The world of soft-serve ice cream and soft-shell crab has long been a staple of ice cream restaurants, and as we’ve reported, soft-spoon ice cream is now popular in some places.
But the world of ice-cream is a different story, and in a small town in northern Minnesota, a new specialty ice cream has found its way onto the menus of several businesses.
“This is not a new concept.
It’s been around for decades, and it’s been a specialty since the 1950s,” says Chris Gabel, owner of St. Louis’s North Side Ice Cream, which specializes in “sugar-and-cream-like” ice cream.
The name St. Louvian Ice Cream derives from the city in northeastern Missouri, which is named after a small farming town in the 1840s that has long boasted a tradition of icemaking and softening ice cream that dates back to the 1850s.
But it’s only in the last few years that some of the specialty ice-curds and softies are being made in Minnesota, says Gabel.
“It’s very exciting to be in the middle of it,” he says.
But Gabel and his partner, Chad Sperling, are not interested in doing anything flashy.
They’re not trying to revolutionize ice cream production.
“We’re making it to satisfy our customers,” says Guel.
Instead, the duo’s goal is to make it the same way as the classic ice cream made in a factory or restaurant.
“Our goal is that people love it,” says Spering.
“They love the texture and taste.
They love the fact that they don’t have to make their own,” says Boulton.
Gabel says that the flavors he’s developing for his St. Charles restaurant are “not overly complex” and will be “totally unique.”
They’re hoping to have the ice cream available by Thanksgiving.
“There’s no reason why you can’t get the same taste at home,” says Tammi Rennie, an ice cream industry consultant in New York City.
And while the traditional soft-sauce ice cream won’t be available until after Thanksgiving, the makers of the new soft-sandwiches have already started to test out their recipes in their kitchens, and they’re looking forward to sharing them with customers.
“I think it’s great,” says Donta Daugherty, the owner of the New York restaurant The Gorgons, which opened in 2016.
“The taste is just like the original soft-served ice cream.”
In a sense, they’re still serving the same frozen treat.
But with a slightly different twist.
“What’s different is the texture,” says Renni.
“When you see the original, it’s just kind of a thin, sticky consistency.
Now, it has a more rounded texture.
And the taste is different, too.
I think that’s what people are going to enjoy.”
The soft-cheese St.
Louis is introducing at the St. Clair restaurant on Thanksgiving will be the first of its kind in Minnesota.
But there are plenty of other Minnesota-based soft-slice flavors coming soon.
The Gourmet Cheese Co. in Minnesota has opened a soft-crab shop in the St Louis suburb of Duluth, and the city of Minneapolis is expanding its ice cream offerings, including a soft ice cream shop that opened in 2017.
And in the next couple of months, the Duluth City Ice Cream Association is going to open a soft dessert shop in St. Paul.
“My goal is for people to have something they can eat right away and that’s good for their stomach,” says Cade Smith, the president of the Dulce City Ice Cream Association.
“That’s a lot of what we do: we make it for the stomach.”
St. Louise, Minnesota’s second-largest city, is also expanding its soft-and soft-tea offerings, with a new soft ice-and coffee shop opening in 2018.
And soon, the city will be hosting the first-ever soft-chocolate tasting, and soon, they’ll be bringing soft-ice cream to the city limits.
In Minneapolis, they plan to open their first soft-toffee shop in 2019, and eventually, the soft-milk bar is scheduled to open.
“For the last five years, we’ve been trying to find something that is not only delicious, but something that our customers want to enjoy,” says co-owner and executive chef Scott Stueber.
“If you are in the market for something sweet, it might not be for you, but we’re excited to have it on the menu.”
And while we can’t imagine a soft cheese coming to the market any time soon, we’re sure it will soon.