Summer is here (unless you hang your hat in the southern hemisphere), and temperatures are soaring to the point where a liberal dose of ice cream may be called for. Whether it’s 110 degrees, like it has been in my corner of the world recently, or a little bit milder, it’s still a great time to cool off with some manner of frozen treat.
As if the title of this article wasn’t enough to tip you off, tea, that ever-versatile ingredient, has been making its way into ice cream for a while now. Green tea seems to be one of the most popular varieties used in ice cream. According to this Wikipedia article, green tea ice cream made with Japanese green tea, has long been popular in Japan and certain other parts of Asia. It is said to have been available in specialty outlets in the United States since the 70s, but has become more widely available lately. It’s interesting to note that, as far back as 1998, the New York Times’ reporting on green tea ice cream was still treating it as something of a curiosity.
Matcha is a powdered variety of Japanese green tea that was once best known as the type used in the Japanese tea ceremony. Because it is powdered, it has become an increasingly popular ingredient in recent years in a wide variety of recipes and often turns up in tea ice cream. Matcha is an ingredient in green tea ice cream from such well-known manufacturers as Häagen-Dazs, as well as in these recipes for the homemade stuff from high-profile sites like Epicurious and the Food Network.
But if you guessed that the possibilities for tea ice cream go far beyond matcha and green tea, you just might be on to something. Check out several other varieties of tea-based ice cream at Bigelow’s dessert recipe page. For even more examples of this sort of thing you can go in search of various food bloggers’ efforts. Among these, recipes for such offbeat treats as Earl Grey ice cream or chai ice cream.
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