Liquid nitrogen treats are still gaining popularity around the country. One of my recent discoveries was a new Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream San Francisco shop.
How Does Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Work
Using liquid nitrogen is a great alternative for fast freezing ice cream that is more creamy and flavorful. It also takes a few minutes, while other methods can take several hours.
Liquid nitrogen is nitrogen gas at an extremely low temperature of -320° F. When it’s not used for making ice cream, liquid nitrogen is used in science experiments, a coolant and more.
Liquid nitrogen ice cream process starts like any ice cream: cream, milk, vanilla, sugar and any add ins (I usually go for chocolate or a shot of espresso). Then you add the liquid nitrogen. This is where the cool fog comes out of the mixer. Since the ice cream can be made in a matter of minutes, customers can make their custom orders and see it made right in front of them. Most liquid nitrogen ice cream stores don’t even have freezers since they make ice cream to order.
What to Expect at a Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Shop
When you walk into a liquid nitrogen ice cream shop, you won’t find any ice cream at the counter. You pick your flavor, and then watch the fog billow over the counter as liquid nitrogen freezes each ice cream to-order. A minute or two later, you have a freshly-made ice cream ready to enjoy! Freezing the cream mixture with liquid nitrogen prevents large ice crystals from forming and makes it so creamy.
Smitten Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream San Francisco
On our recent trip to San Francisco, I was looking for new experiences and new foods to try. We decided to visit a liquid nitrogen ice cream shop for the first time while we were walking around the Marina District.
At first, I thought that there will be no difference in taste. “It doesn’t matter how you freeze your cream, it will taste the same.” But, you can taste the difference. Smitten Shops use organic milk and cream from a local farm, sugar, and other ingredients to make the smoothest, tastiest ice cream you can imagine.
Smitten founder Robyn Sue Fisher worked with a retired aerospace engineer to design & build the first version of the freezing machine, which they call Brrr. The machine freezes ice cream in about 90 seconds and churns perfectly.
Using seasonal and local ingredients, Smitten team creates creative flavors like cinnamon apple crisp, a blood orange with pistachio, or Meyer lemon gingersnap.
Some Things to Remember
You Won’t Have 500 Ice Cream Flavors To Choose From
One thing that you might notice is that there are only 4 or 5 different flavors to choose from. You might be used to going to other ice cream shops and getting several scoops of different ice cream to create the perfect combo. It will be different here. Since the ingredients are seasonal and fresh, the shop does change up the flavors quite often. But since we were in San Francisco for just one week we weren’t able to see the cool variety of flavors when we visited. So we had to stick with strawberry and cream.
Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream is a Treat
Smitten charges about a dollar per ounce, but a small amount of the ice cream is so rich that it’s enough to satisfy. Smitten doesn’t use preservatives, emulsifiers or stabilizers, so you know you are paying for quality ingredients. That makes it worth it to indulge.
Plus, liquid nitrogen is fun to watch, and it looks (and feels) cool.
If you are in the area and looking for an unusual treat, I recommend trying a liquid nitrogen ice cream from Smitten. It has a different texture than any other ice cream I tried and it feels like a new experience and a new treat.