Have you heard about liquid nitrogen ice cream? Recently I decided to jump on the trend to see what the hype was about, so keep reading if you are looking for the scoop on liquid nitrogen ice cream. You’ll learn what it is, how the freezing process works, my overall experience, and much more!
What Is It?
Liquid nitrogen ice cream is ice cream that uses liquid nitrogen at -320 degrees Fahrenheit. Making ice cream with liquid nitrogen enables the ice cream to freeze from a liquid to a solid in seconds. During the process, the ice cream freezes so quickly that the water and fat particles stay small, creating a smoother texture than regular ice cream.
Mixing It Up
Arriving at the nearest liquid nitrogen shop, I found the ordering process was slightly different. Instead of naming off your favorite ice cream flavor, size, and whether you want to enjoy it in a cone or cup, here’s how it works:
- Choose your liquid base (i.e., chocolate, vanilla, strawberry)
- Select your toppings and whether you want them mixed in or added after freezing.
- Watch your creation transform in the blink of an eye (45 seconds to be exact)
Watching them make the ice cream is an experience in and of itself. There were four liquid nitrogen tanks in the shop I visited, and instead of displaying the ice cream flavors, there were stainless steel counters with machinery. Once the liquid base and mix-ins find their way into the bowl, a foggy cloud engulfs the counter. The smokey effect from the liquid nitrogen’s freezing process is fascinating to watch and feels like a magic trick unraveling before your eyes.
The creamery I went to also offered an option to spike your ice cream. So, for those 21+, adding alcohol to your dessert can make for an extra-fun experience with liquid nitrogen ice cream! However, it will definitely cost you extra.
What’s the Cost?
The average liquid nitrogen ice cream price in the United States is around $7 for a small cup, so you’ll pay more compared to regular ice cream shops. Here’s why…
To make the liquid nitrogen ice cream, you need a lot of equipment. Additionally, you can’t find liquid nitrogen shops on every corner (in most places), so when you come across one, it’s a must-have treat.
Is it worth the extra moo-lah?
It all depends. If you’re looking for an ice cream that is smoother in texture and sweeter, then you’ll want to spend a few extra bucks to get a higher-quality dessert. If you’re not that impressed by this kind of thing, save your money and stick with regular ice cream. That said, I’d encourage just about everyone to try it at least once!
The Taste Test
The real question is, how does it taste? I found it to be a tad sweeter than regular ice cream, but it could be because of my chosen flavor — cheesecake. It also has a creamier, smoother consistency while remaining firmer than regular ice cream at its center (possibly due to the graham cracker pieces scattered throughout). As I got to the bottom of the cup, I appreciated that it didn’t melt as fast as regular ice cream. It almost has an airy taste, making it a nice treat that won’t make you feel like you overate.
I noticed the temperature felt similar to regular ice cream, but I wasn’t as cold while eating this ice cream. Usually, I’m quick to get chilly, and I didn’t have this experience. I also didn’t get a brain freeze. Maybe it was only a coincidence, but it’s something interesting I thought worth adding.
If you’ve had a similar experience, let us know in the comments below!
My first time trying liquid nitrogen ice cream was a success!
I hope you’ll try it for yourself. The experience alone is worth it, and the ice cream is pretty darn good, too. Next time, I want to order the triple chocolate, a chocolate base with chocolate chips mixed throughout and hot fudge drizzled on top. If you get the chance to check it out or have tried it before, let us know what you think!