Cool Ideas

July 1, 2006
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Cool Ideas
James Dudlicek
(847) 405-4009
I love pizza. I love bacon. And I love ice cream. But pizza and bacon ice cream? Even a voracious eater like me has to draw the line somewhere.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s where ice cream makers should be drawing the line when it comes to innovation. Certainly, some of the most creative innovations come from the ice cream industry — even though pizza didn’t make the cut in Ben & Jerry’s annual new-flavor contest.
Pepperoni pizza — with an anchovy swirl — got the ax from among 35,000 entries to the contest that has given birth to winners like Chubby Hubby, with its peanut-butter-filled, chocolate-covered pretzels.
That scrumptious salty-sweet combination is about as far as most consumers seem willing to go in combining the savory with the sweet in their ice cream. Of course, that’s not stopping a few boutique ice cream makers from pushing the envelope — or carton — much further.
The arrival of National Ice Cream Month has seen a stream of news reports from across the country telling of wild and wacky ice cream concepts. Bacon ice cream appears to be a keeper at Delaware’s Udder Delight Ice Cream House, with chocolate bacon a possible variation. The jury’s still deliberating over Udder Delight’s other offerings, which include barbeque and garlic amaretto chip.
Meanwhile, down the seaboard at Sunni Sky’s in Angier, N.C., customers are required to sign a waiver before tasting Cold Sweat, made with three varieties of peppers and two kinds of hot sauce.
And while fish-flavored ice creams have a following in Asia, a big fish in the frozen pond knows an innovative way to make ice cream better for you. Unilever is seeking permission in Europe to use genetic modification technology to develop a protein normally found in the blood of the pout fish. This eel-like denizen of the North Atlantic contains an ice-structuring protein that, when applied to ice cream manufacturing, lowers the temperature at which ice crystals form, requiring less fat for a creamy texture.
BBC reports the technology has already been approved in the United States; Unilever owns Good Humor-Breyers, which makes a “double-churned” light product.
So when it comes to ice cream, innovation apparently knows no bounds. Let these snippets inspire you during this National Ice Cream Month to come up with something new and different, perhaps even oddly so. Who knows — you might just strike gold.
How ’bout ice cream and … Chicago hot dogs? Remember to leave out the ketchup.

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