Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Meet Russell, The Ice Cream Geek

A while back, Tina and I told you about how we met up with Russell, the self-proclaimed ice cream geek, and his wife, Kathey, at the 2010 Scooperbowl. As the focus of that post was the Scooperbowl, we didn't focus on Russell, but it's time now that we do.

Tina and I met up with Russell and over the loud music, got to scream about ice cream. It was a bit hard to really talk in depth about it. Later I went to lunch at Wagamama with Russell and Kathey and we were able to chat some more about ice cream and the process.

But for those of you who couldn't join us, you can visit his beautifully designed site.

Broken down into five categories, Russell's site is a goldmine of information.

  1. Equipment talks about, well, equipment. Ice cream makers and containers to contain your creations are the topics of discussion for the time being, but we hope our ice cream expert will add more categories. For now though, the ice cream makers post is very thorough and there is a great link for cardboard containers.
  2. The General category covers things that don't really have another place to be -- like meeting Tina and I!
  3. In How To you can find a great article about transporting ice cream from Texas to Rhode Island!
  4. Recipes brings us great recipes, such as one for a Spicy Peach Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream made with chocolate, cayanne, and peaches (wow!) -- with a great story of it's inspiration to boot -- as well as a a great review/contest between multiple chocolate ice creams.
  5. Finally, Technical is my favorite category. With posts about stabilizers and butterfat, this geek knows his stuff. Best of all he has a butterfat calculator for ice cream. No, we aren't using this to find out how unhealthy the ice cream is, but instead it's a great resource for figuring out how to obtain the desired consistency to your frozen treats. Russell says it best when describing how butterfat figures into ice cream:

    If there’s not enough butterfat, the ice cream tends to taste icy and not very smooth—which is fine if you’re making a sherbet or a sorbet, but not great if you’re aiming for your own version of Ben & Jerry’s. On the other hand, if there’s too much butterfat, it starts to taste greasy like lard, and it sticks to the inside of your mouth. Or in other words, it has bad “mouth feel”.
    I've certainly had both the icy ice cream and the "bad mouth feel" type. His write up here tells you what butterfat to aim for for each of your desired types of ice cream. Neither category of "icy" or "bad mouth feel" are on his list, so if you want those, you are on your own!

Russell, you certainly are an ice cream geek -- or perhaps, more appropriately, an ice cream god. Whatever it is you are, keep posting!

[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]

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