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Herbs have been infused in ice cream at independent restaurants for a while now, but Cold Stone Creamery will be doing it for the first time this July.
Ray Karam, senior tastemaster for the 1,500-unit chain, worked with a flavor company to develop a paste made by finely shredding the herb and then mixing it with simple syrup.
The result, Karam said, is a strawberry ice cream with a hint of basil in the background.
“It’s just enough to put a little spin on the strawberry,” he said. “It’s a nice finishing touch of flavor.”
Karam said Cold Stone Creamery doesn’t generally do extensive testing before implementing a systemwide rollout, which is the often the case at other large chains.
For the strawberry basil ice cream, Cold Stone had staff members at its Scottsdale, Ariz., headquarters and their friends and family, as well as franchisees, area developers, and regional directors of operations come in to try it.
“It scored very well,” Karam said.
The strawberry basil ice cream is pictured here as Cold Stone Creamery’s recommended “Creation,” which has yellow cake, strawberries and whipped topping mixed in.
The upcoming new flavor is one of three limited-time offers Cold Stone has planned for summer. The chain debuted a lemon poppy seed ice cream earlier this month and plans to introduce a mojito-flavored sorbet later in the season.
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