THE MASTERMIND BEHIND THE MOOD-MATCHED ICE CREAM SERVE MENU
A note from Jozef Youssef…
Ice cream is a dessert enjoyed universally across the nation, and we turn to the sweet treat for so many different occasions and emotions. This includes to make us happy, to cure a hangover, to celebrate, or for comfort. Taking these emotions and feelings, as well as the extensive product range available here on Ocado, I used this as a starting point for the menu. Leaning on my experience as a chef and academic interest in gastronomy, art, and science, I explored the scientific link between food and mood to formulate perfect pairings of ingredients, resulting in ten bespoke ice cream servings designed to cater for all tastes and needs.
Each ingredient in every serving has been carefully selected for a reason. How delicious they are of course, but also the impact they may potentially have on how we feel and to ensure they provided the feeling that the serving was designed to provoke. It was important for me to create a menu of ice cream servings that not only taste good but leave you feeling good and above all, a menu which had something for everyone. And that’s why I can say with great confidence that whatever you’re in need of, whether that’s a boost of motivation, energy, or happiness, we have a serving just for you.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE SERVES
It will be hard not to feel happy after indulging in ‘Good Vibes’ with the milk in the ice cream, peanuts and chocolate all containing tryptophan – a protein which improves mood and cognition due to increased serotonin. Continuing with the good mood food, ‘Maxin Relaxin’ consists of creamy butterscotch gelato topped with brazil nuts which contain selenium, an antioxidant which reduces inflammation and improves mood, as well as pumpkin seeds as a great source of potassium to manage blood pressure and chamomile with relaxant properties to reduce anxiety.
‘Espresso-ly for You’ is the burst of motivation you need. Containing turmeric espresso, almonds, and dark chocolate to stimulate dopamine which facilitates motivation. For the romantics out there, ‘Ice Love You’ is garnished with pomegranates as the culinary symbol of Aphrodite, the Goddess of love, strawberries packed full of antioxidants and vitamin C to promote vitality, and watermelon as a rich source of citrulline to increase blood flow.
To kickstart feeling good there’s ‘The Health Kick’ packed full of health-boosting ingredients with Kefir vanilla ice cream for good gut health, cucumber to stimulate hydration and walnuts to support brain health. ‘Blueberry Boost’ has blueberry crumble ice cream afloat blueberry kombucha, topped with blueberries. As a source of soluble and insoluble fibre – blueberries slow down the rate of digestion for a more stable, longer-lasting energy boost.
And alongside all science, we also decided to have a little fun with the menu! We added a touch of humour with ‘Don’t be Dis-grunt-led’. Pairing Percy Pig ice cream with crunchy bacon bits, marmite popcorn and the classic M&S Percy Pig sweets, this serving is rooted in the Theory of Incongruity, where joy is found in the juxtaposition of incompatible combinations. Ice cream and bacon anyone?
‘Pizza-my heart’ is our surprise and delight serve, with vanilla ice cream, pepperoni, pineapple, and mascarpone cheese on a dough pizza slice. The real question here is, does pineapple belong on a pizza? We’ll let you decide.
For those struggling to shake off the night before and in need of a carb-laden feast to refuel we have ‘Total Refuel’ combining sweet vanilla ice cream sandwiched between a brioche burger bun with a side of French Fries. Bon Appetit!