In an effort to combat the exorbitant price of ultra premium ice cream, a growing number of Americans are taking to "Turbocharging" less expensive brands, a move they say significantly boosts flavors levels while keeping overall costs down.
At least two people in the Windsor Square sector of Los Angeles are said to be regularly pouring and swirling a high-end caramel sauce into various Haagen Dazs flavors thereby enhancing immediate gratification, but costing three to four dollars less than current top-rated packaged flavors, most notably the Portland-based Salt and Straw's Sea Salt Ice Cream with Caramel Ribbons, the current 2014 points leader.
The swirling tactic, which is not approved by the National Ice Cream Association (NICA) and therefore not allowed in competitions, has focused almost exclusively on using the warm, nearly gurgling caramel sauce from the pastry kitchen at Mozza in Los Angeles, but advocates say that other additives could be used.
"Souping up" just about anything is a passion - and livelihood - for millions of Americans who have formed industries on after market items for cars, motorcycles and even computers. That the practice should come to packaged ice cream was inevitable, especially with the high price of elite ice creams.
So far, sources say the best turbocharging combo has been the Mozza caramel sauce and a pinch of 13 to 17 gros grains of fleur de sel on and into Haagen Dazs' sea salt caramel gelato.
A spokesman for Flynn Duvall, NICA's long time president, said "so-called 'turbocharging' is illegal in competition and should be. This is the Formula One Ice Cream championships,. not some Sundae competition at a state fair. What's next? Sprinkles? Fuckin' bananas?".
UPDATE Just before Krikorian Writes went to press, Sarah Clark, sommelier at Osteria Mozza and ice cream aficionado, relayed information that Ben and Jerry's had introduced four new flavors, including Peanut Butter Fudge and Salted Caramel, all with a "Core" in the center, their version of turbocharging.
MOZZA CARAMEL SAUCE
I cup heavy whipping cream, 1 whole vanilla bean, 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter ( ideally Rudolphe Le Menuier Buerre de Baratte), 1 cup sugar, 1/4 light corn syrup
Now, either mix the items all together and cook 'em up,, or go to Pizzeria Mozza, pretend to look at the Mozza Cookbook on display up front like you're seriously contemplating buying it, all interested, but, instead, with a spy camera, snap off a photo of the recipe for caramel sauce located toward the end of that book. And while you're at it, read the acknowledgments.