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Vancouvering

Metro explores the latest trends emerging on the West Coast of Canada.

Food bites: Mister’s liquid nitrogen ice cream hits Yaletown

Owners Michael Lai and Tommy Choi say liquid nitrogen makes the ice cream denser, creamier and smoother.

Nitrogen steam billows from a mixer at Mister, a new artisan ice-cream shop in Yaletown.

Erin Ireland/Metro

Nitrogen steam billows from a mixer at Mister, a new artisan ice-cream shop in Yaletown.

It was 2:30 p.m. on an overcast Thursday when I first visited Mister, Yaletown’s month-old artisan ice cream shop.

The line-up was out the door. Considering the weather and time of day, I was surprised.

But then I saw what was drawing the crowd: plumes of nitrogen steam billowing from a mixer containing a single portion of ice cream. The sight was mesmerizing and I felt desperate to try a scoop immediately, wondering how it would differ from traditionally made ice cream.

New to the Vancouver food scene, owners Michael Lai and Tommy Choi say their ice cream is creamier than the usual stuff, “Liquid nitrogen freezes the ingredients rapidly, which creates smaller ice crystals and less air for a much creamier, denser and smoother ice cream.”

A scoop of Mister's liquid nitrogen ice cream -- deep chocolate flavour with perfect sweetness.

Erin Ireland/Metro

A scoop of Mister's liquid nitrogen ice cream -- deep chocolate flavour with perfect sweetness.

The dense creaminess of my dark chocolate scoop was precisely the first thing I noticed when I dove into my ice cream cup. Each bite seemed to last longer in my mouth -- almost as if it was melting more slowly than normal ice cream.

The deep chocolaty flavour would be a hit with any dark chocolate fan and the sweetness level was just right. If dairy-free options are your preference, perhaps call the shop in advance to make sure they’re stocked (it sells out quickly).

Other flavour options include avocado, Double Oreo, lemon and, the crowd favourite, crème brulee (made with vanilla bean, frozen custard and hand-torched crackled caramel). Soon to hit the menu are Golden Oreo strawberry and rose pistachio.

The vegan options will also be expanding -- Michael and Tommy are working on perfecting their coconut cream and cashew milk-based recipes.

Mister is open daily from noon to 10 p.m.

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