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Flavor Development

We’ve been working on our flavors for a while.  Before we could even make flavors, we had to find the different ingredients that fit our criteria of local or Fair Trade, and of course great tasting. This was actually a fairly lengthy process and one that is quite different from just calling up a food distributor and saying, “What do you have for chocolate, vanilla, spices, etc.?” In the end, we have a ton of different suppliers, which makes for more accounting work but ensures that we are bringing together the right ingredients to make our ice cream.  We had to judge these ingredients initially not only against those criteria but also price.  We can’t afterall charge $10 for pint of ice cream. Maybe in New York can, but that’s another story that I’ll get to in another post sometime.

Once we had identified several brands for a given ingredient, we then had to try them in ice cream and see what we thought.  And so began the hard work -  eating lots of ice cream.  Seriously, this is harder to do than you’d think because we needed to really analyze flavor, texture, and appearance with each batch and bite.  When you’re trying a bunch of different batches of the same flavor, sometimes the differences can be substantial and sometimes not.  It can be hard to really identify what is different about one batch from the next.  I don’t think that this is anything new to food tasting, but I find it helps to close my eyes when I am taste testing.  It heightens my sense of taste and allows me to focus on what the ice cream feels like in my mouth.

Tomorrow is a big day for us as a bunch of people will be taste testing 5 of our flavors.  Some of these people we know and some we don’t.  We’re really curious to hear what they think…and maybe a little nervous too.

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