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Though Toronto's ice cream scene has undoubtedly blown up over the past year, Juicy J's Creamy Scoops is an innovative addition serving up homemade ice cream in partnership with Ration Food Lab, out of the Ration Beverly on Queen Street West.
It all started over a year ago when Juicy J's founder James Pottie collaborated with Ration Food Lab's chef Jeff Edwards to start an ice cream project as a hobby. Their main focus was to create flavours that had never been conceived before.
"I make it my aim to do untouched ground, especially when it comes to ice cream flavours," Pottie says.
When Edwards was launching the Ration rooftop restaurant, they thought it would be wise to get some branding underway and begin pumping out ice cream to add to the mix. It had always been a dream of Pottie's to have his own little piece of the Toronto food industry, and thanks to Edwards and the Ration team, he has been able to see his pop-up dreams become a reality.
Several unique flavours are available for purchase, but his signature is the Parmesan with Banana Foster Caramel. Another notable option is the Frosty and Fries, a malt powder and chocolate milk ice cream, served with deep-fried salted potato skins, taking you back to the days of dipping fries in your frosty.
Pottie is inspired by Asian and Mediterranean cuisine, so he concocted a Za'atar ice cream for the initial launch, with a pomegranate molasses ripple and pistachio praline for a delightfully fresh flavour experience. He also created a Mango and Hoisin ice cream with toasted coconut, which has also become very popular.
Juicy J's also carries vegan options infused with kombucha. He receives an allotment of kombucha from Aloette's Chef de Cuisine, Sam Corkum, owner of Corkumbucha. Using this particular type of beverage as a key ingredient, Pottie has created a Black Cherry Lime Hibiscus Kombucha Sorbet, containing an impressive cacophony of bright flavours that balance themselves out beautifully in your mouth.
With a book of over 100 flavours, there is truly no end in sight for Pottie when it comes to the ice cream possibilities. "I also want to do things that are extremely seasonal. I have a Salt-baked Beet and Burnt Marshmallow, a Caramelized Parsnip ice cream, and a cookie dough recipe in development, made with miso and brown butter."
Pottie is even thinking of putting together a Corn Mole Caramel ice cream while corn is still in high season. "I really want to bring out the brightness, but more importantly, I want to focus on the savoury notes. I'm really all about savoury. The sweet thing has been way overdone, and it's time for something new."
To get your hands on some Juicy J's Creamy Scoops, head on over to the Ration pantry and bottle shop at the Beverly Hotel, located at 335 Queen Street West, and open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week. You can order a 12oz pint at the counter, or feel free to grab a scoop (or two) to go.