Dallas is on its way to a black ice cream summer, and it starts with Chills 360, the rolled ice cream shop in Deep Ellum, which will offer the edgy dessert treat beginning in May.
First introduced by Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream in New York, black ice cream was the summer 2016 rage in the Big Apple. The flavor is coconut, although truthfully, black ice cream is less about flavor than it is the shock appeal of having something really black.
Different vendors use different coloring agents, from a gallery that could include charcoal, squid ink, or charred coconut shell.
Chills owners Mohammad and Javeria Babar first spotted the concept in New York and were enchanted by its appearance. While they appreciate the novelty, it will also fill what was looming as a customer request.
"People were asking for the coconut flavor," Mohammad says. "Some of our customers are Indian, and they love that flavor. We did have coconut flakes as toppings, but we did not have a coconut-flavored ice cream. Black ice cream is usually coconut, so it seemed like a fun way to add the flavor to our menu."
They spent a few months working on a recipe until they refined one they liked.
"It's a dairy ice cream, and it has some coconut shreds, so you really get the coconut flavor," Mohammad says. "Ours is pretty black, although it's tough to get it totally black when you use milk and heavy cream. We tried it with almond milk, but that didn't achieve quite the creaminess. It's about a coconut flavor and creaminess."
They'll do it on a limited-edition basis for a month. "We'll make about 100 cups a day to see if the demand is there," he says.