Olive Oil Conquers the Plant-Based Dessert

Plant-based versions of ice cream (which can’t use the term cream) are proliferating faster than new flavors from Ben & Jerry’s. All possible alternative “milk” – squeezed from beans, grains, nuts, etc. – now use vanilla and chocolate in the frozen food aisle. Newcomer Wildgood took a somewhat different approach, with a vegan frozen dessert that relies on olive oil. It is the result of eight years of trial and error by Sotiris Tsichlopoulos, who studied ice cream in Italy and created an ice cream brand in Greece. Chicory root, pea protein, and locust bean gum are some of the ingredients that help turn extra virgin olive oil into frozen confectionery. It’s about 10% fat and there are eight flavors: chocolate, vanilla bean, coffee, mango, mint-chocolate, sea salt caramel and the best of the lot, pistachio and chocolate-hazelnut. Maybe the use of nuts helps with the texture because despite the olive oil, the end result has more of an iced milk lightness instead of the dense richness of a super premium product. Mr. Tsichlopoulos’ business is supported by Gary Hirshberg, founder of Stonyfield Farm, among others.

Wildgood Frozen Dessert, about $ 6.99 a pint at Wegmans, Whole Foods, Shoprite and other stores, or nationwide, $ 9 plus shipping from wildgood.com.

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