I knew my friend Cate and I were going to have a fun experience, when we headed out to visit a new place called Eye Scream Labs Ice Cream Parlor. With such a name, how could we not? Located at 606 S Main Street, in Galena, KS, this attractive place offers 21 plus flavors of cold and exceptionally creamy ice cream. What makes the parlor unique is how the ice cream is made.
Created by the Endicott Family, Eye Scream Labs uses the best and the freshest ingredients to make the ice cream right there in the store. And they use a process I had never heard of before. To create the richest, creamiest texture, they freeze the ice cream quickly, with no emulsifiers or additives, using food grade liquid nitrogen. At a temperature of 321 degrees below zero, the mixture freezes in less than 3 minutes, creating ice cream with tiny ice crystals and a fine, smooth consistency.
While we were there, one of the owners made a fresh batch of Rocky Road, and we got to watch. Using a big shiny mixer, and a set up resembling a lab, the young man, appropriately garbed in a white lab coat, added the ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Introducing the liquid nitrogen created a “scream” of noise and then the mixing began. Fog rolled out of the bowl and as the mixing continued, gathered in wisps along the floor. So cool! Literally. In minutes, the ice cream was set and ready for consumption.
The lab tech, affectionately called a lab rat in the store, dipped pieces of graham cracker into a small bowl of liquid nitrogen and allowed volunteers to try it. We laughed as a young boy crunched on the frozen cracker. The cold billowed in a white cloud out of his mouth and nose, making him resemble a fire breathing dragon. Cate tried a bite of cracker too. I couldn’t catch the cold air escaping her mouth as she laughed, but it was there!
Cate enjoyed the Rocky Road today, topped with salted pecans, caramel sauce and homemade whipped cream. I opted for a scoop of pineapple cake inversion and a scoop of blueberry cheesecake, crowned with a dollop of the whipped cream. The ice cream was delicious, with a very creamy texture and a wonderfully fresh flavor. We savored our treat, chatting and watching as other customers came into the parlor to try a scoop of frosty dessert. The four Endicott sons are primarily responsible for running the business. I was impressed with the parlor and the product. One of the sons, the lab rat who made the batch of ice cream, patiently answered our questions and offered samples of flavors before we made our selections.
I will most definitely visit Eye Scream Labs again. The atmosphere is fun and lively, and it is interesting to watch the ice cream being made. Galena, KS is a very short distance from Joplin….literally where Joplin ends at the state line, Galena begins. It is very worth the drive, to experience something so fresh and innovative.