When most people think of "vegan ice cream," they envision a syrupy, gummy substrate of unsatisfying soy product.
But in Boston, the term is synonymous with local Wheeler del Torro and his exceptionally flavorful, dairy-free line of Wheeler's Frozen Desserts. And now, thanks to his new cookbook and mail-order service, you can try them even if you don't live near his shop.
Made with top-secret techniques that del Torro learned while working in Paris, his ice creams can easily rival their casein-filled counterparts, but his flavors are anything but parlor-standard: He flash-freezes his frozen desserts with nitrogen, which allows him to create boozy, cocktail-inspired concoctions like Campari-grapefruit and piña colada (pictured).
The former chef also uses ingredients from the savory side of the kitchen, creating herbal infusions and blending fresh spices to make flavors like black pepper, curry and salty nut.
Home cooks everywhere can try del Torro's inventive concoctions by picking up his new cookbook, The Vegan Scoop; those seeking a ready-made treat can call his Boston shop to place an order (orders of one pint or more can be shipped anywhere in the country). You can even ask them create a custom flavor for you: One recent customer requested peppermint-peanut butter.
Wheeler's Frozen Desserts, 334B Massachusetts Ave., Boston; 617-247-0048 or theveganscoop.com
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