Everybody loves ice cream. But everybody hates that it melts so easily once it is scooped from a container, or worse, just taken out of the freezer on a hot summer day.
But what seems to be an accidental discovery by a chef in Japan is the start of the new age of ice cream: one that does not melt at all.
It all started after the earthquake and tsunami which devastated Japan in 2011. One of its permanent damages is that there were strawberries growing in a rather irregular shape, so customers refuse to buy them.
The chef whose name is withheld tried to make use of these strawberries. He eventually reached a point where the menu he made had the strawberries in it which caused cream to solidify. At the time he did not know that he just discovered the ingredient which makes ice cream not melt at all.
Much to their curiosity, researchers at Kanazawa University investigated the phenomenon. They discovered that a compound called polyphenol in the strawberries was the one responsible for solidifying the cream.
Photo via Jiji.com
Moreover, they found that the extract makes it difficult for water and oil to separate, which usually occurs in most commercial ice creams. Upon realizing this, they tried to mix it with ice cream and there they were able to confirm that it is indeed possible to have ice cream which do not melt.
It does not need the approval of health inspectors as the extract is completely natural.
After the findings of the research were made public, many local shop owners gladly picked up the formerly neglected strawberries and used them for business. Now there are stores in Japan, one of which is Kanazawa Ice, which sell ice cream in prepressed shapes on sticks or forms. The product is so far exclusive in the country.
Photos via Kanazawa Ice’s Instagram
Video by Cool Panda
Needless to say that the ice cream became an instant hit nationwide. Its taste is fairly similar to regular ice cream so that’s not surprising.
But many customers dared the melting point of the ice cream. Some tested it through exposing in direct sun for many minutes, while others took to hair dryers. There is an indefinite time to how long the ice cream can stay solid.
Generally though, it was found that the ice cream maintains its shape for several hours in warm weather, still cold enough to give the customers a brain freeze.