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00:00:08>>From the Center for the Study and the Teaching
00:00:11of Writing at the Ohio State University this is
00:00:12Writers Talk. I'm Doug Dangler.
00:00:15Jeni Britton Bauer has made ice cream since 1996
00:00:19growing Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream into ten stores
00:00:22throughout Ohio and Tennessee, but more
00:00:24importantly for our purposes she also writes a
00:00:27blog, Facebook page, and daily Twitter feed.
00:00:30Most recently she has written a recipe book to
00:00:32instruct you on how to make ice cream at home.
00:00:35Welcome to Writers Talk, Jeni.
00:00:38>>Thank you very much for having me.
00:00:39>>Sure. What lead you to write a cookbook instead
00:00:42of guarding your secret recipes like the formula for Coke?
00:00:45Why did you decide to give them away or to sell them?
00:00:48>>Well, two reasons. First, I get e-mails from all over
00:00:51the country, really all over the world, with flavor ideas
00:00:57from people when they travel.
00:00:59We've been in a lot of magazines that end up in
00:01:02other countries and people will write to me
00:01:04things that surround them and so the idea to give
00:01:07a recipe that can be infinitely interchangeable
00:01:11to make whatever flavors surround you so you can
00:01:14give it to your neighbor or your friends or your
00:01:16children or whatever, was important for me.
00:01:20It doesn't interfere at all with our business
00:01:26because it's a slightly different recipe.
00:01:29It's based on what I learned over the many years
00:01:33of making ice cream in a business, but it's
00:01:37adapted for home machines so the recipe is
00:01:40actually pretty different. It's not like what you
00:01:41would use, so I haven't given any competitors
00:01:43any information. Well, that's not true.
00:01:47>>I was wondering as I read through it because
00:01:49there's always the scalability of these things
00:01:52where things have to change a great deal.
00:01:53You're not using one little pot to make your ice
00:01:56cream at a time.
00:01:57>>That's right. But actually in our test kitchen
00:02:00we do start with a very small batch of ice cream
00:02:02before it hits the production kitchen so everything
00:02:05starts small anyway in our business.
00:02:08We did have to scale back the hot fudge recipe,
00:02:10which is amazing. We had to go back and test
00:02:14that because there are some things that are a
00:02:17little different when your scale them. The sugar
00:02:19content and getting just the right bitterness,
00:02:23not too much sugar, those kinds of things.
00:02:24>>Yeah, and I noticed that's one of the things
00:02:25that you're really promoting in this is having
00:02:27ice creams that aren't really sweet as
00:02:29traditional American ice creams. You were
00:02:34looking more for flavor is what it says in the
00:02:37book than the high sugar content.
00:02:40>>Yeah, the sugar bomb.
00:02:41Ice creams are always sweet and they are one of
00:02:43the more sweet desserts that we have, but because
00:02:46they are frozen you don't taste the sugar quite
00:02:48as much as you do in cookies or whatever.
00:02:51The flavors that we make are not so much candy,
00:02:54the American candy sugar bomb flavors.
00:02:59We are much more concentrated on the actual
00:03:04ingredients and hoping that they would shine on
00:03:06the foundation of cream.
00:03:07>>The foundation of cream. I like that idea.
00:03:09We should start with a foundation of cream.
00:03:13You, I assume, have kept a notebook of all your
00:03:16experimentation, right? You're in the kitchen,
00:03:18you're saying lets see what this does, let's see
00:03:21what that does. What was the genesis for all
00:03:23of the recipes in here? You went back to those kinds
00:03:25of notes or did you have some other way of starting?
00:03:26>>I have been making ice cream since 1996 and you
00:03:31may not believe this, I do not have a notebook of
00:03:33all the things I've done, but in a way my
00:03:37business building year upon year, I don't forget
00:03:42the flavors that we've made because every year
00:03:46they get better, I revisit them, so it's sort of
00:03:48constantly around. In our production kitchen
00:03:50we have recipes for sure, but none of the
00:03:54experimentation is on there, none of the process
00:03:56of how we got there is in there, but it's all a big
00:04:00memory in my mind.
