When Faith Holmes, proprietor behind the locally based Sweet Freeze, cranked up the liquid nitrogen at the Fancy Food Show on Sunday, I could feel the icy white clouds brush up against my exposed skin, instantly generating visions of Terminator 2 in my head. I was waiting for my arm to shatter like a crystal vase.
It didn’t, of course. But I did have my notions shattered about how long it takes to prepare homemade ice cream. As Holmes explains, from start to finish, she can make the frozen dessert in less than 90 seconds.
Her company currently has no brick-and-mortar space, but Holmes does serve her ice creams regularly at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, where the Fancy Food Show runs through Tuesday. She’s also looking to franchise her concept, which roams from weddings to openings to showers, transfixing crowds with her inherently visual method in which liquid nitrogen gases waft from the mixing bowl like the ominous clouds bubbling from beakers in some evil scientist’s underground laboratory.
Watching Holmes work is like being on the lot of a B-grade horror flick, just much tastier.
See the second half of the video after the jump.
So how is the ice cream? In flavor, it’s terrific; in texture, I found it wanting. Despite Holmes’s claim that liquid nitrogen produces smaller ice crystals, therefore producing a creamier treat, I found just the opposite: The liquid nitrogen versions I sampled didn’t have the same smooth, creamy texture of the best traditional ice creams.