The Mint Chip Divide
Homemade hard ice cream can be spotty, as we learned on tour a couple summers ago. Still, I’m a sucker for any ice cream parlor that puts in the work to make their product in house. The only problem is, that I know all too well, one has to try a wide cross section of flavors in order to suss out the winners from the losers.
You can check out the results from the Tour de Homemade Hard Ice Cream for more on that.
This past weekend, while in New Hampshire for a wedding, the hotel had a homemade hard ice cream stand on the property. In an effort to try a cross section of flavors, we ate there four times in three days. In fact, we were their last customers on Saturday night (begging them to sell us ice cream after closing). Then, on Sunday we were the first customers of the day, counting down the minutes to their one o’clock opening.
One part of our hunt for their best ice cream flavor was talking to other wedding guests about their experience with the local ice cream stand. Everyone had their favorite: Maple walnut, black raspberry, unbaked (cake batter ice cream with cookie dough chunks), chocolate, and mint chip were mentioned several times.
Of all those options, I was probably the most upset by the mint chip. And I was surprised to find such a strong backlash to my stance on this beloved flavor.
I’ll just lay it out. It’s really simple, actually. Mint chip should be white.
Mint leaves don’t generally transfer their color into the pot of simmering milk and cream that will form the base of this ice cream. So, if this is a truly homemade product, one actively has to add food coloring to make it green.
And that goes completely against the point of making it on site. You go through the hard work of crafting a product so that you can make it better than the industrial equivalent.
Which isn’t to say plenty of places that make homemade ice cream get it.
The Snowman which makes a great version of Butter Pecan, but the strawberry at this Lansingburgh shop was just a frozen cocktail of artificial colors and flavors. Frosty Scoops, which was our source of ice cream in New Hampshire, made a green mint chocolate chip.
What a disappointment.
However, I was completely shocked to learn that my disappointment wasn’t shared by others. In fact, most people I asked actually preferred mint chip to be green. Green! To them, the thought of a white mint chocolate chip ice cream was deeply disconcerting. Maybe it’s a regional thing.
What say you? Should mint chocolate chip be green or white? I’m really curious to see how people shake out on this one. I think it could be eye-opening.