academia barilla  June 2008

Summertime is here, how about a Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream?

Summertime is here, at least according to the calendar since today is [...]

Summertime is here, at least according to the calendar since today is June 21. Not much according to the season, as in Italy this year we experienced a very slow start of the season, with heavy showers up to a couple of days ago alternated to beautiful sunny days, but not so hot as we had up to last year (this is actually good news, as last year we couldn’t even breath for the high temperatures!).

Academia Barilla Short Movie Awards What’s the most characteristic summertime food icon? Nine out of ten would say Ice Cream and sure gelato plays a big role in Italian gastronomy and food culture, so we decided to serve you a video on an event we hosted at the Academia Barilla Culinary School last month, for the Academia Barilla Short Film Awards, a satellite event to the well-know Brescello 2008 Film Festival.

During the gala event, Academia Barilla Executive Chef Nicola Bindini, helped by Chef Matteo Carboni of the Academia Barilla Chef Team, prepared and served to the participants of the event a very particular ice cream: liquid nitrogen ice cream.

We managed to get some video footage of the Academia Barilla Short Film Award Gala from TV Parma, who was partnering, filming and broadcasting the event. After some editing for the web format, and with the help of Chef Matteo Carboni whose voice-over comments the making of ice cream using the nitrogen freezing process, we are happy to present you the video on how to make a gourmet ice cream using liquid nitrogen.

Used in creative cuisine, as well as in many other applications including surgery, liquid nitrogen has the power to freeze instantly and, in the ice cream making process, really helps in reducing preparation time, while not affecting the ice cream flavor nor its organoleptic properties.

As Matteo comments, liquid nitrogen has a boiling point at -320 Fahrenheit degrees, and this is why the Chefs have to use protection gloves to handle the preparation. So please don’t try this at home before taking all due safety precautions.

The ice cream base is composed by milk, cream, sugar and egg yolks. As Chef Matteo Carboni reminds in the video, it is important to pour the liquid nitrogen very slowly and keep mixing the ingredients to avoid crystallization, and to keep the ice cream homogeneous and smooth.


All the fog you see in the video and in the picture above is the product of the fast evaporation of the liquid nitrogen, and it is safe to breath for the few minutes of preparation. As Matteo says, the ice cream made with liquid nitrogen has a fresher flavor and a finer and smoother texture than the traditional ice cream – yummy!

Happy summertime to all Italian Food Lovers from the Academia Barilla Culinary School!

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