Monday, September 27, 2010

More medicated ice cream...this time with weed

You know what I always say - "Ice cream.  Good for what ails you."  Are you getting older?  Try anti-aging ice cream.  Recovering from chemotherapy?  Ice cream.  Perhaps you're afflicted with the ailment of not being stoned?  Let's review the options...there's...oh hey! Look at that! Ice cream.  Creme de Canna, which also makes a small selection of cookies in flavors like chewy molasses and chocolate chip, has a line of gourmet ice creams in Bananas Foster, TripLe Fudge Brownie and Straw Mari Cheesecake.  Each pint is $15 and "contains 2-4 doses." reported:
"It's made with organic local strawberries and a Grand Marnier reduction,” says Jonathan Kolodinski, owner of the licensed dispensary.

Um, and drugs, buddy!

The article also notes that the ice cream is "available only to card-carrying medical-marijuana users."  Uh-huh.  They're not passing the spoon.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ice cream treats cancer! Maybe!

I just came across this old article from a March issue of The Scientist.  The writer Katherine Bagley describes an effort by scientists to isolate milk proteins that can help patients recovering from chemotherapy and insert them directly into...strawberry ice cream.  Yes.

She writes:

"One protein in particular, lactoferrin, has been shown to inhibit tumor growth, promote intestinal cell growth, and regulate immune response in the intestine (Biochem Cell Biol, 89:95–102, 2002). The scientists reasoned it could therefore help patients receiving chemotherapy, which can damage normal cells that multiply quickly, such as infection-fighting white blood cells, known as neutrophils, and intestinal cells."

One of the doctors involved explains why ice cream was the most suitable delivery mechanism for lactoferrin:

"Palmano considered incorporating the bioactives into a liquid drink or yogurt, but in the end, ice cream won out. “Creating a frozen product meant we didn’t have to worry about the bioactives’ shelf life,” she says. “Plus, people going through chemotherapy typically lose their appetite. Why not give them a treat like ice cream?""

While it's not yet on the market, it is being tested by patients who are "required" to eat ice cream every day:

"The scientists worked with New Zealand’s top ice cream manufacturers to create six tons of strawberry-flavored ReCharge. They then made a placebo ice cream with the same taste, color, and calorie count. ReCharge started its Phase II clinical trial in October 2009, in which 200 prechemotherapy cancer patients will be required to eat 100 grams of either ReCharge or the placebo ice cream each day.
“It has been a wonderful ride creating this product,” says Geursen. “We don’t know if ReCharge will work—it is always a challenge going from mice to humans—but we are keeping our fingers crossed.”"

I just raised the question in a previous post about anti-aging ice cream, why not deliver vitamins via ice cream?  This is an entirely feasible and worthy undertaking.   Maybe I should petition Solgar and Grom to do a collaboration. 

Read more: Sweet relief - The Scientist - Magazine of the Life Sciences

Brainfreeze does not cause long-term brain damage

Getty Images
Did you really think it did?  I've never heard that before.  Luckily a writer at Popular Science has cleared all of this up for us with this helpful post, in which he first describes the two theories of how and why one gets brainfreeze (or an "ice-cream headache"):

"First, let’s get one thing straight. “This condition is referred to as an ‘ice-cream headache,’ ” says Stacey Gray, a sinus surgeon at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. “It’s a very technical term.” Although there’s no published paper saying as much, a milkshake slurped too quickly probably does not actually lower brain temperature. Besides, Gray says, the temporary pain can’t do any harm because it has nothing to do with the brain.

There are two schools of thought on what causes the ice-cream headache. The drink may chill the air in your sinuses and cause the blood vessels in the nasal cavity near your forehead to constrict, creating pain similar to a migraine. Or perhaps it touches off a branch of the trigeminal nerve in your mouth, triggering a pain response in the nerve that’s responsible for facial sensation."

Later he quotes a doctor explaining why lowering brain temperature temporarily is not a big deal:

"“Even if the patient wasn’t anesthetized, at that temperature they would be in a noninteractive state, unable to sense stimuli or produce a response,” Tamargo says. “But once you warm the brain up, it picks right up from where it left off. It’s not harmful at all.” So whether your brain is frozen or not, if you can handle a little pain, slurp away."

Have you ever heard of this before?  Long-term brain damage?  Seriously?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

To anyone who thought Unilever was not intent on world domination: anti-aging ice cream

Unilever, the biggest ice cream manufacturer in the world (so I guess it doesn't need to intend to dominate the world; it already does), makes Ben and Jerry's, Magnum, Cornetto, and is sold in more than 40 countries.  As if this wasn't world-dominate-y enough already, they're also planning to research anti-aging ice cream.  It will apparently contain anti-oxidants.  Ampere Life Sciences, based in San Jose, California, will carry out the research over a period of five years, Fox reports.

I don't know how a few anti-oxidants are going to mitigate the effects of all the sugar and fat that make your skin age and give you heart disease, but it seems they know the answers.  Speaking of which, why haven't they fortified ice cream with vitamins yet?  Why do cereals come fortified, but not ice cream?  Why shouldn't I have ice cream with vitamins for breakfast?  I demand answers.

Professional Foray #12, Cones gelato, Bleecker St, NY

Happy news, dear readers!  I'm moving into the Bermuda Triangle of gelato - the rocky zone bordered by Bleecker Street, Carmine Street and 7th Avenue South, home to no less than three of New York's top gelaterie (Grom, l'Arte del Gelato and Cones) and one of my favorite Italian ice shops (Rocco's pasticceria).  Luckily I've got a fifth-floor walk-up, so hopefully the running up and down the stairs a few times a day will balance out the ice creams I'm sure I will eat a few times a day.  As a friend who knows me too well asked, when I told him where I was moving: "looks cute. is the kitchen going to be big enough for you, or do you plan to cycle through the ice cream shops for your daily nutrition?"

