Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cool Trick

Photo by Barney Taxel, Taxel Image Group
 Where there's smoke, there's ice cream. Really. That is if you're at the brand new Piccadilly Artisan Creamery on Euclid Avenue in University Circle (right next door to Coquette Patisserie). The Bota brothers, who launched their frozen treat empire last year with a self-serve store on Coventry Road, have a new concept, new for Cleveland anyway. Every scoop of ice cream and frozen yogurt is custom made, on the spot and to order. It takes about two minutes per customer. Talk about instant gratification.

   The not-so-secret secret ingredient that makes this possible is liquid nitrogen. The base flavor is poured into the bowl of a KitchenAid Mixer. The odorless, colorless, tasteless gas is added. Then a chemical reaction happens in a swirl of smoke, and like magic, the mixture begins to thicken and harden into an astonishingly smooth rich creamy and cool treat that's ready to eat.

  Science teachers have been doing this trick for many years to the delight of their students and chefs have been playing with the process since molecular gastronomy became a thing. There's a national chain built around this very concept. But it's a first here and what makes Piccadilly a standout is the use of organic, local and ethically sourced ingredients. Plus, the floor show that comes with your sundae is also great, and so is the rustic meets urban industrial decor — the work of Sailee Gupte of SxG Design.

Photo by Barney Taxel, Taxel Image Group 
They've launched with 12 base flavors and a variety of goodies to put in the mix and on top. I tried the salted caramel ice cream with some chopped pecans at the launch party and was happily impressed  it had a lovely velvety mouthfeel and tasted as delicious as it sounds.

  They'll be selling pints to take home as well as scoops. Although it has no preservatives or stabilizers, we were told it would keep in the freezer up to 30 days. But in my personal and professional opinion, there is no way something this good won't disappear long before that.

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