There’s a new ice cream craze happening across the world that appeals to dessert fanatics and chemistry lovers alike: liquid nitrogen creameries. Like hand-rolled ice cream shops, part of the appeal of it is in the performance: upon ordering, liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the cream mixture right in front of your eyes.
These creameries have been popping up all over the country, and Hillsdale County is no exception. A few weeks ago, Milkster Creamery opened inside the Bigby Coffee Shop in Jonesville. I had a chance to try the ice cream, and it’s some of the best I’ve ever tasted (and I used to work in an ice cream parlor, so that’s saying something). It melts on your tongue, leaving a sweet and creamy taste without the denseness or bloat typical ice cream can leave behind.
The shop offers a variety of flavors, including chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, caramel, banana, cookie dough, and cookies & cream. There are also seasonal specials such as pumpkin. Customers can decorate their ice cream with an assortment of toppings as well, such as whipped cream, sauces, sprinkles, and chocolate chips. A large cup costs just over $4, but on Wednesdays there is a $3 special, and coupons can be found on Kroger receipts.
After I tasted several of the flavors, the district manager explained to me why the ice cream is so much creamier than most — it has to do with the chemical process of how it is made. Seeing the cream freeze reminded me of a science fair. The liquid nitrogen is ‑196 degrees Fahrenheit — so cold that direct contact with it would cause severe cold burns. The nitrogen causes water and fat particles to stay small, resulting in a creamier texture as the ice cream freezes rapidly. The secret behind its taste is no secret at all: it’s science.
If good ice cream isn’t enough of a reason to visit, each purchase supports a good cause: giving water to the Pokot people in Western Kenya. Milkster calls this goal #CupforCup and according to their website, “With your help, for every cup of ice cream we sell, we’ll donate a cup of water by digging wells for the Pokot people.”
It’s exciting that even though we may live in a more rural area, we have a trendy ice cream option just a few miles away.