On that note, I headed to Cones with my wonderful friend/real estate broker Adam, to sample their wares for the first time in a decade.  Cones opened when I was in high school, and it was the first gourmet gelato shop in the neighborhood.  There was Moondog further north on Bleecker, and Bleecker St. Pastry and Rocco's selling icies, but there was nothing like this before - soft, very sweet and intensely flavored.  My best friend at the time, Emma Feigenbaum, fell hard for their Dom Perignon lemon sorbet.  She was always a woman of expensive tastes.  I liked the almond, if I remember correctly, but I always thought the flavors were a little too sugary, and attributed it to the proprietor's Argentine roots (desserts come very sweet in South America).  
Behold the halo of cinnamon

I tasted the almond, for old time's sake, and the corn, of which I had heard legions.  I really, really love corn - I can eat about a half-dozen to ten ears in a sitting - and corn + sugar + cream + a sprinkling of cinnamon could only turn out well, my instincts told me.  As I tasted and surveyed the lay of the land, indecision settled over me like a cloud.  There was also a chocolate flavor with white chocolate chips, and a maté flavor that the scooper told me was similar to green tea.  Could I taste just one or two more?  No.  A firm "no."  I had reached the two-taste maximum, and with the owner standing by, there was no bending the iron-clad rule.  I stalked the freezer cases, still unsure of what to get.  

"If she has this much trouble choosing an ice cream flavor, imagine what she'll be like when it's time to choose an apartment," an older man nearby commented to Adam.  We swiftly corrected him, noting that it was taking me about twice as long to select my cone as it had to choose an apartment.  In the end, I settled on chocolate with white chocolate snow (little chocolate shavings) and corn, sprinkled with ground cinnamon.  The corn was exceptional, delicate and sweet, like a frozen version of atole, the Mexican corn drink made with corn flour, vanilla, milk and cinnamon.  The chocolate was less impressive - not dark or chocolate-y enough, and the white chocolate shavings were too small to taste but large enough to make the ice cream texture gritty.  Since it's around the corner, expect updates soon.  272 Bleecker Street, 212-414-4795, 1 scoop $4.75, 2 scoops $5.75, 3 scoops $7.

Professional Foray #11, Emack and Bolio's, Houston Street, New York

Zagat's, the Scoop on Cones, and my friend Oscar all think this is some of the best ice cream in New York City.  Is it?  They definitely have ground-breaking flavors, and for someone whose benchmark is Cookies and Cream, I was delighted to hear from the proprietor that E & B were the first company to put Oreos into ice cream, in 1975.  "That's why it's called 'The Original Oreo,'" she explained.  

Since 1975, the instinct to throw Oreos into ice cream has gone unrestrained, resulting in such triumphs as peanut butter Oreo, and my favorite, Grasshopper Pie: mint chip ice cream - WITH OREOS.  I am so, so grateful to this company for replacing the "or" (as in "mint chip or mint Oreo?") and replacing it with that vastly preferable conjunction, "and."  The chocolate is very rich and tasty, as is the Cosmic Crunch - vanilla ice cream, caramel swirl, chocolate chips, walnuts, and cookies.  The "Deep Purple" black raspberry flavor is also divine - much more flavorful than the wan, rather artificial stuff I'm used to seeing.

You may have noticed I'm dodging the aforementioned question.  It may very well be the best ice cream in New York, and I appreciate that they were using non-hormonally-charged milk way before anyone else, but my book, it's slightly too rich.  It is super-premium ice cream, meaning it has a butterfat content of, most likely, above 14% (the International Dairy Foods Association doesn't have specific guidelines on this, but this is commonly accepted), much higher than the 5-8% that's normally found in gelato.  And I, my friends, have been eating a lot of gelato lately.  When it came time to take charge of my double-scoop cone of Original Oreo and Grasshopper pie, I was barely equipped to handle it.  

It was like training for a marathon by running around the Central Park reservoir once a week for a month.  I just wasn't ready.  My body couldn't take it.  The ice cream felt dangerously rich; I could hear it whispering for an angioplasty as it slid down my throat.  I needed gulps of water between bites.  But that said, it sure tasted great.  And I've been back - training, as it were - several more times since then.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

NYT spotlights the helados of Buenos Aires

Horacio Paone for the New York Times
Man, I wish I'd gotten to this place before I had to read about it.  I've been hearing about Persicco (watch out for the crazy techno runway-show intro) for years, from my friend Massoud, who told me that by running an ice cream blog and not featuring Persicco, I'd "lost the plot already," in his words.  Luckily the NYT has thoughtfully found the plot, with a great story about dulce de leche ice cream, in its myriad forms, available in all the grand heladerias of Buenos Aires.  In fact, a chain called Chungo's won for best dulce de leche ice cream, not Persicco, but they all sound pretty good to me.  How about this one?

"During Freddo’s heyday in the ’80s and ’90s, the company began offering crema tramontana — which contains dulce de leche jam and specks of malted chocolate ball."

Malted milk ball...someone needs to bring that back - and not Ciao Bella, which is straight up disgusting these days.

Update:  Corinne Masucci, a BA native, reports that they deliver til midnight.  Damn.

Site Info

Lick Me Everywhere Copyright © 2009 Blogger Template Designed by Bie Blogger Template