00:04:02>>I was going to say, there's a lot to remember
00:04:03all at once. I follow a recipe every time I do something.
00:04:06I don't necessary adhere to it because I make
00:04:10mistakes, or what I say is "adding it." Adding to
00:04:13the recipe by putting in twice as much sugar or
00:04:16something. But that's a lot to retain in your mind.
00:04:19>>I could never do that if it was for gardening
00:04:21or bread baking. For whatever reason I can do it
00:04:24with ice cream. I think it's just because that's what
00:04:26I do everyday all day and I think there is a method
00:04:28in the way that I've done it so that it is
00:04:31categorized and organized and filed in my brain
00:04:33in a very easy way to access.
00:04:37>>Well, tell me about the editing process for
00:04:40this as a cookbook. How do you start off and you
00:04:42go to somebody and say I've got this idea for a book,
00:04:44I want to give my recipes for ice cream?
00:04:48What was the next step? How did you walk through
00:04:50that process with your publisher?
00:04:52>>Well, first I'll tell you how it came about.
00:04:55Food & Wine magazine called me in late 2006 and they
00:04:59had already done a piece on me in 2005 and one of
00:05:03the editors asked if I could adapt my recipes for
00:05:06a home machine. I've seen other ice cream companies
00:05:09do this and what they normally do is recycle the same
00:05:11recipe that is always used in all of the other
00:05:13cookbooks. It's a French custard recipe.
00:05:14Whether or not they use that in their own
00:05:16kitchens or in their own production factories or
00:05:18whatever depending on if they are a restaurant or
00:05:20an ice cream company I didn't want to do that.
00:05:23I wanted to actually get real close because it's
00:05:24different. The recipes that you make at home
00:05:26are normally crumbly, icy, and little gritty that
00:05:28are based on that traditional egg yolk technique
00:05:31in a home machine.
00:05:32I told her at Food and Wine Magazine that if I
00:05:35could have a month or two to practice and if I
00:05:39could actually get close to what we actually do
00:05:41in our big kitchen then I would give them to her
00:05:44and if not, then I would have to decline.
00:05:47She was intrigued by that and excited by that and
00:05:50I was a little scared because I didn't think that
00:05:53it could work, but I knew I could at least get a
00:05:56little closer. So then what happened was I got there.
00:05:59I did eighty or one hundred batches of ice cream
00:06:03in a small Cuisinart in my home kitchen using
00:06:05only the equipment I have in my own kitchen,
00:06:06which is different than what I have in a
00:06:08production kitchen. I mean the machinery is
00:06:11not as cold, our freezers aren't as cold,
00:06:13we can't pasteurize or homogenize.
00:06:15You know I have a forty-five thousand dollar
00:06:17gelato machine from Italy. You're not going
00:06:18to have that in your home kitchen. It is different.
00:06:21I got there and I was excited to call and tell
00:06:25her I had done it. Then she recommended that
00:06:27I call a friend of hers, my agent, who is a literary
00:06:30agent, and I called him.
00:06:32We wrote a proposal, which took another however
00:06:34long and then we had seven publishers interested
00:06:37and then it went to auction and then we chose the
00:06:38best publisher out of those, which is the best
00:06:41publisher in the business for cookbooks.
00:06:44It's a long journey.
00:06:47>>And that's Artisan.
00:06:50>>So then you went to work with them and said
00:06:53here. Now I'm curious about one other aspect of that.
00:06:56This isn't strictly writing related, but I'm
00:06:58always curious about this in books.
00:06:59I'm a really non-visual person in terms of I
00:07:01can't design myself out of a paper bag, so I'm
00:07:02always fascinated when other people do it.
00:07:05One of the things I was looking at in the book is
00:07:08the art direction. It extends the look of your stores,
00:07:11this sort of urban contemporary casualness you've got.
