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The Da Vinci Science Center’s signature science event, Ice Cream Wars is a playful ice cream flavor competition in which recipes created by Lehigh Valley area companies are turned into delicious samples in a matter of minutes with the use of liquid nitrogen at negative 321 degrees Fahrenheit. The competition’s liquid nitrogen is supplied annually by Air Products.
The Center’s visitors and members taste the entries and vote for their favorites. The competition was returned this year to its original format in which visitors’ votes were the sole factor in determining the Ice Cream Wars Champion. Air Products earned its first Ice Cream Wars title with a recipe called Chocolate Dusted Banana consisting of half and half, heavy cream, sugar, banana, dark chocolate, vanilla, egg, and hot fudge.
The defending champion team from B. Braun finished in second place, and the team from ATAS International, Inc. finished in third place. The teams from B104; PPL Corporation; Weidenhammer Creative; and WFMZ 69 News earned Tasteful Mention Awards.
A Foodie Fan Panel led by area chefs also gave awards in categories highlighting creativity and spirit. Those awards were as follows:
Ice Cream Wars teams – representing some of the Da Vinci Science Center’s most dedicated supporters – begin working months in advance to create themes, decorate their stations, dress colorfully, and encourage employees and fans to visit and vote. The passion and spirit shown by the teams creates an electric atmosphere inside the Da Vinci Science Center throughout the day.
The wintry date for Ice Cream Wars adds to the event’s unique feel, and the competition offers a tasty chemistry lesson. The liquid nitrogen acts as a flash-freezing agent that evaporates when mixed with flavorful ingredients and creates a creamy ice cream that is ready to eat in about five minutes. Additional activities and visitor information highlighted food science processes and the use of guar gum in popular products such as commercially-made ice creams.