North Texas Daily

Scrappy’s ice cream at UNT

Scrappy’s ice cream at UNT

Scrappy’s ice cream at UNT
April 17
00:04 2014

Nicholas Friedman // Staff Writer

With the cold temperatures finally melting away, the demand for ice cream is heating up and convenience could be key for UNT students looking to cool off.

Scrappy’s, a UNT-produced ice cream, is served and sold exclusively on campus year-round, but production ramps up as demand increases in the spring and summer.

An extensive production process and a multitude of flavors lend to the complete product that is served to students at dining halls, catered at campus events and sold at a college student-friendly price of $1 for a small cup.

Schooled on soft serve

After attending Ice Cream University with an assistant chef in 2012, Director of Resident Dining Peter Balabuch put together a plan to make an ice cream unique and exclusive to UNT’s campus.

“We went to this class in Florida where we did a week course on batch ice cream production,” Balabuch said. “We purchased an Emery Thompson batch freezer and basically went into the ice cream business. We then began developing our own flavors.”

Balabuch said that the process in making the ice cream is done solely in Kerr Hall’s cafeteria once a week, but with increases in demands, plans to increase to three times a week have been put in place. Production begins with a 14 percent milk fat dairy blend consisting of sugar, egg and vanilla extract as a base for all of the flavors.

“After that let’s say we want to go for a strawberry ice cream,” Balabuch said. “We’ll put sugar on the strawberries and allow them to macerate all night. For chocolate ice cream we’ll use a high-quality Dutch cocoa or extract. All of our extracts are very high quality Nielsen Massey extracts.”

From there the ice cream is either served to students at Kerr Cafeteria as part of their meal plan, Balabuch said, or put into 5.2-ounce cups that are individually packaged and labeled, and sold for $1 at convenient stores and food courts across campus. Balabuch said they also make the ice cream in bulk, three-gallon containers for catered events.

Main producer of the ice cream, Jeremy Grace, known as the “Ice Cream Man” to many, said the job to head production on the ice cream sort of fell into his lap.

“I had a friend who was one of the head cooks at Kerr and he hired me on to make the ice cream,” Grace said. “I did not think five years ago that I’d be making ice cream. I never thought I’d be in the restaurant business again, but I like it because I can sit back while we’re making it and sometimes I’ll go out and talk to students about the ice cream.”

Flavors of the season

Balabuch said that the flavors cycle depending on what season it is, such as the pumpkin sweet cream flavor in the fall or honey sunflower seed in the spring and summer. This is in addition to the basic vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavors, with others available based on a production schedule.

“We worked with the man who claimed to have invented the cookies and cream flavor of ice cream,” Balabuch said. “He gave us some of his base recipes and we added our own recipes to the mix. You can truly say that some of the flavors you get at UNT aren’t available anywhere else in the world.”

Grace said that his favorite flavors are usually the ones he enjoys molding.

“My favorite to make is strawberry because it has a really good texture to it,” Grace said. “I get to pull it straight out of the batch freezer and it’s like soft-serve. It’s amazing.”

Grace said he also enjoys making the chocolate and peanut butter crumble flavor but it can sometimes pose a challenge.

“We have to prep the peanut butter and make it right,” Grace said. “Once it comes out and it’s all set it’s a great ice cream, but it’s higher quality so it takes more time.”

Broadcast journalism junior Derica Jackson said that she has tried six of the flavors of Scrappy’s ice cream and she enjoys how conveniently available it is.

“During the holidays I tried the eggnog flavor and it was pretty great,” Jackson said. “But I’m a certified chocoholic so my favorite flavor is the peanut butter crumble. The struggle is real in college, so I look being able to get it for a buck.”

Jackson also said she would like to see Scrappy’s expand their flavor line even more in the future.

“I think they should do a survey and ask students their favorite desserts to possibly turn into flavors,” Jackson said. “I would love to see a brownie or apple pie flavor.”

Feature photo: Biology freshman Lorenzo Espinoza is one of the new people who make Scrappy’s ice cream at Kerr. Espinoza has been making the ice cream for almost a year. Photo by Dana Pisciottano / Intern Photographer

About Author

Nicholas Friedman

Nicholas Friedman

Nicholas Friedman is the Editor In Chief of the North Texas Daily. In addition, he's had his work published at The Dallas Morning News, GuideLive and the Denton Record-Chronicle.

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