Thursday, September 16, 2010

The mystery of flavor

This morning I started my day with a cup of tea and a bowl of Kashi cereal, the kind that tastes great with honey. The flavors of honey, milk, tea and a neutral cereal was pleasant. Each flavor was well balanced and complimented one another. What is the speed of flavor? Fast, slow, zig zag, or head on? In the frozen dessert business, flavor is the number one issue I consider everyday. Texture is a close second, but without the right balance, or intention, flavors can be slow, to fast, or wind up in a dead end. "Where do you go from there? No where." (Nigel Tufnel)
Today, one of my employees said he tried the Alphonso Mango gelato and did not favor it over the previous recipe. We began talking about flavor and how this mango gelato is different from the previous one. The Alphonso mango has a unique flavor. It is highly esteemed in the culinary world for it's texture and bold flavor. When you scoop into a pint of Madisono's Alphonso Mango gelato the full flavor of the fruit prevails. This new recipe is our neutral gelato mix(made from scratch at Madisono's) and Alphonso Mango. The simpler the better. But the flavor is different and I understand what he was saying. This flavor is fast by design and delivers a unique profile similar to a mango lassi. Try it with some cardamom on top, you will not be disappointed.
This weekend I am participating in the Findlay Market Fundraiser, Lunch on the Land. I have used Madison Ridgeview Farm blackberries to create a blackberry gelato. It will be served on a mini brioche from Skirtz and Johnston. I started by making a concentrated syrup from many pounds of frozen berries. The plan was to incorporate this pure syrup into the neutral gelato mix and process. The color of the syrup was a very deep purple and when mixed with the gelato mix turned a beautiful purple. Despite attempts to get this flavor into the fast lane it just refused to be hurried. I would classify this as a slow flavor, a single gear so to speak. Is this bad? My intention was to create a head on blast of blackberry, but the reality is that despite the volume of syrup added to the mix this will never happen. The use of all natural fruits and purees for flavoring gelato and sorbet is a challenge at times. So the solution is to embrace the reality of the flavor and accept it. What I decided to do was to process the blackberry gelato according to recipe design and then compliment it with puree as a swirl. The result is that I have a much more visually appealing gelato due to the marbling of the dark purple puree against a soft purple gelato. The puree adds a second gear to the flavor but does not corrupt the texture of the finished gelato. In the end I was pleased and I think that you will be as well. It will be available at Findlay Market this weekend while supplies last.
Thanks for supporting Madisono's

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A beautiful Saturday at Findlay Market

When I woke up this morning and the breeze was blowing a cool 6o degrees or so through my window the birds were chirping, and the sun was beginning to shine. A good day for Findlay. I had a bowl of oatmeal, some mangos and a pressed coffee. I arrived to scoop gelato from 10 t0 2:30 and had blast! We offer over 15 flavors of gelato and sorbet at the dipping station and today was the official debut of Madisono's Mad Pops. The response to the Mad Pops was great. We had three flavors, Alphonso Mango with pineapple, Redraspberry with strawberry, and Blackberry lemon. My wife designed some great stickers and we started using the impulse heat sealer on some new bags. The packaging looks great. Thanks Margot!
Madisono's is excited to be the first to bring this unique treat to Cincinnati. Lately, I have been introduced to many new music groups. I am lucky in that, I can listen to music all day long as loud as I want. We generate lots of noise in the production facility with blenders, batch freezers, and compressors running everywhere. It doesn't pay extra, but the benefit of music all day is worth something. I always want to jump into Wikipedia, Myspace or websites to get more information on these bands but time does not always allow it. I find that flavors are like music. Complex or simple arrangements that have emotion, depth and purpose. There just is not enough time to explore the abyss of flavor. So what is there to do?
Take a breath and slow down. Rome was not built in a day. Some bands may break up but their music will last. It will be there. Flavors will be there too. They are not going anywhere. Sure there may be a season to wait but for the most part they are there like notes waiting for placement. The introduction of Madisono's Mad Pops will give us many more flavor notes to compose with. It is my hope to bring to all of you a sweet melody on a stick.
Here is a band that I have taken the time to look into. I hope you enjoy it. Mexican Elvis,

Thanks for supporting Madisono's

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Madisono's Mad Pops debut at Findlay Market

Those of you who follow this blog know that posts do not show up regularly. I would like to say that I am working on doing a better at this. I hope to post at least once a week and maybe more. There are some great things happening at Madisono's and I love to talk about it.
What is a Mad Pop you ask? A Mad Pop is a frozen fruit pop, made with real fruits and madisono's sorbet. Imagine Alphonso mango sorbet with pineapple or Madiosno's lemon sorbet and blackberries, or red raspberry sorbet and fresh strawberries. Each fruit batch is made from scratch and then poured into the molds. Everything about this concept is done by hand and in very small batches. I think this would qualify as artisan. Once frozen they are removed and then packaged. This idea has been brewing for a long and I am finally able to introduce some initial products for people to try and get some input on them. I have been overwhelmed at flavor possibilities. So many flavors and so little time.
Pops are nothing new, we all had them as kids but they were just frozen juice, with fake food colors and artificial flavors. Even today they are still made with crappy ingredients. Mad Pops is offering something very different. There is so much fruit in these you can feel it. The lemon blackberry is made with blackberries from Madison's Ridgeview Farm in Adams County. We froze many pounds of berries just for Mad Pops. The inspiration for pops is found in the Mexican Paletas. My sister in law is from Panama and all through Latin America paletas are everywhere, made with real fruits and simple ingredients. Paleta shops are showing up in places around the country and now they are available here. We have some big plans for Mad Pops here in Cincinnati. More on that later. If you get to Findlay Market stop in to Madison's for a Mad Pop and let me know what you think. Have a good holiday weekend.
Thanks for supporting Madisono's Gelato