What's in the freezer at Stucchi's
For the serendipity files
When Stucchi's generously donated several gallons of vanilla ice cream for the Slow Food "Pie Lovers Unite!" event a couple of weeks ago, I zipped over to their production facility at a small industrial park in Saline to pick it up. While I was waiting, I asked if it would be possible to see how the ice cream is made. Wow! A fantastic peek behind the green curtain!
Stucchi's is made in Michigan
Stucchi's gets the milk/ice cream mix in big plastic "pillow paks" from Independence Dairy - a consolidator of Michigan milk from Michigan cows. They use all natural flavorings and nuts and other add-ins for the 75 different ice cream flavors they make. They have 2 big ice cream machines - one for pints and one for the 3 gallon tubs. It takes 8 minutes to freeze a batch in the big freezer and approximately 9-12 gallons of ice cream will come out. Did I mention that they have a HUGE 20 or 30 foot tall awe-inspiring freezer where they store all ice cream? They make 200 gallons of ice cream every day - not as many in the wintertime - and supply stores in Ann Arbor, Dexter, Milford, Royal Oak, and as far away as Wakefield, SC and Boston, MA. In addition to ice cream, they also make frozen yogurt and are beginning to make Italian ices.
Excitement = custom made ice cream
But here is the thrilling part: Stucchi's can custom make any flavor! Want some strawberries with your pralines and cream? Or fig and blue cheese? Or coffee with Bailey's? A 3 gallon tub of "Ice Cream de Moi" will set you back $35 (more to have expensive ingredients like truffles and caviar in your masterpiece). I know what B. is getting for his next birthday.
Stucchi's don't let me down
I was very sad to find out that our beloved Washtenaw Dairy's ice cream is no longer made in Michigan. I do love the Dairy's donuts, which are still made on site. But I'm planning to give Stucchi's ice cream a chance to win over our hearts and tastebuds. And I'm definitely going to get some crazy custom made ice cream flavor. If I could only decide whether to get chocolate and bacon or basil.
Stucchi's web address: http://www.stucchisicecream.koolhost.com/