As promised, we would like to use this space to discuss iCream, a “sci-fi ice cream parlor” that’ll be opening sometime this week in Wicker Park.
Besides the extremely hilarious name (remember back in 2001 when putting i- or e- before anything made it super mega awesome cool, and 20 gigs of iPod cost $500?) (also did you catch how the name of the place sounds like an intimate or socially coarse statement?), what do we know?
We know this: The ice cream is made-to-order from the ground up. Going one step beyond places like ColdStone and Marble Slab, at iCream you pick your dairy (or non-dairy) base via computer touchscreen, and then start adding flavors and candy or fruit mix-ins. Then the whole thing gets plunked into a KitchenAid mixer with a hefty dose of liquid nitrogen, which freezes it up. Then you eat it.
We question this: Will it be any good? We’re not quite as skeptical of iCream as we are of its hamburger equivalent, though this might be because we prefer a burger to a cone any day. But we’re also a little nervous that freezing things with liquid nitrogen is not quite the same as freezing things in an ice cream machine — think about the textural difference between ice cream scooped out at a parlor, versus the brick of mint chip that’s been sitting in the back of your freezer for a month.
Still, we recognize that this “will it be any good” question is kind of an irrelevant one. DIY joints tend to live or die based on the novelty of the experience as opposed to the deliciousness of the food, so while iCream prides themselves on their top-notch ingredients, people aren’t going to be visiting for the hormone-free milk bases. They’re going to be visiting so they can turn to their friend and say HOLY CRAP LIQUID NITROGEN!
In fact, it is entirely likely that we will be visiting in order to say HOLY CRAP LIQUID NITROGEN. And then we will make lots of puns on “iCream,” and laugh like a thirteen-year-old boy, which we sometimes secretly believe we are.
Though given that we are a thirteen-year-old boy, we might actually attempt to make liquid nitrogen ice cream at home, instead. Which doesn’t seem all that hard. And, um, kind of takes some of the awesome! factor away from iCream.
Well, there’s always the puns.
[Photo: liquid nitrogen ice cream, via jrhampton’s Flickr]