For a long, long time -- as far back as most millennials can remember -- ice cream wasn’t hip. It was something delicious we ate after Little League baseball games or any other occasion when dad needed to garner a little extra good will, sure. But the flavors everywhere were usually the same: chocolate, vanilla, and occasionally something crazy like Moose Tracks. But never, ever rum raisin. We weren’t ready.
Now, though, ice cream is definitely cool. We wrote a definitive list of the best ice cream shops in America, and many of them are doing crazily creative things with the stuff, introducing flavors that people decades ago wouldn’t have dreamed of, like Salted Crack Caramel (“salted butter caramel ice cream with Deb's Famous Crack Cookies: saltine crackers coated with butter, sugar, and chocolate”) at Ample Hills in Brooklyn.
How does a flavor like that come to be? What forces conspired to make it? Well, we spoke to Ample Hills owner Brian Smith about how his famous ice creams go from idea to execution to digestion.