Metro explores the latest trends emerging on the West Coast of Canada.
Science meets ice cream at Vancouver’s 77K Freeze
The new Commercial Drive frozen treats shop uses liquid nitrogen.
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77K Freeze is kind of an odd name for an ice cream parlour. What it stands for is the boiling point for liquid nitrogen, which is 77 kelvin – hence 77K. Don’t ask me anything more about kelvins, I am a writer not a scientist.
What does boiling point of liquid nitrogen have to do with ice cream? Well, all of 77K Freeze’s ice cream, sorbets, frozen yogurts and vegan creams are made from scratch, right in front of your eyes using liquid nitrogen. It’s quite a scene with smoke coming out of a Kitchenaid mixer.
77K Freeze (2240 Commercial Dr.) is owned by a team of engineers, scientists, designers and the list goes on. They actually developed a Cryogenic Control Unit, that they use to safely dispense the liquid nitrogen to freeze, which is pretty cool.
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Science aside, I came for the ice cream. You can choose your own flavour or try out their pre-tested recipes. I opted for the Snowflake, the Blueberry Pine, and the Vancouver Red Velvet ($8 each).
The Snowflake was a frozen yogurt base with lychee and water chestnut. The texture was creamy with a few chunks from the water chestnut. The lychee really came through and was quite intense in flavour. What I really noticed was the sourness of the yogurt, which wasn’t tainted by too much sugar. The tropical notes of the lychee, mixed with the tangy yogurt made for a refreshing dessert.
The Vancouver Red Velvet was chocolatey goodness and I enjoyed the tart cranberry to add texture.
Blueberry Pine concoction was sorbet based with blueberry, pineapple and lemon zest. This was really full flavoured and delicious. The use of proper fruit made it feel healthy and the lemon zest really stole the show.
I really liked the frozen treats at 77K Freeze. It’s still early days and I’m curious to see how this method of on-the-spot ice cream making will withstand the summer hordes of ravenous ice cream lovers. It does take extra time to concoct each order by hand, but the novelty of seeing the liquid nitrogen flow out of a mixer, which in turn becomes your sweet treat is worth a little wait.