Pizza, pizza, everywhere, and so many slices to eat.
Some would argue that we've reached full cultural saturation when it comes to pizza. Cops now incentivize citizens to abide by the law using the lure of free pizza. Body-language experts say that the way you eat pizza can reveal a lot about your character. Chefs attempt to stab each other to death over disagreements about the proper way to make pizza. There are pizza condoms, pizza DeepDream videos—hell, even people in this world who live off pizza alone for decades at a time.
So in 2015, are we ready for pizza-flavored ice cream? If you ask gonzo-delicious ice-cream empire Coolhaus, the answer is yes.
Coolhaus—which has ice cream trucks in Southern California, New York, and Dallas, as well as two brick-and-mortar locations in the Los Angeles area—has up and decided to go there and interpret the salty, greasy wonder known as pizza into a frozen dessert.
RECIPE: Coolhaus's Whiskey Lucky Charms Ice Cream Sandwiches
Coolhaus isn't shy about getting weird with their flavors (current menu options include Coconut Negroni, Cream Cheese & Rye, Peking Duck, and the mysteriously named "Netflix"), so go figure that they'd be the ones to cross this monumental threshold of invention. The slice-y scoops are being served as part of their seasonal fall menu, which is currently being served at the Culver City and Pasadena stores as well as in the Los Angeles-based trucks.
But with this news, questions remained. Does it taste good? Or has our pizza fixation gone too far?
We hit up Coolhaus's CEO and co-founder Natasha Case for a deeper look into the marriage of two of the world's most beloved, but rarely paired, dishes.
MUNCHIES: Hi, Natasha. How did Coolhaus conceptualize the pizza flavor? What was the inspiration to make something so traditionally savory into a frozen dessert? Natasha Case: We love when sweet meets savory. Some of our most savory and best-selling flavors are Fried Chicken & Waffles and Brown Butter Candied Bacon. There's also our new Reuben ice cream [sandwich], made with Caramelized Pastrami ice cream with Marbled Rye whoopies.
Pizza, like most savory foods, has sweet components that make it so craveable and loved by many, and so irresistible late at night. Also, full disclosure: the flavor is an homage to the leading ladies and co-creators of one of our favorite shows, Broad City.
How's the pizza ice cream made? We start with a mascarpone and olive oil base, then add sun-dried tomato, fresh basil, and a pinch of salt to finish.
Very intriguing. What has the customer response been like? Almost everyone who comes in to our Culver City shop wants to try the pizza ice cream, even if they haven't heard about our new menu. Everyone is shocked to find out that it actually evokes the taste of pizza.
Does it really taste like pizza? Have you tasted it? Of course; flavor research and development is one of my all-time favorite parts of the job. Our corporate team also gets to taste-test everything before it's available in the shops and trucks (dream job). Yes, it really tastes like pizza—not in a mimicking way, but in a way that is evocative and I think really interesting. The mascarpone base gives it a creamy and slightly sweet cheese flavor, the tomatoes are sweet and sour, the olive oil is earthy, and the fresh basil is herbaceous and bright. This is very similar to how your mind and palate break apart the pizza experience.
What other new flavors are in the pipeline? Stay tuned for a lineup of breakfast-inspired flavors.
Thanks for talking with us.