too subtle. But the creamy texture of the ice cream was amazing! I would absolutely try this flavor combo again, next time asking for extra Nutella and the cookie dough sitting on top, not mixed in.
But the next time I went, I got a different flavor: green tea (matcha). I used to love green tea ice cream — especially the mochi desserts you get at sushi restaurants — but I’ve never seen a dairy-free version. So this time, at a Creamistry in Costa Mesa, I ordered a coconut base with green tea as my flavor and mochi balls as my topping. The result tasted very much like a green tea mochi. And it was smooth as silk.
My two caveats about Creamistry are that (1) the taste of coconut can be a little strong, especially upon the first few bites, and (2) this shit is expensive. You will spend about eight dollars on a small cup, more if you get extra toppings or upgrades like a waffle cone or bowl made of chocolate (yeah, I gotta try that one).
But keep in mind that part of what you’re paying for is the fun of watching your ice cream being whipped up in a giant cloud of white mist and hearing the hiss of the liquid nitrogen evaporating. It’s like a science experiment. It’s cool — pun intended.
CREAMISTRY, 9359 Central Ave., Suite F, Montclair, CA 91763
CREAMISTRY, 3033 Bristol St., Suite F, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(And many other locations across the country)