Thanks to 10Below, which opened last year in NYC’s Chinatown, rolled ice cream is one of the coolest new food trends sweeping the nation. It may sound odd but this new kind of ice cream has been a popular street food in Thailand for years — also known as stir-fried ice cream because it’s made by pouring creamy custard onto an ice cold griddle or plate then quickly stirring in flavorings and toppings. The mixture is flattened out into a thin layer and rolled. Three or four rolls are served in a cup with toppings. And a dessert sensation is born!
The lines stretching around the block at 10Below last summer brought to mind the 2013 Cronut craze. Being street food, basic this ice cream is super simple to make and totally portable. Of course, 10Below kicks it up a notch by using a special cold plate that instantly chills the cream to -10℉ (hence the name), for an ultra-creamy concoction. However, in a pinch you can make do with a bucket of ice, a metal plate and two scrapers. This may be why NYC-based ice creamers, like I-CE-NY, are branching out and taking this trend nationwide while local entrepreneurs are opening rolled ice cream shops in cities like Philadelphia and Houston.
Although it tastes amazing — how can you go wrong with ice cream, after all — half of the fun is watching them whip it up. Like so many new food trends, it’s the visuals that made it go viral. Just watch this vid of a Thai street vendor.
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If you aren’t lucky enough to have a rolled ice cream establishment opening in your town in time for summer, there’s still hope. The Daily Meal has an easy recipe for the custard base and a quick how-to for creating your rolls. If you can master this technique you will be the dessert superstar of your friends and family.