00:07:14The name is script and things like that.
00:07:16How involved were you in that part of it?
00:07:20Are you the visual person in that way or are you
00:07:23more like no, let me tell you my story, let me
00:07:25give you my recipes?
00:07:26>>I am very visual. I think I'm equally visual as non-visual.
00:07:32The whole design was done in house at my company
00:07:37or at Jeni's in our offices and the entire look
00:07:40of the book was something that I conceived of.
00:07:43The idea that the spoons are all on the side.
00:07:46What I thought of is and I think about is the
00:07:50experience of ice cream is a lot of a walk into
00:07:54an ice cream store, our ice cream store or any
00:07:58ice cream store, the way that you chose ice cream
00:08:01is you're sort of drawn to different areas on the
00:08:03ice cream counter. If you're a chocolate person,
00:08:05you know where to go. If you're a fruit person you
00:08:07go to the color. If you're nuts you go there and creams
00:08:10and you sort of know how to do that and it's just
00:08:13instinctual I think. We wanted the book to feel the
00:08:16same way so you're not picking out flavors based
00:08:19on what it says, but how you feel about it as you're
00:08:22flipping through the pages. All of the spoons are
00:08:24on the place when you flip the thumb.
00:08:27>>It shows you what the ice cream's supposed to
00:08:34look like if you've done it correctly.
00:08:35>>That's the first thing, hopefully, you'll see
00:08:36if you're like me. There is table of contents,
00:08:38but that's the idea. You're going to stop where
00:08:40you're interested and it's visual first.
00:08:41Even if you're not a visual person I think that's
00:08:43still how you'll kind of do it at first and then
00:08:45you'll stop and open it and read it.
00:08:46>>I understand design, but I can't do it myself.
00:08:50I always think, oh, that's really cool, look at
00:08:52how someone designed this because I'm like I'll
00:08:54put text on the board and make sure that people
00:08:56read it because that's my reading background.
00:08:58I was really interested with some of the things
00:09:00that have been done in here that I thought ok,
00:09:04they're setting this book up to be different than
00:09:08a Martha Stewart book, which would be much more
00:09:11formal I would think. Don't sue me Martha.
00:09:14That's just my take on what Martha Stewart is and
00:09:18my take on what you're not doing with this kind
00:09:20of book and it's also much more you telling your
00:09:22story. It starts off with your story about how you got
00:09:25into the ice cream business and worked at a
00:09:27French pastry for a long time or during high
00:09:31school, things like that. Well, you've sectioned
00:09:35the book into the four seasons: spring, summer,
00:09:38winter, fall. I think in some cases this is because,
00:09:41like you mentioned earlier, you like to source locally.
00:09:43You like to get what's in season so I get the
00:09:46strawberries in spring.
00:09:49You've also got flavors like chamomile chardonnay
00:09:51ice cream, which is one of the many flavors that
00:09:55made me go hmm, chamomile chardonnay.
00:09:57How did that become something like that become
00:10:02associated with spring for you? What makes the cut
00:10:04for when these things go into the sections they go into?
00:10:07>>Well, I think sourcing locally is such an
00:10:09important thing for so many of the flavors.
00:10:12You can't hide flavor in cream. It's all right there.
00:10:14You should start with the best and that's how we
00:10:16feel, that's how we make all of our ice creams.
00:10:18More than anything I think we follow the emotions
00:10:21of the seasons and a lot of times it has to do
00:10:26with what's growing. When spring hits even when
00:10:30it's early in spring and nothing has actually
00:10:32sprouted yet, we are already craving strawberries
00:10:35whether they're there or not.
00:10:36Some flavors like chamomile chardonnay is sort
00:10:39of coming out of winter and into these spritely
00:10:42flavors that people want in spring when there's
00:10:46not really anything growing yet, no fruit, but
00:10:50also that's a Mother's Day flavor.
