There’s lots of weird and wonderful things in this world, and one of the weirdest – and certainly most wonderful – things I have recently experienced is Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream. I was invited to visit the N2 Ice Cream Lab in Milnerton to find out a little more about this nitrogen wonder, but little did I know that I’d be leaving the shop five hours later (!!!!), viewing the world of ice cream completely differently!
I met up with Maija Groenewald, the ice cream queen (aka, owner of the shop and wonder woman behind the secret ice cream recipe), to chat about the world of ice cream, and absolutely fell in love both with her store and her story. The cutest thing of all? Maija makes her ice cream base according to a recipe handed down to her from her mom. Mixed with Italian imported pastes and syrups for authentic flavours and some modern science to create a steamy lab session, the N2 Ice Cream is undoubtedly one of best ice creams I have ever had.
So how is liquid nitrogen ice cream actually made you may ask? Well, mix the ice cream base with the flavour of choice, selected from the Periodic Table of Flavour, add some liquid nitrogen, and, voila, frozen goodness (you can also watch the video below). Though the ice cream scientists make it look super simple and the whole process only takes about a minute – yes, the ice cream is made for you on the spot – the back-end process of having to figure it all is slightly more complicated. But thankfully none of us ice cream lovers have to confuddle our minds with the chemistry – we can just do what we do best, and that’s enjoying ice cream!
I began my ice cream experience with some pistachio ice cream, made with a vanilla base, and it was the nuttiest pistachio ice cream I have ever had! Made with the magic of Italian pistachios, there’s none of that fake green goo in this ice cream – it’s purely nutty and oh-so-good. Then I went on to try the pina colada, and I think this was probably my favourite one – subtle flavours of coconut and pineapple. Super delicious. The N2 Ice Cream Lab also makes milkshakes, and I think they’d do very, very well branching out into cocktails as well!!! Up next was the cherry ice cream, which reminded me of the fresh cherry juice I always drink when I visit Hungary. It’s divine. And, finally, as a palate cleanser, I tried the Aloe, Mint, and Lemongrass sorbet. I think I took this one as an experimental flavour and wasn’t really sure what to expect from it, but I certainly didn’t expect it to be as sweet and delightful as it was. An absolute winner as well.
While I was floating in ice cream heaven, my sister, who joined me for the afternoon, tried the Banting ice cream flavours. I can proudly advocate the authenticity of the Banting ice cream and all die-hard LCHF fans will be pleased to know that this is one place that will not disappoint you. We (coz I had a bite) tried both the vanilla and the chocolate Banting ice cream flavours, and both were lovely creations.
I realise that, for all us town-dwellers, Milnerton isn’t exactly around the corner, but, trust me, you’ll be wanting to try this place. The N2 Ice Cream Lab also performs their liquid nitrogen magic show at various events, and they’ll be showcasing at the Met this weekend. And if you miss that, then you can hire them for a private party. How cool is that?
Visit the N2 Ice Cream Lab in the Paddocks Shopping Mall in Milnerton or in the Emporium Shopping Centre in Parklands, and be sure to check them out on Facebook and visit them on their website. And, just in case you’re curious, there’s a competition running at the moment where people can vote for the best ice cream place and N2 Ice Cream Lab is at the top of that list, so be sure to put your votes in as well!
I Love Foodies will be back soon for another foodie feature!
Review Date: January 2016
The Making Of Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream
Step One: Pour Maija’s secret ice cream base into bowl.
Step Two: Add in flavour of choice – this will either be in a paste for strong flavours, like the pistachio, a syrup for fruity flavours, like with the cherry, or fresh, like with strawberries.
Step Three: Mix well.
Step Four: Add in liquid nitrogen. This is the steamy bit.
Step Five: Place bowl in water to loosen ice cream.
Step Six: Scoop ice cream into bowl.
Step Seven: Enjoy!