Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Internut Protocol: Nutella-and-Peanut-Butter Combo Takes Top Honors at Ice Cream Crankin’

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 9:52 AM

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The threat of rain (and a tiny shower) were not enough to dampen the the spirits or appetites of ice cream fans at this year’s Purity Miss Martha’s Ice Cream Crankin’ and Summer Social. This was my third year in a row attending, and I have to say this event gets better every year. And there’s good reason: The stakes are high. The “best of show” winning ice cream becomes an official flavor available wherever Purity ice creams are sold. And a number of past winners are still available because of their popularity.

But once again, my top choice was not the one picked by the judges. The winning flavor, Internuttional Relations, featured peanut butter and Nutella chips. It was a flavor I purposefully skipped as I believe peanut butter only belongs on a spoon — and it must be crunchy — or in a Thai sauce.

My pick for best of show was a flavor called Monkey Bread Mayhem. I couldn’t squeeze a lot of information out of the scooper about it, but I have got to figure out how to make it. I can’t even describe it except to say that it was amazing. Two bowls down from it was a strong contender for the top spot, Mexicali Caramel Pecan. It tasted like a cold, creamy praline. This was not “pralines and cream,” though. Oh no. Creamy praline. It was dulce de-licious.

In all, I tasted 30-40 ice creams — and that’s after skipping all the peanut and peanut butter flavors, anything with coffee, and most sorbets — so there were some other standouts:

* Ginger chip (fresh and candied ginger with chipped chocolate)
* Green tea with honey (the cranker steeped tea for four hours to make this!)
* Lady Grey Tea (with just a hint of lemon)
* Caramel apple
* Lemon (that included actual slices of lemon that I believe were candied; I preferred this one over the two lemonade flavors, though they were both really good)
* Vegan chocolate fudge

I’m also looking forward to having the Martha O’Bryan staff winners again, since they will be available at The Pied Piper Creamery all summer. Sail Away (mango, pineapple, cream of coconut, and a hint of lime), banana pudding and Martha O’Butterscotch.

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Some of the more unusual flavors this year included:

* Crazy Curried Carrot Cream (exactly how it sounds and heavy on the curry)
* Honey Bunny (chocolate milkshake ice cream with bits of Honey Buns)
* Piggy Wonka (chocolate with bacon)
* Ritzy Pepper (cheesecake ice cream with bits of Ritz crackers and pepper jelly)
* Elvis Pupsley (a special flavor to share with your dog! Yogurt, peanut butter, honey, and banana)
* Sweet Southern Summer (a fruit tea sorbet)

The category winners, chosen by the judges from the crankers who entered the competition were:

Vanilla-based
1. Cherry O’Chocolate
2. Peachy Pecan
3. Alton Brown’s Banana Pudding

Chocolate-based
1. Internuttional Relations
2. Orange You Glad It’s Chocolate
3. Momma’s Chocolate Pie

Other
1. Thunder Road
2. BananaRama
3. Ritzy Pepper

Best of Show
Internuttional Relations

I sincerely hope that my favorites show up again next year and take a shot at the prize. I think Monkey Bread Mayhem has an excellent chance. At least, it will if I can somehow get in early and lobby the judges!

Did you go? What were your favorite flavors? More importantly, who can give me a recipe to make Monkey Bread Mayhem at home?

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