If you’ve scrolled through your Facebook or Instagram feeds anytime in the last few years, you’ve probably come across rolled ice cream.
A street vendor is probably expertly mixing cream and toppings on a frozen metal plate and then just-as-expertly flattening the mixture and rolling it into tight logs, before presenting them in a cup with flourish. The viral sensation started as postings by tourists of a popular Thai street food. But now the trend has gone global, and places offering the made-before-your-eyes treat have been popping up all over.
And now Modesto has joined the rolled ice cream experience. The Blossoms Creamery stand from Modesto couple Marie Chang and Cameron Robinson will make its public debut this week at the DoMo First Fridays market downtown. It will be the city’s only dedicated rolled ice cream vendor (while other brick-and-mortar sweet shops in the region also offer the delicacy among other treats).
The couple decided to start their stand after Chang’s 13-year-old daughter had begged them to take her to a rolled ice cream place in the Bay Area. They eventually relented during a trip to Los Angeles last holiday season.
“We saw it and thought, this is easy and amazing and interesting,” Chang said.
So the couple purchased a custom-made rolled ice cream stand with two subzero metal griddles to create their perfect rolls. They plan to take it to events, like the DoMo First Fridays market, and fundraisers around the area for now.
The secret to making the rolls is in the preparation and presentation. Chang and Robinson said it took them about a month to master the technique. The plates must be cooled to around -20 degrees, and then the cream and ingredients applied, chopped, mixed, flattened and then rolled up with a spatula.
But unlike other ice cream stands, Blossom Creamery is all dairy-free. The couple uses coconut cream instead of traditional dairy cream as its base. Robinson said they’re a dairy-free family for health reasons and wanted to promote a more fitness friendly treat.
The cart doesn’t use products with high fructose corn syrup either, instead opting for fresh fruit, berries, granola, dairy-free whipped cream and other delicacies.
“We didn’t want to promote a product we didn’t believe in,” said Robinson, an eight-year Navy veteran. “We don’t like to eat dairy like that, so why would we sell it to other people?”
To make the ice cream, the coconut cream, a topping of your choice and a graham cracker are all placed on the ice griddle. The graham crackers help to absorb the liquid and stabilize the cream. The rest is just science as the frozen plate chills the ingredients as they’re muddled into the mix.
Undoubtedly, one of the major appeals for rolled ice cream is to watch it come together before your eyes. The result is a sweet, frosty treat that may lack some of the conventional creaminess of regular ice cream, but more than makes up for it with its instantly shareable appeal. It gives “Do it for the Gram” a sweet new meaning.
At the DoMo event, the cart will be serving bananas and strawberry rolls. Small 8-ounce cups are $7 and larger 12-oz sizes run $9. If you miss them this Friday, they’ll be back downtown Oct. 13 for the Modesto Harvest Festival.
Elsewhere on the Business Beat:
If you’re looking for a deal on heavy machinery, you could be in luck. Seneca Foods in Modesto is auctioning off a massive amount of its equipment this month.
The food processing and packaging plant in south Modesto announced its closure in February. The plant, which had been owned by Seneca since 2006, has more than 5,000 lots of equipment for fruit processing, canning and other plant support on the block. Inspections of the equipment are currently being arranged by appointment, and there will be a public inspection from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 15 to 29 at the plant at 2801 Finch Road.