There is nothing I love more than a good "grass roots" story - and this particular story involves a love affair with a sweet confectionary that has stood the ultimate test of time. It is the result of one local Milford woman's passion for creating great ice cream and an idea to lower ice cream's sugar content. I'm sure this ice cream innovator's tale, will soon become a part of "sweet" history, right there alongside the revered Mrs. Fields.
I think it is safe to say that most Americans could conjure up iconic visions of having ice cream on a hot summer's day at the beach.. at the ballpark.. at family picnics and at birthday celebrations. Ice cream is inherently part of the American Way of life - be it chocolate, vanilla, mint-chocolate chip or strawberry, be it from a store, an ice-cream cart or the beloved Good Humor man and his captivating bells. Iskream, the brainchild and collaboration of Susan Patrick and Biagio Barrone, was born out of Susan's very own creamery in Milford. She owns the storefront Walnut Beach Creamery which has been churning out amazing, inventive flavors to locals since 2007. Susan had been supplying her goods to Chef Biagio Barrone's restaurant in Stratford, when the conversations about coming up with a healthier version of her ice cream started to become real. Using Stevia, an all natural, plant based sweetener instead of regular sugar, the two joined forces and spent 1 year in the test kitchen, until they struck the perfect balance of creamy, sweet tasting ice cream that would delight customers in more ways than one.
Iskream is delicious, as I can attest, after trying several of their delectable flavors. I would have been surprised it was made without the use of real sugar, if I hadn't known otherwise. The aftertaste of Stevia that you are wondering about - well, it was nowhere to be found on my palate! I tried the PB & J first and I loved it! With no-added-sugar peanut butter sourced from Georgia and swirls of cherry jelly that weren't overly sweet, this is any PB&J lover's dream come true - just minus the bread! ( actually, I may be inclined to just slap some between two pieces of bread and create my own "ice cream sandwich"!)
I also tried the chocolate brownie variety ( addictive and chocolate-y , just like a good ice cream should be) which was loaded with premium, imported Belgian chocolate. Also included in their lineup of luscious flavors are banana, chocolate cherry chunk, java chip -for the coffee enthusiast in you, berry good and of course, vanilla--steadfast and true!
This is definitely the beginning of something revolutionary. In fact, 3 of Iskream's flavors , banana, vanilla and berry good, are approved by the American Diabetes Association. This is a coup for diabetics. Having a chance to eat this amazing treat that tastes like regular ice cream and keeps your blood sugar level in check, is just the tip of the iceberg for this market. And for those of you whose kids experience Parkour- like symptoms ,bouncing off the walls after consuming sugar, your day has come-- Iskream's "sugar" content ranges from just 3-7 grams per serving-- so scoop, and scoop some more!
With a full launch in 2011, Iskream can lay claims to being the first naturally sweetened ice cream carried by megastore Whole Foods!-- And rolling into the stores now is their brand new packaging! Care to have your face on a pint of Iskream? Started in May and running until November, there is a contest with special panel judges Adam Sandler and Vanilla Ice. ( hey, a comeback is a comeback!). If you feel you, your kids or your wife embody the true essence of one of their flavors in particular, take a photo, and send it in and tell them why you should be chosen for the flavor you selected.
Currently in our area, Iskream can be found at Whole Foods, Balducci's and Big Y.
Eliminating the guilt associated with too much fat and sugar, Iskream is helping put the fun back into enjoying one of our favorite pastimes, one delicious scoop at a time, napkins not included!