Here’s the scoop on one of Brooklyn’s coolest new social club.
The ice cream scoop, that is.
The Ice Cream Club is for people who love to share their homemade frozen-dairy concoctions with fellow foodies. Every second Saturday of the month, members bring their sweet treats to a frozen dessert potluck in Fort Greene. But it’s not strictly BYOP. If you show up without a pint to share, you pay $10 to taste what everyone else bought.
These sugar-fueled parties are held at the Vanderbilt Avenue apartment of club founder Jonathan Soma — also known as the Ben (or is he the Jerry?) of the Brooklyn ice cream scene.
“I started making ice cream with a Cuisinart last year, but I always ended up with too much of the same flavor,” said Soma, a web developer by day and an ice cream connoisseur by night. “I started the club so that I could try what other people are making.”
What other people are making turned out to be some weird, wild stuff. Instead of boring vanilla and chocolate, flavors at the Ice Cream Club’s socials have included Caramel Pear, Beets with Ginger, and Oatmeal Stout. All members deserve credit for their boldness, but some of these bizarre creations were more successful than others.
In our own taste test, Soma’s own caramel pear was like a super creamy, sweet apple pie. The earthy oatmeal stout was also tasty, though the beer left it with a bit of an aftertaste. And the purple-colored beets with ginger tasted overwhelmingly of ginger.
But playing Russian Roulette with your taste buds is all part of the fun.
“I love getting to try 20 flavors of ice cream at a time,” said Jen Messier, who made a butternut squash ice cream by simply mixing the autumn veggie with milk, cream and sugar.
For the last social, Soma stuck to sweet flavors, but he’s not afraid to experiment with savory and spicy ingredients. He once made ice cream out of Moroccan mint tea (“Delicious”), but totally botched a Sino-influenced ice cream of shredded dried pork, green onions and mayo.
“It was disgusting as an ice cream, but tasted just like the pork buns that I eat in Chinatown,” Soma said. The experience did teach him one thing: “There’s so much stuff you can do with ice cream — as long as you stick to the general recipe.”