Want Some Cheese with that Ice Cream?

blue cheese

It seems like every day someone is trying out a new flavor of ice cream. Creators of ice cream are also trying out new and inventive things.

That doesn’t mean all of these culinary ideas will work. Some of these crazy concoctions sound…a little crazy.

Like blue cheese ice cream. Yup, that’s a thing.

Some ice cream shops are serving up ice cream that contain actual chunks of blue cheese. In fact, one ice cream spot in the UK is offering blue cheese and cream cracker ice cream. They also offer pint of ale and pack of Twigglets ice cream (must be a British thing).

This sounds like you would need to REALLY like blue cheese to enjoy this ice cream, but we try and keep an open mind when it comes to frosty culinary creations.

Cheese as a dessert item is not completely unheard of. Apparently the French are known to eat cheese for dessert from time to time. Surely, the blue cheese will bring a salty-and-sweet flavor combination to the ice cream, similar to salty caramel ice cream. And salty caramel ice cream is gooooooodd.

Search the internet and, sure enough, you’ll find plenty of recipes for blue cheese ice cream. Judging from the search results, many people that are liking and making blue cheese ice cream and pairing it with…pears.

One such recipe is for poached pear galette with blue cheese ice cream. Apparently, galette is a crusty-type substance that is edible.

It also seems like blue cheese ice cream is not too difficult to make, if you go down that route. You can use your standard garden-variety supermarket blue cheese along with standard ice cream ingredients like cream and sugar.

If this isn’t your thing, don’t despair. There are plenty of different ice cream flavors to sample.

The Ice Cream That Changes Color

color changing ice cream

Ice cream is all about flavor. It also comes in different colors, almost all of which are based on flavors. In fact, many of us can spot our favorite ice cream flavor just by seeing the color.

Yet what would you do if the ice cream changed colors?

One Spanish scientist has created color-changing ice cream. The physician and electrical engineer calls his ice cream Xamaleon.

The ice cream starts out as blue, an unusual color for ice cream. It is then sprayed with something the scientist calls a “love elixir”. This mystery substance will help the ice cream change color. After the ice cream is sprayed, it turns a deep purple. This takes about ten to fifteen seconds. The ice cream further changes color as it is licked.

The flavor of the color-changing ice cream is referred to as Tutti Frutti. It’s made with several natural ingredients including strawberries, almonds, cocoa, banana, pistachio, vanilla, caramel and unnamed “exotic fruits”.

So how does this colorful concoction actually change colors? Well, there we’re in kind of a gray area. The inventor is keeping tight-lipped about the food science behind his ice cream invention. He also has a patent pending.

This might not be the end of the multi-colored ice cream road. One Spanish newspaper reports the inventor is working on new flavors, including one that changes from white to pink and another that changes color under the ultraviolet lights found in nightclubs. Sound appetizing?

It will be tough to get a lick of this ice cream. Currently, it is only being sold at the inventor’s shop in Blanes, Spain.

There’s always a way to get delicious ice cream, even if it doesn’t change colors during licking. Head down to Praline’s and get a couple of scoops of your favorite flavor. Or color.

3D Printer Ice Cream

3D printed ice cream

Ice cream comes in many forms. There are ice cream cones. Ice cream in a dish. Ice cream sundaes. Ice cream cakes and ice cream pies. Ice cream in milkshakes and ice cream in root beer floats.

But printed ice cream?

Yup. Kind of.

It’s 3D printed ice cream. Three students at MIT have created a 3D printing machine…for ice cream. Apparently the three hacked a 3D printer and hooked it up to an ice cream maker to create a device that can deliver soft-serve ice cream in 3D shapes. The three students say they designed the 3D ice cream printer to get kids excited about technology. They insist this was a way to get kids to ask questions about science and technology. It’s likely to get kids just as excited about ice cream that comes in a variety of shapes. This experiment also seems like it was a fun way to make some ice cream.

3D printing is the process of making three-dimensional objects from a digital file. It starts by making a virtual design of the desired object. It’s made in a computer file using a 3D modeling program.

Imaging trying to do this with ice cream. The MIT students had to “print” the ice cream in a cooled environment so that the ice cream would hold its shape once it was printed. They used a small freezer that was large enough to hold the printer and the finished 3D ice cream shape.

The students also used liquid nitrogen to hold the ice cream in place once it shot out of the 3D printer nozzle and into the desired. A lot of work for some cool-looking ice cream.

If you like your ice cream served up in more traditional fashion, stop by Praline’s. Summer is a great time to reintroduce yourself to great flavors like Beez Neez and Cookie Kaboom. No science lessons required. pralines cup

Do We Still Love Our Ice Cream?

pralines ice cream cone

It’s summer (July to be exact) and that means we are in the prime of ice cream season. Ice cream goes down great any time of the year, but summer is the time when people make a point to grab a frosty treat.

Why do you think Ronald Reagan chose July as the month to designate “National Ice Cream Month”? Say what you will, the nation’s 40th president had impeccable timing. July is a perfect month to celebrate ice cream…with ice cream. A double scoop of Beez Neez should be as much a summer tradition as fireworks and cookouts on the Fourth of July.