00:10:54>>Chardonnay is a Mother's Day flavor?
00:10:55>>Chamomile chardonnay.
00:10:57It says it in the book too the other reason we
00:10:59made it was to please mothers everywhere and in
00:11:02fact I made that flavor not thinking it was going
00:11:05to be as good as it actually is and thinking ok,
00:11:07what do mom's like? Chamomile and Chardonnay, right?
00:11:10I know that's so. I only go by what I know.
00:11:13My mom, my grandmother, my aunt, you know what I
00:11:16mean. My mom, the moms I know in my life, but I think
00:11:19that's so fun. But as it turns out it is an amazing flavor.
00:11:21The flavor of chamomile is really like a caricature of
00:11:28chardonnay. It's like bigger and more than a chardonnay
00:11:34with all the apple, oat and apricot, and all that.
00:11:36>>OK. I've noticed that you've got several different
00:11:38recipes that call for some form of wine or liquor
00:11:41or something like that. Along with many other
00:11:43things in here like cayenne, was the first time that
00:11:47I thought oh, you can put wine in.
00:11:51There's like rum raisin, which always sounded
00:11:53really gross to me and I've never eaten.
00:11:55When you start getting into that, do you have to
00:11:57get a permit for this kind of stuff, just
00:12:01curious, when you sell wine in ice cream or is ok
00:12:04because it's such a small amount?
00:12:07>>It's ok up to a certain limit and we are at
00:12:09that limit on all the flavors that we make.
00:12:12We do not go even a drop less than that in the
00:12:15flavors, but ice cream can only hold so much.
00:12:18It depresses the freezing point when you add too
00:12:22much liquor or any alcohol so there's a limit to
00:12:25how much we can put in anyway.
00:12:27>>Because you even have one in here that's for
00:12:31colds and flu. An influenza prescription one that's
00:12:35based on whiskey and there's other things to make
00:12:38you feel better in it.
00:12:41>>It's actually based on my grandmother's recipe,
00:12:42my mom's recipe: whiskey, honey, lemon juice, but
00:12:43we add a ton of pectin, a little cayenne and a
00:12:47litter ginger and that coats your throat and does
00:12:49all this great stuff and I'm tell you, I makes
00:12:51you feel better when you've got at scratchy
00:12:53throat going on.
00:12:55>>A couple of shots of that ice cream and you are
00:12:56feeling a lot better.
00:12:57>>You will sleep.
00:12:59>>Right. Now you write and you said that you tried out
00:13:01all the equipment that you used in the book and
00:13:03you identify some of them, like the Cuisinart Ice
00:13:05Cream Maker. I found that really surprising because I'm
00:13:09thinking here's a person who's been in this
00:13:11business since 1996, surely dropping back to do
00:13:13research for a book like this is sort of
00:13:17anticlimactic, you know. You've got this forty-five
00:13:20thousand dollar gelato machine and then you come
00:13:23back to the one hundred and twenty dollar Cuisinart
00:13:25and there's got to be this sense of I don't really want
00:13:28to do this research, but how did that function
00:13:30for you? Were you able to because you had a
00:13:33different goal in mind?
00:13:35>>Yeah. I mean when I started making ice cream
00:13:37in 1996 I was using the same machine and not
00:13:40having that great of luck with it. When I decided
00:13:43to tackle it that was after years of experience and
00:13:49experiments and trial and error and getting it right
00:13:53and I knew I could do it again. Actually in a way it
00:13:56felt like ok, I will not have really made it until I can
00:14:02do this and beat this now.
00:14:04>>When you were going to do that you said you
00:14:10tested out a bunch of other equipment and you
00:14:13found the Cuisinart was the best, not to give
00:14:15Cuisinart a bunch of love here.
00:14:17Is that just how it happened or did you go try
00:14:20different machines on the market?
00:14:22Did you say this is the one I used before, this
00:14:23is the one I'm going to use, that's what my
00:14:24research taught me before?
