320 Below Nitro Cream Cafe | Mackenzie Road, Little India

The forecast this year: a freeze is coming.

The idea of making ice cream is not new. Science undergraduates have been playing around with the omniscient gas during their lab days for a while. The chemical property of liquid nitrogen instantly freezes anything in its path. However, it’s only in the last couple of years that any of this has been made commercial. Like the hamburger or any American classic, the road to nitrogen made commercial ice cream comes from two opposite ends of the spectrum in the States. On one hand, we’ve got Jerry and Naomi Hancock who were fascinated by customizable food: their New York Burrito in Utah gave customers complete control over the creation of their meals, and wanted to offer the same with desserts. With a chemistry background from Brigham Young University, he developed a method of making ice cream using liquid nitrogen. It was a success, and it spawned chains of Sub Zero across the States. Around the same time, although it coincidentally made its debut after Sub Zero in 2009, was the independent Robyn Sue Goldman who spent two years developing a unique ice cream machine that made ice cream in a minute using liquid nitrogen. Like Sub Zero, it was also a raving success, and teaming up with pastry chef Robyn Lyn Lenzi, Smitten’s flavors are critically acclaimed.

Naturally, it didn’t take too long before the concept was introduced to Singapore with 320 Below Nitro Cream Cafe along Mackenzie Road. The idea is simple, really. Liquid nitrogen instantly freezes everything in its path to -195.7 degrees Celsius, or -320.4 degrees Fahrenheit, so naturally, the ice cream’s made right on the spot. Nitrogen is blasted into home mixers of natural ingredients and milk, and voila, comes the ice cream. This means that no flavor is inconceivable. I’m not sure if it’s the effect of the nitrogen on the ice cream, but the Salted Caramel was infinitely more wholesome, fuller and richer in flavor.

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