UMass Students Stump Judges with Lip-Smacking Good Ice Cream Creations

The Daily Hampshire Gazette, May 5, 2017.

Seniors in the food processing class at the University of Massachusetts proved they are top-notch ice cream creators this week, stumping a panel of judges who couldn’t pick just one winner among the four recipes competing in the annual contest sponsored by Maple Valley Creamery of Hadley. The winning recipe was to become the newest seasonal ice cream to be produced and marketed across the state by Maple Valley.

But judges, including Maple Valley co-owners Laurie Cuevas and Bruce Jenks, said all four entries – chocolate hazelnut fudge swirl, lavender liqueur, lemon-raspberry swirl and root beer float – were so tasty and production ready that all can be produced by Maple Valley. The lemon raspberry and root beer float flavors will be made for public distribution, but the other two, due the presence of a nut allergen in one and trace amounts of alcohol in the other make them less widely marketable. Those will be offered locally, for sale only at the creamery’s Mill Valley Road farm store, their Route 9 scoop shop in Hadley and in campus eateries.

“This is one of the favorite things we do all year,” Jenks said. “We could honestly make all four, and it was a struggle to choose among them. We decided not to.”

Thirty students divided into four teams studied ingredients and cost, tested ingredient combinations and researched nutrition in developing the flavors as their senior capstone project in professor Maria Corradini’s class.

In addition to Cuevas and Jenks, Robert Conlin of Farm Table Restaurant in Bernardston, O’Brian Tomalin of the Sierra Grill and Building 8 Brewing in Northampton, Mark Krause of Esselon Café & Coffee Roasting in Hadley and executive chef Charlotte Dewey of Eaglebrook School in Deerfield served as judges.