Australia

Into Gelato

n2gelato-8 I think I found the coolest thing ever. Deep in the heart of Chinatown here in Sydney exists something that vindicates years of schooling in chemistry. I’m not talking about a year of general chemistry in high school. I’m talking two years of chemistry in high school and two years or more in college (or as they say here, uni).

Everything you’ve learned about science is completely wrong. Science isn’t boring. Science just explains why awesome things happen in the world. This experience is: culinary divinity, scientific mastery, and a bit of awesome thrown in. Luke and I walked by this place and it definitely raised an eyebrow but I didn’t really understand how awesome it was until we came back after lunch to experience it in full.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about N2 Gelato.

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The liquid in this cup is 196°C below zero. The Polar Vortex has nothing on that!

This gelato is all about experience, freshness, science, and culinary goodness all in one. Some of you may be capturing my drift about why this place is awesome. For those of you who aren’t, please keep reading. The core of me smiled after I finished.

n2gelato-2Freshness is all about minimizing the time your ingredient is produced and the time it is consumed. Many of you have had homemade ice cream and can comment how much better it tastes than the store-bought variety. You buy all of the ingredients, read the pile of instructions for the ice cream maker, and hope that something comes out resembling ice cream. What if I told you that first-class gelato could be had in less than five minutes. The skeptic in you is not believing me. If I was you, I wouldn’t believe me either.

How does this work? Well, you start with the freshest of ingredients: milk, cream, sugar and whatever else goes into that flavor of gelato. Place all of your ingredients into a heavy duty KitchenAid mixer and start to blend. Toss in about a cup of liquid nitrogen and you have gelato, instantly. Yes Scarlet, they use liquid nitrogen in making gelato. How cool is that!?  In the photo below on the right, you can see liquid nitrogen being poured into the other ingredients. From a distance, liquid nitrogen very much looks like water other than being almost 300° colder.

Liquid nitrogen boils at -196°C. Anything it touches freezes instantly. No longer do you have to wait hours for gelato to freeze. It literally takes seconds. Both Luke and I wondered how many fingers got instant frostbite. The same cup was reused over and over to house liquid nitrogen. It was so cold, it froze water near the cup on the countertop. How fingers didn’t get frozen I don’t know. When all the mixers are running full steam, it looks like Halloween in the middle of summer!

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Much like Mariann’s Ice Cream in Santa Cruz, N2 Gelato has unique flavors for the discriminating palate. I opted for the vanilla as I think simplicity forces the creator to be elegant in their design. I’ve never seen a cup of ice cream cost eight dollars. That being said, I’d go there again as the experience was pretty actually, totally awesome.

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