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Jun 10, 2009 07:09 PM

Jfood's Ice Cream Tour Continues (MSP) - Return to Pumphouse

Jfood made a commitment to return to Pumphouse and he did.

As someone suggested a couple of weeks ago they serve a five scooper (minis the size of an Izzy scoop) He ordered the Strawberry, the Vanilla with homemade malted milk balls, the Vanilla with Newman-o’s, the Mint chip and the Organic Banana.

The strawberry was first. The flavors of the berried themselves was outstanding and the ice cream was a basic base with itzy bitzy pieces of the strawberries. The texture was different from his last visit. It appeared that the fat content was much less and the ice crystals were more prevalent.

The two Vanillas were next. Again the ice cream lacked the fat content from the last visit and the vanilla did not have a large amount of flavor. On a more positive note, the homemade malted milk ball was fantastic.

The mint chip was filled with natural mint flavor, not the bottled green stuff. Jfood really liked this one but it could have been better with some more chips or Jfood lost of the draw with the tiny scoop.

Now he stared at the banana. If you remember, Jfood loved this flavor last time. After his first bite he just stared at the dish. Did they change the recipe? This was not the same organic banana that ate and raved about a few weeks ago. Less flavor and more \crystals.

Also none of the scoops left that fatty residue on Jfood's lips like his last visit. Jfood has no idea what happened, but he will need to return next week to give it another try..

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  1. I'm glad that someone else has experienced less than spectacular ice cream at Pumphouse. I don't live too far away and have tried it three different times - and found most flavors to be bland and not as "luscious" as expected. I never got what all the raves were about.

    Sorry, but I could care less whether they use local and organic ingredients if the flavor and texture isn't there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kilgore

      Thanks for sharing your priorities.

    2. I agree with Kilgore in terms of my experiences at Pumphouse. I don't often eat ice cream, so when I do, I really want a luscious, creamy, unctuous mouthfeel. The best ice cream I've ever had, just to give a reference point, is Berthillon in Paris. I've found Pumphouse to, well, fall short in the flavor department. I'm really looking for oomph when it comes to flavor, and I find that when I take a bite, I wait for the flavor....and wait... and wait... but then it goes away. Thank you, jfood, for being honest about your disparate experiences. I was beginning to wonder if our tastes were so different when you raved about it. Now I'm wondering if it is just an inconsistency that is often inherent in local-sourcing, organic, and/or small batch foods. That may account for some of the variance in MSPers strong opinions about our local ice creameries.

      I'm not complaining, far from it. It's just a characteristic of the process. Some small chesemakers who use their own milk often have an inconsistent end product and you just have to take the good with the bad. I figure it's better to risk greatness and sometimes come up short (Pumphouse, Sebastian Joe's, Izzy's, Grand Ole Creamery), than go for consistent mediocrity (Kemps, anyone?)

      1 Reply
      1. re: cheeseguysgirl

        Been to Pumphouse twice now since jfoods first post. both of my experiences were like this one. first time I got the 5 scoop thing and I could hardly distinguish the flavors. today I got a scoop of Sea Salt...caramel or w/e and a scoop of Fresh local Strawberry. the caramel was ok, but as mentioned flavor a bit dull. the disappointing. it tasted like water.

        I have eaten fresh local strawberries. I have made ice cream with fresh local strawberries. I have no idea how that doesn't have flavor.

      2. The wife and I went last night and both liked it very much. I had the kulfi and the salty caramel pecan. In both cases, the consistency was perfect. The cream wasn't too cold, nor did it melt as soon as it came in contact with the sun.

        I personally enjoyed the milder flavor of the base. It was a nice contrast to other "premium" ice creams I've had, letting the subtle flavors (of the kulfi in particular) and quality cream take center stage.

        7 Replies
        1. re: kevin47

          Thanks kevin for putting into words something about Pumphouse that I have thought- that it is indeed more subtle, something which some of us like and apparently some of us don't like. I do agree that the flavors are not all equally pleasing- that's why you taste them until you find what you like. I haven't had the salty caramel yet but have enjoyed the kulfi. I do think that when peoples' palates are used to the more high intensity flavored ice creams, they can be disappointed with something like Pumphouse. And I think there are some consistency issues with this business. That is probably going to be true of any small business that is doing things by hand.

          1. re: faith

            Friday night I had the salty carmel pecan flavor and it was ok, but I litterally had 1 (one) pecan in my scoop. The flavor was lacking, but I am a frozen custard guy!

          2. re: kevin47

            "letting the subtle flavors (of the kulfi in particular) and quality cream take center stage.'

            Sorry kevvy, but Kulfi is made with milk, not cream.

            1. re: jfood

              Then the Pumphouse version is inauthentically delicious!

              1. re: jfood

                Out of curiosity, I asked Pumphouse what they use. They use both milk and cream, as they do with all their ice cream, I think.

                1. re: kevin47

                  Interesting, then it is not Kulfi.

                  But what is more interesting is they use milk in ALL their ice creams? Jfood would bet that on his first visit the ice cream made with all cream which is why there was that fat layer on his lips when he left and on the second trip it was the combo.

                  Thanks for following up.

                  1. re: jfood

                    Jfood, I don't think they have ever made their ice cream with just cream and no milk- it would be way too expensive for one thing- also, ice cream has custard as the base- which by definition is made with milk and eggs. What I think is going on with the difference you noticed on your LIPS is perhaps changes in the fat content of the organic milk/cream they are using---you need to check with the cows and see if they are on Jennie Craig or something!