Monday, January 10, 2011

New ice cream flavors are pretty cool

The newest flavor from Velvet Ice Cream? Why, that would be honey caramel. The flavor -- it's vanilla ice cream layered with honey and caramel -- was chosen from more than 800 entries in the creamery's annual Create-A-Flavor contest. It was created by Alex Grooms of Williamsburg, Ohio. When told he had won the contest, Mr. Grooms reportedly said, "That's pretty cool."

It should probably be mentioned here that Mr. Grooms is 13. Winning the contest is no small deal. The eighth grader at New Richmond Middle School, east of Cincinnati, will have his picture on every carton of Honey Caramel ice cream, plus he gets to sit on Velvet Ice Cream's tasting panel for a year. Best of all, he gets free ice cream for a year.

Competition for the contest was stiff. Second place went to Mark Shuliger, of Lewis Center, Ohio. His creation was Raspberry Truffle frozen yogurt, which includes fresh raspberries and chocolate swirls. Coming in third was Andrea Thrasher, of Cincinnati. She came up with the idea of mixing peaches and brown sugar clusters into vanilla ice cream and calling it Peach Crisp ice cream.

Both Mr. Shuliger and Ms. Thrasher -- who are adults, by the way -- will also receive free ice cream for a year. And they, too, will see their concoctions put into production.

Because Velvet is made in Utica, Ohio, part of the contest rules required that at least one ingredient be produced in Ohio. In this case, that ingredient is the honey. As you are undoubtedly already aware, Ohio produces 742,000 pounds of honey each year.

Honey Caramel Ice Cream is scheduled to hit the grocery store shelves in the spring. We all scream And in more new-ice-cream-flavor news (for all of us who just can't get enough), Baskin-Robbins last week announced its newest flavor, too.

The January Flavor of the Month is Chocolate Escape ice cream, a combination of regular chocolate and Swiss chocolate ice creams studded with pieces of chocolate ganache cake and chocolate chips.

That sounds tempting enough as it is, but check out the way the company's marketing firm puts it: "Chocolate ganache cake and chocolate chunks nestled within a velvety pairing of Baskin-Robbins' signature extra-rich, creamy chocolate and Swiss chocolate ice creams."

Wow. I want. And that is why Baskin-Robbins is the world's largest chain of ice cream specialty shops. Little chefs No doubt a result of the influence of food television, more and more kids these days want to learn to cook. And that can only be a good thing. Now there is a magazine just for them.

Ingredient Magazine is aimed at children from 6-12 years old who are interested not only in cooking but also in food itself. A sample issue for October included facts about pumpkins (and a recipe for pumpkin soup), an article about vegetarians (and a recipe for vegetarian chili), a story about Octoberfest (and a recipe for pretzels), instructions on how to mash foods (and a recipe for applesauce), information about foods eaten during the time of Christopher Columbus, recipes for everything from gumbo with shrimp and sausage to salsa eggs, and more.

The publication is set to come out six times a year, beginning with the current January/February issue. A one-year subscription is $35, and each issue has a cover price of $5.50.

Yes, we know. That means a subscription is actually $2 more than buying all of the issues individually. Sometimes, people who go into publishing aren't very good at math.


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