But are we eating less ice cream?

I know what you are thinking: “That sounds like crazy talk.” According to a recent report, people in the U.S. spent $13.7 billion on ice cream last year and figure doesn’t include restaurant sales.
pralines beez neez

However, the same article points to a downward trend in the ice cream world. Reportedly, the average American eats ice cream about 28.5 times this year. That’s down 45% from 25 years ago. In 1989, the average American devoured ice cream 41.3 times.

There are reasons given for this drop-off. Healthier eating, healthier lifestyles and a great abundance of things like frozen yogurt. People want less fat and less sugar. Yet, frozen yogurt sales have flattened over the last several years as well.

We all know that ice cream is a dessert best enjoyed in moderation. And there are more consumer choices for people nowadays. That’s a good thing. Plus, we recognize ice cream for the special treat that it is. And those times enjoying ice cream are more likely to help us create new memories and remember times past of warm summer nights and cold, delicious ice cream. Ice cream is here to stay and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Those National Ice Cream Day Deals

pralines beez neez
This past Sunday was National Ice Cream Day. What’s that, you say? You are not familiar with National Ice Cream Day? That’s too bad because you missed out on some sweet deals.

First, let’s refresh the history of National Ice Cream Day. President Ronald Reagan did more than fire air traffic controllers and inspire the term “Reaganomics”. The man also clearly loved his ice cream. Back in 1984, President Reagan declared the third Sunday of every July to be designated National Ice Cream Day. The president also took it one step further. He names the entire month of July national ice cream month.

So, did you catch any great ice cream deals on July 20th? If not here’s some of what you missed:

• Carvel celebrated National Ice Cream Day with 80-cent soft serve cups and cones.
• Ben & Jerry’s sent an ice cream truck around the country, looking for ice cream enthusiasts. On National Ice Cream Day, that truck was delivering free scoops of ice cream.
• Some grocery store chains figured National Ice Cream Day was the perfect day to serve up free samples of new flavors.
• Dairy Queen ran a two-for-the-price of one special for Blizzard ice cream treats.
• Folks who joined Sonic’s Ice Cream Social club were set to receive free ice cream.

If you missed one of these ice cream specials, fear not. Remember, this is also National Ice Cream Month. There are still great deals to be had and sweet ways to celebrate.

Here’s a reminder: Scooper Sunday will be taking place this Sunday on July 27th, before the New Britain Rock Cats baseball game in New Britain. Praline’s will be among the ice cream makers participating in an all you can eat ice cream taste testing. Praline’s will once again be featuring its signature flavor, Beez Neez, winner of the taste-testing contest two years aware.

Scooper Sunday

scooper sunday
Summer means a lot of things to a lot of people but it’s hard to find many people who disagree with the idea that baseball and ice cream are summer staples.

That’s just one reason Praline’s is proud to be a part of Scooper Sunday at the New Britain Rock Cats minor league baseball game Sunday July 27th. Praline’s is one of several local ice cream makers to take part in the tasting event. And make no mistake, ice cream tasting is the name of this game. Scooper Sunday allows people to pay a fixed prices and sample of the different ice creams on hand. Ice cream tasters are asked to vote for their favorite flavor.

When it comes to this ice cream taste testing contest, Praline’s is looking for a third-straight win. For the past two years, Praline’s Beez Neez has finished tops in the test-testing. And tasters can taste all they want. This is an “all you can eat” event, or until the ice cream runs out. All it will cost you is 10$ for a ticket to Scooper Sunday and a general admission seat top to Rock Cats game that Sunday afternoon. Reserved seat tickets will cost $15.

Scooper Sunday is more than just a great day of ice cream and baseball. It’s a way to give back to a good cause. The event benefits the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. It’s a great chance to try incredible ice cream with true local flavors, then enjoy baseball and (if you somehow have room) a hot dog as the Rock Cats take on the Portland Sea Dogs, the double-A affiliate of the World Series champion Boston Red Sox. Come for the ice cream, stay for the ballgame. Don’t wait. Tickets to this event are going fast. And don’t forget to try the Beez Neez.

National Ice Cream Month

national ice cream month

If you love ice cream (and we all love ice cream), then you are really going to love July.

You see, July is National Ice Cream Month. And this year is the 30th anniversary of July being National Ice Cream Month.

You might remember Ronald Reagan as a man who talked tough to the Soviets and enjoyed a good jellybean. But our nation’s 40th president also had a patriotic appreciation of ice cream. That’s why, in 1984, President Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month. The President recognized ice cream as a favorite American treat and called it a fun and nutritious food that was enjoyed by about 90 percent of the nation’s population.
ronald reagon ice cream
It doesn’t stop with National Ice Cream Month. The third Sunday of the month is designated as National Ice Cream Day. This gives you a few weeks’ notice to plan and celebrate a day to enjoy ice cream. You can head down to Praline’s and try delicious flavors like Peanut Butter Chip Swirl. That’s vanilla ice cream with chocolate chunks and a peanut butter ripple. Or Praline’s famous Beez Neez ice cream. For those unaware, this is true ice cream deliciousness. It’s graham-flavored ice cream with a graham cracker ripple and chocolate-covered honeycomb candy. pralines beez neez

It’s all part of ice cream tradition. Part of President Reagan’s proclamation of National Ice Cream Month and National Ice Cream Day was that people across America would enjoy ice cream and would enjoy these events with “appropriate ceremonies and activities”.

