‘Atlanta’s Savory Stories’: Ice Cream – WABE

In WABE’s new series “Atlanta’s Savory Stories,” our food contributors Akila McConnell, food historian, and chef Asata Reid explore our city’s culinary history while shedding light on a few local restaurants that correlate to the topic. . This month’s episode: ice cream. Reid and McConnell began their conversation by turning the clock back to 1870 in Atlanta.

“There was no air conditioning or even electric fans,” McConnell said. “Fashion wanted women to wear loose dresses with lots of petticoats and men to wear jackets over their clothes. And like any other Atlanta summer, it was hot – super hot. The three basic ingredients for making ice cream — cream, sugar and ice — were generally easy to find in the South, but getting ice cream was a challenge in Atlanta, as McConnell explained.

It’s easy to forget that ice was simply inaccessible to people living in warm year-round climates for most of history. But that all changed in the mid-1800s. “The ice cream business was the brainchild of Massachusetts entrepreneur Frederick Tudor, who was known as the ‘Ice King,'” McConnell said. “The men were cutting ice from the frozen lakes and rivers of Massachusetts… They were packing the blocks of ice between sawdust and then shipping them all over the world, including places like Hong Kong, India, India. South America and the southeastern United States, like here in Atlanta.

Along with gelato, ice cream‘s popularity has exploded, not just because it’s delicious. “In the 1800s it was considered terribly ‘fast’, or very inappropriate in our terms, for a woman to eat in a restaurant,” McConnell said. “It was a surefire way for a woman to ruin her reputation… So a big question is where could women meet? Sure, they could meet at their homes, but they also met at ice cream parlors.

In today’s Atlanta, local ice cream parlors like Jake’s Ice Cream continue to thrive. Reid shared how Jake’s owner and namesake, Jake Rothschild, continues to innovate new ice cream treats. “He created ‘pupscream.’ It’s a dog-safe ice cream with finely grated vegetables that are healthy for dogs,” Reid said. “It’s sugar-free, and it’s made with oat milk and a base of pumpkin. And I don’t know if you have a dog, but I’ve worked in vet clinics and dogs love pumpkin. Another Jake invention, “haute milk,” uses an oat milk base with no added ingredients. low glycemic index dairy products and sweeteners suitable for diabetics.

Reid and McConnell spent a while discussing their favorite flavors of ice cream — honorable mentions to black cherry, Jeni’s buttercake flavor, and chewing gum (at least, when they were kids). Reid shouted out an unusual but unforgettable ice cream she remembers, saying, “When I worked at Dish in the Virginia Highlands under chef Sheri Davis, our pastry chef Jennifer Dorn produced my all-time favorite flavor. I can still taste it – the saffron ice cream… It was just sweet enough to entice you, and that saffron flavor would bloom on your palette, as fragrant as it is delicious.

Local Ice Cream and Ice Cream Recommendations from Akila and Asata:

Butter & CreamDecatur – “One of my favorite flavors is their ‘Persian Rose’. It has pistachio and rose water in it…absolutely divine flavor. – McConnell

Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream, East Atlanta – “My favorite milkshake, made so thick you can hold it upside down, and it won’t fall out of the cup – and that’s the Mexican malt shake.” -Reid

Honeysuckle ice cream, Ponce City Market – “Their Bourbon Pecan Praline just screams classic Southern flavors. Nutella was a hit with my daughter because she’s obsessed with that stuff. And I’m a fan of chai gelato. -Reid

Gelato Italiano from Paolo, Virginia Highlands – “Paolo’s may be the only ice cream shop in Atlanta run by a real Italian…Paolo is a real character. His outgoing personality is as much a part of the experience as his much-loved ice cream. -Reid

big sweet, Summerhill – “Some of my favorites are their classic vanilla with strawberry shortcake crumbles or pink praline. They even have a passion fruit hard shell, which is perfect with a toasted coconut topping. And best of all, if you’re vegan or can’t stand dairy, Big Softie has a vegan flavor of oats and vanilla. – McConnell

How to make Chef Reid’s No-Bake Fried Ice Cream Bars:

– Create a crispy coating with crushed cornflakes.

– Combine 2 liters of vanilla ice cream (or your favorite) in a bowl and stir until lightly melted and spreadable.

– Spread a layer of cereal mixture on a clean, ungreased baking sheet.

– Place scoops of softened ice cream on the cereal layer and spread with a spatula.

– Spread the rest of the cereal mixture over the ice cream until it sticks.

– Drizzle with honey, chocolate or caramel sauce and cover with aluminum foil.

– Freeze for at least 5 hours, cut into bars and serve.

About Thomas B. Countryman

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