Eaten Liquid Nitrogen Frozen Ice Cream

Ice Cream Machine
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. "
Arthur C. Clarke

Today, we went to
Smitten Ice Cream, a booth in Hayes Valley where they sell ice cream that goes from raw ingredients to ice cream in about 60 seconds.
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They do this through the use of a special machine designed by Smitten owner Robyn Sue Goldman called a Kelvin that churns cream, milk, sugar, salt, and whatever other flavors they put in, combines this with liquid nitrogen and makes ice cream. The idea is that this makes the ice cream super cold, super fast. The lower ice cream freezing temperature results in smaller ice crystals. This is supposed to make a smoother, creamier texture.
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They also pride themselves on locally produced and quality ingredients and don't use additives, emulsifiers, preservatives, or stabilizers. They also rotate their flavors seasonally. Today, they were offering vanilla, chocolate, hibiscus, and chai.
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I ordered the vanilla in a cup and the chai flavored ice cream in a handmade pizzelle cone.
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I watched the machines go for a while and enjoyed how much people waiting for their scoops were fascinated by how the ice cream was being made. Kids were touching the liquid nitrogen fog in amazement.
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I have to say this was pretty cool to watch. Getting raw ingredients turned into ice cream takes a bit of ingenious science. I thought this was pretty good ice cream. The texture was very nice, but I think they could benefit from working on their recipes. The flavors could use a little adjustment. The other downside we discovered was that the smaller ice crystals also cause it to melt faster, so eat it fast!

I think this is definitely something people should try. At the very least, you can see this ice cream being made right before your eyes. This place really exaggerates the combination of science and magic, and isn't that what ice cream is all about?
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