This year, National Ice Day will be Sunday, July 20th. There are plenty of delicious ways to celebrate. Break out the ice cream machine and try a new homemade recipe. Or head down to Praline’s for a few scoops of Connecticut’s favorite homemade ice cream. We’ll handle the cleanup. President Reagan would be proud.

The History of Caramel

caramel ice cream
If you haven’t been to Praline’s yet this summer, you’ve denied yourself the chance to try Praline’s delicious salty caramel ice cream. This flavor combination is a summertime “cannonball into the pool” burst of flavor. There’s sweetness, then saltiness, then sweetness, then more saltiness.
pralines salty caramel
We love it so much.

But what are its origins? And how did it end up in our ice cream (among other places)?

Like many of our past excursions into sweet treat history, this one has some mystery. Caramel and caramel candies have been with us for centuries, but their exact origins are a bit murky.

Some say the Arabs first discovered caramel around 1000 A.D. This was a crunchy type of caramel, created by crystallizing sugar in boiling water. So when did caramel arrive in our fair land? It’s believed that American settlers were making hard candies in kettles. This was around 1650.
So how did it become soft? There is a working theory that milk and fat was added to the recipe at some point, resulting in a chewy treat. It’s also believed that sugar beet juice may have been used to produce caramel, as regular sugar was considered an expensive luxury back in the day.

Today, caramels can have different textures. “Short” caramels tend to have a softer texture. “Long” caramels are chewier. It’s our opinion that both textures are delicious.

Caramel becomes caramel when milk solids are heated with sugar ingredients. Sugar syrups are then added to the milk and the fat and allowed to caramelize. Most mass-produced caramels are flavored with vanilla as well.

Caramel sauce has long been a favorite topping for ice cream sundaes, right up there with hot fudge and strawberry.

Is it any wonder caramel has been so popular and remains a favorite sweet treat? It’s all about simple ingredients combined in just the right way. The results are delicious.

A Sprinkles Emergency

pralines sprinkles
When it comes to ice cream, we all have our favorite flavors and toppings. Some of us are down with the hot fudge. Others enjoy a fruitier topping, like strawberries and pineapple.

When it comes to dry toppings, the passion remains. The debate over nuts or no nuts will likely continue until the end of time.

And what about sprinkles? Is the alleged mismanagement of sprinkles on ice cream enough to get the police involved?

One British woman apparently thought so. This thought process got her into a wee bit of trouble with police, who apparently didn’t appreciate the woman contacting them on an emergency line to complain about an incorrect dessert order. Police say the woman called them because the woman was upset about how sprinkles were put on her ice cream. There would be more humor to this (though not Good Humor) if not for the fact that this could have been dangerous.

Police say the woman dialed 999 (the British version of 911) to complain that the server at the ice cream shop had only put sprinkles on one side of her ice cream, leaving the other side bare. The woman claims she wanted her money back and told the server he could keep the ice cream.

Police say the woman was quickly educated about the fact that such disputes over food service do not qualify as actual police emergencies. The dispatcher then gave the woman suggestions on other agencies that might be able to help her.

The police wanted to remind her and others that every non-emergency call can take time away from responding to an actual emergency.

There should never be a police emergency over ice cream toppings. At Praline’s, it’s understood that the perfect topping can make the best ice cream even better. We promise we’ll cover both sides.

Neapolitan Ice Cream’s Rich History

neapolitan ice cream

Have you ever had your heart set on ice cream but just can’t decide on a flavor? We’ve all been there. This is certainly a first-world problem but there is still a decision to be made.

This is why Neapolitan ice cream can be such a delicious decision maker. It’s got three of the all-time favorite flavors all living together under one container. You’ve got your vanilla, chocolate and strawberry all right there for the eating.

Some people like one flavor a little more than others. We’ve all opened a carton of this tri-colored treat to find one of the flavors carved out, while the other two flavors remain virtually untouched. Who knows, perhaps we’ve also been guilty of this culinary crime in the past. This does not make us bad people. It just makes quirky ice cream lovers. We are not alone.

We love to explore the history of ice cream, and the Neapolitan chapter is rich and inviting.

History gives Italy credit for this staple of the American ice cream diet. So some ice cream makers in Italy decided to take three of the staple flavors and combine them into one block. The block is then separated by those three flavors. This all dates back to the 1800’s. Recipes for the tri-colored treat began to be more common in the 19th century.

According to the fine folks at the Food Timeline, the name “Neapolitan” traces back to the people of Napoli. The pressed blocks of ice cream were becoming popular in the area. It also appears there was no rule that Neapolitan ice cream’s three flavors could only be chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.

Certainly our American-ized version remains popular today. It’s no wonder. We like variety.

Even if Neapolitan is not your thing, you are never too far away from terrific ice cream made with the finest ingredients. Just head down to Praline’s and concoct your own delicious creation. sprinkles ice cream