00:14:26>>It's not that the Cuisinart machine is better
00:14:28than the other similar machines, it's just that
00:14:29at some point I had to choose because I had to
00:14:32buy like fifty of them. Well not fifty of them,
00:14:34I had to buy like twenty of them.
00:14:36I had to keep us moving through the kitchen so we
00:14:38just chose that one. All of the canister machines work.
00:14:42There's another machine, I think it's Cuisinart
00:14:45also, that's a fancier machine that's
00:14:49self-contained freezing and I think that's about
00:14:50two hundred and fifty dollars.
00:14:53I found that actually after we made one batch it
00:14:56warmed up too much and it wouldn't make another
00:14:57batch. It took a really long time.
00:14:59I actually found that the less expensive deal
00:15:01between a fifty nine dollar Cuisinart or whatever
00:15:03you find, is better than spending a lot more
00:15:05money. I thought that was pretty cool.
00:15:09>>Yeah, and my family has always used the ice
00:15:12cream, I think the White Mountain kind, where you
00:15:14put salt and stuff around that.
00:15:16Did you experiment with anything like that or can
00:15:18these be scaled up to something like that?
00:15:20>>I know it will work in that because it's a very
00:15:23simple recipe and those machines work great.
00:15:25I didn't want to experiment with that because I
00:15:28felt like I'm trying to make it easy on people
00:15:31and I feel like the ice and salt would have been
00:15:36hard for me to use that exclusively.
00:15:38I wanted to make sure every recipe was tested by
00:15:40exactly the same machine to get these results so
00:15:44we had something that could get quantifiable to
00:15:48tell people. Like a deck or something.
00:15:50>>Yeah. When you're done you've got to find some
00:15:52place you don't care if there is grass or something.
00:15:54We lived in the country so you always threw
00:15:57something in a place you didn't want things to
00:16:00grow when you were done.
00:16:03Now did you have cookbook models or models of
00:16:05cookbooks in mind when you wrote this?
00:16:07Are there other things you thought this was
00:16:10really well done and I want to go out and do it
00:16:11or was this all sort of trial and error when you
00:16:14were writing the book?
00:16:15>>There was a lot of trial and error.
00:16:18I always want to do things differently, but when
00:16:21I approach this I wanted to do it in the same
00:16:26sort of respect to each recipe like Julia Child
00:16:31gives to each one of her recipes or my favorite
00:16:34dessert cookbook author, Maida Heater.
00:16:36I just love how she. It's like every recipe is tried
00:16:39and true and I wanted to make sure this wasn't
00:16:43just a gift book and that it was actually that we
00:16:47put everything into it and there are other authors
00:16:49who do the same thing.
00:16:52>>Now you said that you didn't want it to be just
00:16:54a gift book. Who is your ideal person when you're
00:16:55thinking about this? Who is the reader that you
00:16:59had in mind for it? What did you imagine?
00:17:01>>Well I really had a couple people in mind.
00:17:04I had somebody like me, who is in the ice cream
00:17:08business, who lives in a neighborhood and has
00:17:12some kids and family. If the kids are very young
00:17:17you make ice cream together, you share it with
00:17:19your neighbors and have a little ice cream social.
00:17:21If the kids are older they're coming up with
00:17:23their own flavors and that's just such a fun
00:17:25craft project really. But I also wrote it for restaurant chefs.
00:17:29I wrote it for the mid-level restaurant who can't
00:17:31afford a pastry chef, who can get a small ice
00:17:35cream machine. Unique flavors of ice cream
00:17:38can take anything to the next level.
00:17:40An apple crisp with a coriander ice cream.
00:17:42You can do so much with ice cream.
00:17:47Making an ice cream recipe that doesn't fade just
00:17:51a couple hours after it's made like most recipes
00:17:53that can last for more that one shift in a
00:17:55restaurant I think is going to be useful for
00:17:57those mid-level restaurants.
00:17:59>>And when you say "fade", you mean the flavors fade?
