Momofuku’s Cereal Milk Ice Cream
By Haley Herrinton
It’s a foodie fixture to at least think about, dream about, or try out the famed Momofuku Milk Bar; particularly if you a) live in Manhattan, b) love sweets or c) both. I happen to be in the third category. Not knowing a lot about the famous dessert shop, except that it was THE BEST, curiosity propelled me to the glowing pink sign – that, and the promise of ultra-hyped, ultra-delicious cookies, cakes, and ice cream.
Behind the counter was a lurid display of Malted Milk Ball Chocolate Cakes, a lonely slice of the famed Crack Pie, and copies of Lucky Peach magazine. As I entered, a man at the counter cheerily said, “This will make some stoners very happy!” while accepting a bag of cookies and strolling out. On the huge chalkboard menu – jammed with both savory and sweet treats – the Cereal Milk Ice Cream caught my eye.
Ok, Milk Bar. You got me.
I know what cereal milk tastes like, of course; that left-over, slightly warm liquid at the bottom of your bowl. But in ice cream form? How does that work? I had to at least try a cup. With toppings.
It was surprising. When I first saw the name, I imagined a fruity-pebbles’ backwash: a sweet, slightly-pink reminder of just how unhealthy my breakfast was. But instead of ‘Cereal Milk,’ this ice cream should be called ‘Cornflakes Milk’ instead.
Yup. The un-fun cereal you eat when you’re at your grandparents’ house. That’s exactly what it tastes like.
The ice cream melts on your tongue and it isn’t all that sweet. In fact, it’s a little nutty. It reminded me of those popcorn-flavored lollipops you come across at school fairs, just minus the imitation butter flavor. A subtle blend of salty and sweet. It immediately confuses your tastes buds, while simultaneously sending you back to the third-grade breakfast table.
I was sure that I didn’t like it. But then I just wanted more of it. It was just really refreshing. I don’t know if it was the coolness of the ice cream, or that it was a complete surprise, but it was delightfully unique, nostalgic experience. Particularly with the crunchy (again, not very sweet) Cornflake crust sprinkled around the side.
There are a number of recipes out there about how to make this ice cream. But I’m kinda in mindset that some things are better left to the professionals. Go try it, even if it is to say you’ve been the ‘Bar. Or try the Crack Pie. Cause that also looked really good.
Post and Photo by Haley Herrinton.