Summer (or any warm day) in Japan is never complete without ice cream. It is not just any ordinary cold dessert that people are in love with. Japanese people have an infatuation for soft serve ice creams, better known and called as soft cream or “sofuto kuriimu” in Japanese. These are so soft as a result of air being introduced during freezing and the texture is just addictive. Last July 29, 2016, Cold Stone Creamery, an American ice cream parlor chain, started offering soft serve ice creams for the first time at their Ebina Service Area highway branch in Japan.
Ice creams are a popular choice of snack during summer and hot days not only in Japan but around the world. They come in different types – from traditional ice creams to French ice creams, light ice creams, reduced fat ice creams, no-sugar-added ice creams, and soft serves.
In Japan, soft serve ice creams are well liked owing to their soft and silky texture. This type of ice cream is generally lower in milk fat and is treated at a slightly higher temperature (-4 degree Celsius) than ordinary ice cream. It is actually the amount of air during freezing and production (called “overrun”) that alters the taste and consistency of the product. The higher the air content, the smoother, lighter, and creamier the ice cream is. However, too much air is not good as it will make the ice cream less tasty and melt more quickly. There are already several machines that produce soft serve ice creams perfectly.
Soft serve ice creams are known as different terms around the world. It is called “creemee” in New England, “Mr. Whippy” in the United Kingdom, “soft whip” in Ireland, and “softee/softie” in India and Pakistan. It is called “soft ice cream” in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, while in Japan, it is known as “soft cream.”
Japanese soft serve ice creams come in different flavors like chocolate, vanilla, green tea, black sesame, and many more. The popular places serving these are the northernmost territory of Japan which is Hokkaido and the southernmost territory which is Okinawa.
Hokkaido is synonymous with dairy. Some people will immediately think of Hokkaido in Japan upon hearing the word “farm.” One of the hottest places selling soft serve ice cream in vanilla flavor is Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza. They have a branch located just outside of Yurakucho Station in Tokyo which is very convenient for those traveling. Their ice creams are naturally made from Hokkaido-reared cow’s milk and are not too sweet. Another famous soft serve ice cream comes from cantaloupe and is called “Yubari Melon.” It is made of milk and Yubari melon juice which is a perfect pair for the summer. If you like both flavors, you can have them in one serving.
Next off is Okinawa which is a popular place for tropical fruits. There are a variety of flavors in the place such as apple mango ice cream which is very fresh and rich. Unique flavors can also be found in Ishigaki Island such as soft serve red pepper ice cream and those with salt. A recommended shop that sells such products is the Washita Shop which is just a 4-minute walk from the Yurakucho Station of JR Yamanote Line.
Cold Stone Creamery started in Arizona, USA. The founder has undergone so many researches in order to come up with the best ice cream in the world. He was focused on the quality and variety of the ice creams that’ll be made available in the store every single day. It is also popular for its spirit of joviality in order to encourage customers to give tips. In the past, employees did not sing songs while they worked but nowadays, they do with short lyrics and catchy phrases.
It was in 2004 when the Cold Stone Creamery was introduced to Takashi Sawada of Japan. It was then the start of the happy adventures of the company in the country. Many people went head over heels with the company’s ice creams because of their delicious taste and signature quality. As of now, the company has been entering into partnerships with other companies to promote brand name products within its stores. It has also introduced out-of-this-world flavors such as the JELL-O pudding flavor which causes the ice cream to turn into pudding instead of melt.
In Japan, the company has recently introduced a new addition to its products which they’ve never done before. These are soft serve ice creams which are only available at the Ebina Service highway rest stop in Kanagawa Prefecture beginning July 29, 2016. These ice creams will be served in either cups or plain waffle cones at 520 yen each. Crushed almonds, raspberry toppings, and sprinkles are also available for an additional price which will add to the flavor and overall presentation of the ice cream.
This is a fun innovation of the company’s ice cream. Being located along the road might just be a refreshing idea for those passersby who are in need of some tasty and cool ice cream refreshments. Whether this new offering is going to kick or not, it is definitely going to get some of the customers’ attention. As a company having legions of fans, who wouldn’t want to grab a bite of Cold Stone’s newest creation of delicious soft serve ice creams?