Recently, liquid nitrogen ice cream shops have been popping up all over the world. Take South Africa for instance, where N2 Ice Cream Lab is offering up a 'periodic table of flavors' that appeal to dessert lovers and science nerds alike.
The process of making ice cream with liquid nitrogen is unique in every way, shape and form. The process begins by taking a liquid mixture of cream, full-cream milk, sugar, and your flavoring of choice and churning it with liquid nitrogen at an exact temperature of -195 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to the well below freezing temperature of the nitrogen, the mixture freezes instantaneously. Not only is it a quick process, but unlike ice cream and gelato, that contain around 30% to 50% air after the churning process, it is essentially air free. This results in a creamy, dense texture. Due to the lack of churning, however, many note that the nitrogen ice cream contains tiny ice crystals, which isn't a desirable texture for many.
This intriguing ice cream trend is becoming increasingly popular, making appearances in ice cream shops across the country; a great deal of its intrigue is due in part to the showmanship involved. Like other ice cream trends in the United States, such as the granite stone slab method popularized by Cold Stone, and the futuristic but fleeting Dip n Dots craze, this trend will likely hit the spotlight and melt soon after. But original ice cream and gelato, enjoyed by 90% of all American households? That delicious treat isn't going anywhere.