00:18:03>>Get icy, crumbly as it freezes. I wanted to make
00:18:08something that was just like what we can do, but
00:18:10give chefs or home cooks the freedom to make
00:18:13whatever flavor they want for their dessert.
00:18:15>>Are there ice cream books that you consider
00:18:20indispensible? Are there other books you said this was
00:18:24something that really influenced me when I was
00:18:25starting to make ice cream? When you started out,
00:18:29unlike now, people couldn't go to the web and
00:18:33say what are the recipes on the web,
00:18:35let me try these out back in '96.
00:18:36>>They didn't have that.
00:18:38>>They didn't have that.
00:18:40>>No they did not. I would have spent a
00:18:42lot of time in the library. I did and I also.
00:18:44I don't even know where I got this book, I must
00:18:45have ordered it through Barnes and Noble or
00:18:46something or Borders at the time, but William S.
00:18:47Arbuckle I think had a book. I think that was the
00:18:49author. It was a science book. It's still the one I
00:18:52go to and forget what it's called.
00:18:55It's just called Ice Cream, but anyway it's a
00:18:57science book on ice cream and there are a few
00:18:59science books on ice cream.
00:19:01There's a guy at Ohio State, Valente Alvarez, who
00:19:03is a professor of dairy science and he's been
00:19:06unbelievably helpful and he has a book about the
00:19:08sensory evaluation of dairy products.
00:19:10He has a section of the book on ice cream, so
00:19:12that was very helpful even though what I do is
00:19:14very much very different from what they do in the
00:19:16pilot plant at Ohio State, the science is the exact same.
00:19:18>>Because you're in production and they're small?
00:19:23>>Because we're just sort of small batch
00:19:25production using fresh and real ingredients 100
00:19:29percent of the time and we're more concerned with
00:19:32the end product for the customer in a smaller way.
00:19:36>>As I was reading this I kept having this vision
00:19:38of Jim. What's the name of the guy who does the Sam
00:19:42Adams? You know when you show him trying the
00:19:45hops and everything and I had this picture of you
00:19:49going up to the cows being milked or something.
00:19:50"Not good enough cream," or something like that.
00:19:52>>You know that's not that far. I mean I'm not going
00:19:56to go right up to an utter, but no.
00:19:58It's not that far and every time I go down to
00:20:01visit the dairy our dairy guy, Warren Taylor, he
00:20:04knows the first place I want to go in there and
00:20:06that is to the unpasteurized vat of heavy cream
00:20:09because that's illegal, you can't sell it but it
00:20:10is amazing and that is the foundation of our
00:20:15cream. Of course we pasteurize it,
00:20:18but only once over low temperature.
00:20:20>>It's illegal to sell because it's unpasteurized?
00:20:22>>When it's unpasteurized, yeah.
00:20:23>>You can't sell unpasteurized? Ok. For health?
00:20:25>>And our ice cream of course is pasteurized, but
00:20:27it's just pasteurized in a very old-fashioned,
00:20:29low-temperature way so you can retain all those
00:20:31wonderful flavors. It's totally me to go down there
00:20:37and get a spoonful or a cupful of that foam that gathers
00:20:39on the top of that unpasteurized ice cream and eat it.
00:20:44>>Ok. Now as I was reading the book I noticed what I
00:20:47can only describe as a subtle undercurrent of danger.
00:20:51The process for producing salty caramel ice cream
00:20:55requires gloves and face protection, right?
00:20:57You use a blowtorch for baked Alaska. What other kinds
00:21:01of dangers did you encounter in the writing of this book?
00:21:04I didn't know that ice cream seems like a high
00:21:07danger sport at times reading this, you know.
00:21:10The actual question is, tell me about some of the
00:21:13difficulties in creating this because as I was
00:21:17reading about the salty caramel I thought it was
00:21:19amusing because first I would assume the danger
00:21:22of working with ice cream is eating too much,
00:21:24gaining weight, or getting sick of ice cream. How
00:21:28has that played out for you in the creation of this book?
