This week, Serious Eats posted my “Sugar Rush” article about taiyaki and ice cream at Three F(x) Ice Cream & Waffles in Jacksonville, FL. An excerpt:
I opted for Taro Taiyaki ($2.45), and per personal (though fairly common) tradition, bit off the head of the fish first. Inside was the taro’s captivating purple color, but also a layer of what the taiyaki-maker called egg and cream cheese. Custardy, I’m guessing it was the aforementioned cream cheese cream. Luckily, the earthy and nutty flavor of the taro wasn’t completely lost, and the taiyaki brought back memories of enjoying the crisp pastry treat on the Japanese streets.
Meanwhile, a worker will make ice cream fresh in front of you at another station that features an “ice pan” which freezes to -35°F. You get a choice of milk (whole, soy, non-fat) to which you add your desired flavor—including various berries, other fruits, mint, espresso, and of course vanilla and chocolate. Staying with the Asian theme, I chose Green Tea Ice Cream ($4.65, small). The blended mixture gets poured in a crepe-thin layer onto the frozen pan. It starts to freeze instantly, so the worker mixes and manipulates it with two putty knives until it solidifies to the right consistency. Asked if I wanted a fruit topping or two candy toppings (included in the price), I selected pineapple, thinking I’d eat it off the top of the ice cream. When it turned out to be a mix-in rather than a topping, I knew I was in trouble. Green tea and pineapple wasn’t a great combination. The green tea flavor was rather weak, and while not as dry and grainy as I expected from what I saw, the ice cream lacked the rich creaminess I crave. Still, it was a fun show to watch…
For more information, check out the Serious Eats story, here.