Interview with Lindsay Clendaniel: Scoop Adventures
If you're a lover of ice cream, like so very many of us, then Lindsay Clendaniel's upcoming book, Scoop Adventures: The Best Ice Cream of the 50 States: Make the Real Recipes from the Greatest Ice Cream Parlors in the Country, will be a treat to read. Clendaniel, who also runs the absolutely delightful Scoop Adventures blog, took some time out to talk with me about her book, which is a labor of love for a foodstuff that she has thoroughly adored since childhood.
Well, as we all know, you just can’t go wrong with ice cream because it really does seem like everybody loves it — or at least some kind of frozen treat, like gelato, sorbet or sherbet. Why do you think ice cream and its frosty cousins have such universal appeal?
I think ice cream hits the spot in all the right ways. The texture is creamy and satisfying and the sweetness definitely pleases the sweet tooth in most of us. Ice cream can even have mix-ins which also satisfies crunchy cravings. I also feel that ice cream often evokes a bit of nostalgia in most of us, since ice cream is often paired with childhood events and memories.
You say on your excellent website, Scoop Adventures, that while you were always an ice cream lover, that your life changed when you got your first ice cream maker. What kind was it and how long ago was that momentous occasion?
My first ice cream maker (which I still own) was a CuisinartÂ® Automatic Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker Model ICE-20. I still believe this is the best ice cream maker for the price. I bought my first ice cream maker in 2007.
How did the idea for Scoop Adventures arise — what led to so many travels and encounters with so many different ice creams?
The Scoop Adventures blog started soon after I could finally create my own ice cream flavors in the comfort of my home. I had so many ideas and so much fun being creative in the kitchen that I decided to share my ideas with the internet world. I was never sure how many people would be interested in reading about my ice cream adventures, but I figured there must be other people in the world who love ice cream as much as I do.
All of my encounters with ice cream over the years has just been fueled by my love for ice cream and exploring the creativity that ice cream makers show through their creations.
How did you select the ice cream shops/recipes to feature in the book? How did you settle on a great ice cream recipe from each state?
It was very important to me to include ice cream shops that are owned by passionate and creative ice cream makers. You can figure this out just by talking to the owner; the passion seeps through the phone. Along with a passion for good ice cream typically comes the awareness of the importance of quality ingredients. The majority of shops in the cookbook also use local ingredients in their ice creams, which is also important to me.
How was writing the book different from writing the blog?
Writing the book required much more recipe testing, writing and research that writing for the blog. Whereas the blog serves as a means for me to experiment with ice cream flavors and tell about my adventures in making ice cream, it was very important to me to include well-researched, well-tested and easy-to-follow recipes in the cookbook. Some recipes were revised three or four times before I settled on the perfect recipe for the cookbook.
Do you have a favorite ice cream recipe in the book? Or do your favorites change with your moods, meals, or season?
Asking me to choose a favorite ice cream is always a tough question. I do have favorites, but I really love every recipe in the book. Some of favorites include Basil Ice Cream, Peach Honey Habanero Ice Cream, Raspberry Red Currant Ice Cream, and Dark Chocolate Zin ice cream. And yes it does somewhat depend on the season since I love using seasonal ingredients.
What do you hope people will learn in the pages of Scoop Adventures?
I hope people will learn that the world of ice cream is just as interesting and creative as other areas of the culinary world. I hope that people learn that making ice cream is easier than they think and it does not have to be intimidating. I hope people learn that it is awesome seeing other people smile when they eat your ice cream:)
Are you surprised by the reaction you’ve had to your recipes/website? When did it become apparent that you and ice cream were a perfect match?
In some ways, I was not surprised by the reaction to my website given that I am an ice cream nerd and I figure there had to be people out in the world like me. People also love to see pretty food, so I work hard to make ice cream look just as beautiful as other food. Ice cream and I have always been the perfect match, but it was exciting to receive comments from other people with a passion for ice cream.
I noticed that your website mentions an ice cream business you had while living in New Orleans. Is that still up and running?
Unfortunately that was a short lived business since I no longer live in New Orleans. I hope to eventually sell pints in my new home in Maryland, but for now I have been focusing on the cookbook.
Are you and your husband any closer to the dream of owning your own ice cream shop? When you do open it — do you already know what the flavors for that first day will be? Are any featured in the book?
Owning our ice cream shop is still in the dream stage, however we really hope to follow through with our dream someday. I would love to include any of the ice creams in the cookbook as feature ice creams in my shop. There are about 30 recipes in the cookbook that are my own original recipes, so I would probably start there. Goat Cheese Ice cream with Pickled Blueberries is one of my favorite original flavors.
A great ice cream maker, mentioned by Lindsay in our interview.