00:21:30What did you find the most difficult aspect of it?
00:21:34>>Well, as far as danger goes I just wanted to be
00:21:38really clear about the salty caramel because that
00:21:41is one of those techniques that's very. Caramel is
00:21:45a very special thing in the world of food.
00:21:48True caramelized sugar has a million different
00:21:55flavor components, chemical flavor components
00:21:58that you get in your nose and all of it together
00:22:00makes and amazing scent, but they can't replicate
00:22:03that in a lab so when you get your caramel latte
00:22:06or your caramel ice cream from most ice cream
00:22:08makers it feels flat a single note or just a few
00:22:11notes. I wanted people to make the caramel ice
00:22:14cream the way that we do it and that's why our
00:22:17caramel is, I say, like seeing live music, it's
00:22:19different every time you have it because when you
00:22:22caramelize sugar it's always a little different.
00:22:24I wanted to just be really clear about that and
00:22:26in our kitchen it is pretty cool that we do this
00:22:29every day on a copper kettle, one batch at a time
00:22:31with a paddle and arm protection because when you
00:22:34pour the cream into that sugar, which is burning
00:22:36at three hundred and eighty degrees, one drop of
00:22:42that can be very painful and I've had that happen
00:22:45twice. One drop is all it takes.
00:22:46I wanted to sort of show that and maybe there's a
00:22:48little bit of that you can do that at home, but
00:22:52also I want you to know that we do this in our
00:22:54kitchen. I just sort of want people to know that
00:22:56that's still going on here.
00:22:57>>There was no advisory sticker on the front of
00:22:58the book, you know, like music.
00:23:00>>This is going to get dangerous.
00:23:02>>This is Jeni's Splendid Dangerous Ice Cream.
00:23:04>>I'll tell you, I like that you identified that
00:23:08sort of undercurrent in this book because I think
00:23:10it's an undercurrent in my life and in our lives.
00:23:13Not danger like I'm jumping off of mountains or
00:23:16whatever, but risk and I think that putting
00:23:19yourself out there and taking risks with flavors
00:23:21with everything in our company.
00:23:24I think if you asked anyone in our company they
00:23:26would agree that risk is flavorful.
00:23:29>>Well, I certainly thought that the first time I
00:23:32read about the cayenne being used in ice creams.
00:23:35You identify that in the beginning, I think, as
00:23:38one of the first flavors you made that was
00:23:40received in this way that prompted you to
00:23:43continue on because it's hot, it's spicy but it's
00:23:44cold at the same time. That made me wonder,
00:23:46are there flavors that you've tried that you really
00:23:51liked that you couldn't get anyone else to eat?
00:23:56>>Yes. There are flavors that I have tried, but I
00:24:02will tell you, if I really like them I am persistent.
00:24:04>>You just keep forcing people to eat them?
00:24:07>>Yeah. There are flavors that have been complete
00:24:11failures; smoked banana was one of them.
00:24:13It tasted like turpentine, not a whiff of banana
00:24:15in there. There have been a couple other ones
00:24:17that were not quite all there.
00:24:19>>Smoked banana?
00:24:21>>So I went to City Barbeque. A friend of mine at
00:24:25City Barbeque. I called my friend up and asked for
00:24:28my lunch, the banana smoked for fifteen minutes or
00:24:32whatever and I took them back to the kitchen,
00:24:35made ice cream and it was bad.
00:24:37Now I think it could still be a good ice cream,
00:24:39but it's probably just better to eat next to ice
00:24:41cream. If you're into smoking meats, you smoke
00:24:42your bananas right at the end of the meal for just
00:24:44a few minutes, then they don't look like turpentine
00:24:47and they won't get all gelatinous like they did
00:24:50when I did it. Do it for just a little bit.
00:24:52They are really delicious, they are caramelized.
