Monday, July 02, 2007

Green Tea

Over the weekend we got hit with some of the typically hot weather this corner of Washington gets during the summer. We have not seen the worst of it so naturally we loaded up on ice cream. We now have four flavors to choose from in our freezer, but sadly none of them are green tea!

While in Japan a few weeks ago I enjoyed my first green tea ice cream cone. I had been seeing them everywhere and although they seemed strange, I had to have one. The flavor was intriguing, complex even, and hard to describe. It tasted a bit, but not quite, like the blackberry green tea frappaccinos that Starbucks used to carry. It doesn't really taste like "green tea" tea either.

As I found out after having green tea several times in Japan, including at the oldest tea house in Kyoto, one green tea definitely does not taste like another. Sometimes it tasted earthy, other times insipid, but most of the time it had the consistency of chicken soup. Being a novice green tea consumer, I had naively thought they'd all taste the same.

Good luck duplicating the delicious, delicate flavor of the green tea ice cream!

I think the flavoring comes in powdered form that could be found, with some luck, at an Asian grocery. If we got hold of some of it, I bet Sleyed could experiment with making green tea ice cream.

Then all we would need is the nifty machine one ice cream man used to convert frozen solid cups of ice cream to soft serve - it was so slick. We ordered our cones and he reached down into a freezer, took out a cup, and peeled off the lid, revealing the frozen green ice cream in the cup below. In a move that made it look like he'd done it a thousand times before, he turned it over, and put it in a machine that then dispensed the swirling, twisting green tea soft serve ice cream sitting perfectly on a sugary cone.

Haagen Dazs makes a green tea ice cream sandwich; I don't think I tried one. I did try the green tea KitKat (and the green tea Pocky). It was worth a try, you know just to see what it's like. They were okay, nothing too exciting.

The green tea ice cream is definitely worth trying if you're in Japan during the right season!


Alasdair said...

I think it would be fun, trying to recreate the ice cream. I think the form of tea used in it is the same as that used in making Official Japanese Green Tea, the kind you get in Buddhist temples, that is stirred with a cute little bamboo whisk (aka a powder).

I see, speaking of green ice cream, that some people make avocado ice cream. I'm sure that you would love it. :)

Holly said...

I'll stick with green tea, thanks!

Angela Breidenbach said...

I've had green tea ice cream. It's very good. We can buy it at our local health food store. And, our exchange son had his mom send treats from Japan. So we have green tea pocky in our house right now! It's good, but more bland than the ice cream. I'm enjoying your Japan posts. I'm going to show them to Kenshin when he gets home.

Field Notes said...

Green Tea Kit Kat is the same way - bland :{

Dr.Gray said...

Home made green tea ice cream made with something like this - green tea ice cream - is just amazing.