By Matt Hayes
The creation of a unique ice cream flavor honoring an incoming Cornell University president has been a longstanding Cornell Dairy tradition. The effort to mark the tenure of President Elizabeth Garrett comes with a twist: the largest single batch of ice cream the dairy has ever produced.
The original flavor—dubbed 24 Garrett Swirl following a round of voting across campus and on social media—pulls together some of Garrett’s favorite flavors in a rich medley of chocolate, caramel and mocha. It debuted at the inauguration of the university’s 13th president on Sept. 18.
“On behalf of my colleagues in food science and the Cornell Dairy, we are honored to have created this new flavor to welcome President Garrett,” said Kathryn J. Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
A normal production run churns out upwards of 200 gallons of any of the favorite frozen concoctions offered daily at the Dairy Bar. For Garrett’s ice cream, the dairy produced more than 450 gallons of her special flavor, packed into three-gallon tubs and doled out in 5,000 individual serving cups on the unseasonably warm inauguration day.
The presidential flavor mixes together a premium chocolate base with Kahlua flavoring that provides the ice cream a mild coffee undertone. Morsels of fudge truffles and a swirl of caramel complete the taste profile.
“It’s a chocolate lover’s dream, really,” said Deanna Simons, quality manager and academic program coordinator at Cornell Dairy. “You have the nice, full chocolate base with a hint of coffee with the mocha. The caramel kind of pulls it all together.”
The creation of the special flavor involved a covert planning operation started in the summer. Garrett offered a list of her favorite flavors, and from there it was up to Simons and production manager Tim Barnard to devise a recipe blending the ingredients into a singular, creamy whole.
For months, Simons received daily urgings to divulge the contents of the ice cream, a secret she said she dutifully kept. She called it an honor to devise a flavor expressing the tastes of the new university president, and a challenge to create it in seclusion.
“We have never made a batch this big of any ice cream. It’s really exciting,” Simons said. “It’s a proud day for the dairy to do something like this.”