Culinary Corner

Jessica Peyton

The weather will get warmer. I
promise. And when it does, you will
need something to slow down the sweat
streaming from your dehydrated body.
The best foods for this…..frozen ones.
As the end of school approaches,
children everywhere will be allowed
to let their minds wander from the
dreariness of math and history to the
sweet, sweet joy of cold ice cream on a
hot summer day.
The invention of ice cream is credited
to the Chinese. Marco Polo is
recognized for bringing it to Italy, beginning
the early forms of the popular
Italian version of ice cream, Gelato.
Gelato differs from ice cream in
that it has more milk and less cream
and egg. It is churned at a slower rate
as well, giving it a denser consistency
than regular ice cream.
To make ice cream, you
must create a custard base with
cream, eggs, sugar and whatever
flavorings you want. Then you
pour the base into a very cold vessel,
churn, and whoa you have ice cream.
The reason the ice cream is actually
creamy and not a solid block of frozen
milk is because of the method of
slowly freezing the base and the fact
that fat freezes at a lower temperature
than water. The world has moved past
the basic ice cream flavors of chocolate,
vanilla and strawberry: there are
tea flavored concoctions, ones with
Girl Scout cookies mixed in and an ice
cream shop in Denver, Colorado even
offers obscure flavors like sour cream
and chive and fluffernutter (peanut
butter and marshmallow fluff). For
good ice cream in Richmond,
check out Bev’s or Gelati Celesti…
they’re delicious, promise.
Sherbet, or sorbet, is a nice alternative
to the richness of ice cream. Sherbet
is made similarly to ice cream. Oftentimes,
some sort of fat will be added
to the sherbet base (like milk) to help
it obtain that creamy texture that it is
commonly associated with.
There’s also granita, which is typically
a juice of some sorts put into the
freezer until it becomes partially frozen.
It’s then scraped with a fork so
little ice crystals are formed, then put
back into the freezer. The process is repeated
again, until you have a grainy ice
mixture that’s actually quite delicious.
If you want to get fancy with your
fun frozen treat, there are a number of
upscale options to choose
from. Semifreddo, literally
meaning ‘half cold’ in Italian,
is a type of dessert consisting
of a half frozen custard
that is reminiscent of
frozen mousse. Baked Alaska
is another option – typically
a cake base, ice cream
and topped with meringue
(whipped egg whites) and
then thrown in an extremely
hot broiler to develop a
lovely golden brown topping.
And don’t discount popsicles. Frozen
juice?! Yes. And don’t be basic with
your popsicle flavors, either. You have
a world of options: lemon basil, chocolate
sea salt, strawberry hibiscus, even
cereal flavored ones. And you can get
all of these at a popsicle stand located
around Richmond called King of Pops.
DO IT. You won’t regret it. Additionally,
there’s also the Latin American
version of a popsicle, the Paleta, which
is usually made from fresh fruit and is
always very refreshing.
So before you melt into a puddle,
run to the nearest freezer and grab
yourself a pint of frozen cream. The
sweltering heat will be no match for
you and your frozen treat.


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