A few weeks ago, we hosted Summerscream, our annual* hand-churned ice cream event, for a few friends here in Vancouver. As in years past, we kept the ice cream simple and the toppings excessive.
The U.S. took on France in The Battle of the Vanilla Ice Creams. Despite my strong endorsement of the Philadelphia-style concoction, the richer French custard was the overwhelming 1st choice among our taste testers.
Public opinion on the toppings was far less conclusive. With too many options, people fall victim to the tyranny of choice and start second-guessing their instincts.
Based on the spoils, though, it's clear that fresh strawberries were a crowd pleaser. I suspect it has something to do with their nutritional value in a relatively vitamin-challenged selection. I can't say the same for the maraschino cherries. Once again, I may have been the sole indulger.
When all was said and done, we were left with:
- 15 egg whites
- a ridiculous amount of toasted coconut (among other things)
- a salt-stained balcony (a lesson in hand-cranked ice cream for those who haven't had the pleasure and are puzzled by the salt)
Source: Summerscream 2009 featured David Lebovitz's vanilla (French-style) and the Lutz family vanilla (Philly-style).**
* Summerscream took a brief hiatus in 2007 and 2008, during our globe-trotting years.
** Strictly speaking, the Lutz family vanilla is a quasi Philly-style ice cream. The recipe doesn't require a custard, but it does call for eggs.