Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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LN Ice Cream Vending Machine

Ice cream made while you wait.
  [vote for,

One day, you arrive at work to find technicians setting up a new vending machine with "LN Ices" in big, friendly letters across the top. Upon insertion of a few coins, the machine provides you with a menu of flavours and quantities of ice cream. Pressing the button causes the machine to whirr ominously and emit clouds of vapour for about thirty seconds, then present you with a container of freshly-made, incredibly smooth ice cream.

The secret? The machine makes ice cream by combining fresh ingredients with a cream, custard or yogurt base (as appropriate), and mixing these with liquid nitrogen to freeze it, a technique which has been proven to produce small quantities of good ice cream. Technicians stop by daily to clean the nozzles, top up the ingredients and replace the giant flask of LN.

Ice-cream recipes and ingredients are licensed from well-known luxury ice cream suppliers; since the choice of flavours available depends on what ingredients the machine currently has enough of, it's possible to provide seasonal flavours making use of fresh local ingredients. Quantities from "cone" up to "4L tub" are available.

azz, Jul 23 2003

(?) Popular Science article http://www.popsci.c...2543,458641,00.html
[krelnik, Oct 04 2004]


       this is kinda what I thought gizmo had in mind...
po, Jul 23 2003

       In case anyone doubts that you can make ice cream using liquid nitrogen, see link for an article from the current issue of Popular Science.
krelnik, Jul 23 2003

       How is this better than what's available now? "Freshness"? That's month-old custard in there...   

       What if I'm allergic to the nuts in the peanut butter ice cream the guy before me bought (and which is now all over the nozzle)?   

       I'll take mine factory-wrapped or hand-dipped, thanks.
phoenix, Jul 23 2003

       //How is this better than what's available now?//
According to Theodore Gray in the linked story, liquid nitrogen ice cream is "the best ice cream I'd ever tasted. The secret is in the rapid freezing. When cream is frozen by liquid nitrogen at –196°C, the ice crystals that give bad ice cream its grainy texture have no chance to form. Instead you get microcrystalline ice cream that is supremely smooth, creamy and light in texture."

       //month-old custard in there//
He does specify "fresh ingredients" in the idea. Clearly this is a machine that would have to be serviced often, probably daily. It would definitely require refrigeration for the liquid nitrogen, so how hard is it to also refrigerate some milk or custard?

       <offtopic>Mr. Gray, by the way, should be given the title Halfbaker Emeritus, as he is the fellow who built a periodic table that is actually a carved wooden table. In each wooden square of the table is an actual sample of the element it represents. Truly halfbaked. (Theres a link to it in the linked story).</offtopic>
krelnik, Jul 23 2003


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