Frozen fun

November 9, 2009

Sooshi-05Whether it’s in a bowl, a cone or just out of the carton or ice cream maker, I think ice cream is a fun food. Others (who likely lead more exciting lives) don’t agree. The evidence is all around in the ever  exciting ways people keep finding to make ice cream surprise and delight:

Sooshi: This New Zealand product (pictured here) combines ice cream, candies and fruit to resemble maki rolls that will please even the fish phobic.

Icecreamists: Dragging ice cream by the hair out of childhood and into the counter culture is this pop-up restaurant in London’s Selfridges department store. Its menu features alcohol-spiked ice cream concoctions (the word “sundae” just doesn’t fit) with names such as Axl Rose-water and The Sex Pistol (laced with absinthe) that kick conventional ice cream treats in the teeth.

Dippin’ Dots: These pebble-shaped ice cream orbs are sold in mall kiosks and vending machines so that you can enjoy an unusual ice cream treat any time.

Dibs: These frozen snacks are like ice cream M&M’s; they feature vanilla ice cream enrobed in a crunchy chocolate shell. The idea is that you can eat just one but in reality, you’re likely to keep grazing once you open the package.

Beyond the usual cones, sundaes and shakes, what’s the ‘coolest’ ice cream novelty you’ve seen or tasted?

Comfort foods

September 10, 2009

Chicken ParmigianaAccording to a recent article in Marketing Daily, comfort foods choices differ depending on age.

While baby boomers say they find classic comfort foods such as braised meats, casseroles and ice cream soothing, Gen X-ers cite fast food hamburgers and burritos near the top of their lists. While this may seem discouraging, the good news is that Gen-Y-ers like burgers but also mention sushi and fruit as comfort foods.

For me, almost all food is comforting (seriously, I get quite uncomfortable at the first signs of hunger), but one of my favourite meal choices to massage away the tensions of a long day is veal Parmigiana with spaghetti and tomato sauce; homemade is ideal but I often settle quite happily for the take away version from Abruzzo Pizza. When I need some mental health food and I’m not actually hungry, coffee-flavoured Hagen Daz ice cream is my treat of choice.

I’m not quite a baby boomer by age (that age group cut off is 1964 and I was born in 1966) but as my comfort food choices attest, I’m more like the Boomers than the Gen X-ers. However, the fact that my choices are bought foods that I note by brand is distinctly like a Gen X-er. Confusing.

What foods do you find soothing? And, if you don’t mind sharing, what age group category best defines you?

Topline Trends Tuesday: Ice cream trends

June 9, 2009

BenJerryIt doesn’t have to be June for my thoughts to turn to ice cream, but it does seem like an appropriate time of year to write about the latest trends in this internationally loved concoction.

1. Charity: Ben & Jerry’s and the Barenaked Ladies continue the tradition of rock and roll-inspired ice cream flavours. And, in the spirit of the times, this flavour has a strong charity link since the band will donate their portion of the proceeds to the ABC Canada Literacy Foundation. In other Ben and Jerry’s news, their UK branch has launched a fair trade line that supports small farmers.

2. Spicy: Where bacon went before, the new trend in ice cream is to add a spicy kick of heat to distract eaters from brain freeze. Even if you can’t handle a spicy ice cream, you can go to NYC and spice up your ice cream experience in another way by visiting the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck.

3. Tangy: Goat milk gelato and goat milk ice cream are certainly gourmet faves right now, as are buttermilk, sour cream and crème fraiche-based ice creams that have bracing finishes.

What’s your favourite ice cream flavour? I have to be honest that I still have frequent cravings for Baskin & Robbins Jamoca Almond Fudge as well as Hagen Daaz Dulce de Leche.

The lovely photo above of Ben & Jerry’s If I had a Million Flavors, was, once again, taken by professional food photographer Tracy Cox.

Topline Trends Tuesdays: Goat Milk

January 27, 2009


Recently my trend tracker’s radar screen has picked up buzz about not only goat milk but also products made with goat milk. Turns out I’m not the only one picking up this static; this article highlights the trend, too.

If you’re wondering what’s enticing consumers to give goat milk a try, you should know that many people who are sensitive to cow milk can drink goat milk with no ill effect since the fatty acid and protein structure of goat milk is different than cow milk, making it easier to digest. Likewise, compared to cow milk, goat milk is higher in calcium and some other nutrients, too.

I haven’t tried goat milk or any products or recipes made with it myself but, I’m very curious about it. In fact, I really want to try these LaLoo ice creams.

Have any of you tried goat milk or goat milk products?  If so, are they very different in taste and texture to cow milk versions?