00:24:53There are flavors that I have just stuck my
00:24:56ground on like our star anise candied fennel
00:24:57seed. It's just been one of my all time favorites.
00:25:00I spent some time in Greece and in the south of
00:25:04France and those sort of fennely flavors are
00:25:07everywhere and once you get used to them.
00:25:10We're not so used to them here that much.
00:25:13It's sort of one of those flavors that people don't like.
00:25:17>>It is, but this year when we did it this last
00:25:19Christmas holiday season it was super popular and
00:25:23may be even one of our most popular. I think it's
00:25:24one of the best flavors in the book, but it took a long
00:25:26time. I kept putting it in the stores and people didn't
00:25:30like it. It wouldn't sell, it wouldn't sell, it wouldn't sell
00:25:32and now people ask for it.
00:25:33>>Is there something that you.
00:25:36On the flip side, is there something that you
00:25:39developed in here and thought nobody will really
00:25:41like this, but you put it out there as a surprise
00:25:47seller or a surprise favorite recipe for people?
00:25:50>>Yeah, the pear Riesling. Our pear Riesling sorbet
00:25:52was never one of my favorites because I sort of thought
00:25:55it was a little bit bland.
00:25:59It's one of our most popular flavors and actually
00:26:00it's one of my favorite flavors now too because
00:26:04the great thing about it is it actually feels
00:26:06like you're eating a pear too and it's really
00:26:09true to the pear. For awhile I thought it was
00:26:11a little bit boring because it's just like eating a pear,
00:26:13which is actually one of the most perfect things about it.
00:26:15>>Final question is, your company has a lot of
00:26:18involvement in web writing. It has a Facebook page,
00:26:20Twitter feed and blog. How did you get into that and
00:26:21how do you see that as part of your company?
00:26:27>>Well I think that in a way Twitter and Facebook was
00:26:33developed for my company. In the old days. Oh, it sure was.
00:26:38>>You were here first, that's the thought they were going for.
00:26:43>>No, for companies like mine and ours is even
00:26:44more than most I think because in the old days we
00:26:47used to take a list.
00:26:51Someone would come in and say where is the
00:26:54cucumber, honeydew, and cayenne and I would say
00:26:55well, it's going to be here for like one day in
00:26:58August. Do you want me to call you?
00:27:00Give me a list. Everyday there was a call list for all of the
00:27:03flavors that were coming in that day and what a pain.
00:27:05It's not for me but for any company like ours.
00:27:09Produce companies or any company that can say ok,
00:27:12today we have Ohio black raspberries.
00:27:15They're rare and hard to find black raspberries.
00:27:17It's the same for us. Now we can say come get this,
00:27:23it's available only for this time.
00:27:25Back in the day it was calling ten people
00:27:28everyday to tell them what was going on and then
00:27:30if they wanted to come in that day they would,
00:27:32but it was old fashioned.
00:27:34>>So that's the RSS feeds developed for
00:27:37Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams.
00:27:39>>And the blog is really to show people the
00:27:41behind the scenes. We can't give everyone a tour
00:27:43of our kitchen, though we'd like to, so seeing
00:27:46behind the scenes as a company we want to put
00:27:52our money where our mouth is. We want to show people.
00:27:53We just don't want to tell people what we do we
00:27:55want to show that with pictures on our blog.
00:27:58>>And show that forty five thousand dollar gelato machine.
00:28:02>>Yeah, we have three of them.
00:28:03>>Alright, well I thank you very much, Jeni
00:28:06Britton Bauer, for being here on Writers Talk
00:28:09talking about your new book Jeni's Splendid Ice
00:28:12Creams At Home and this will be available soon
00:28:14though all the usual retailers. So thank you very much.
00:28:16>>It was such a pleasure to be here with you today, thank you.
00:28:18>>And from the Center for the Study and the
00:28:23Teaching of Writing at The Ohio State University
00:28:23this is Doug Dangler. Keep writing.
Note : Transcripts are compiled from uncorrected captions