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WATCH: Entrancing Rolled Ice Cream Finally Comes to Minnesota

Two new St. Paul shops introduce the buzz-worthy rolled ice cream dessert and the mesmerizing experience that goes along with it


Hazelnut-flavored, Thai-style rolled ice cream topped with an Oreo, chocolate chips, and Pocky (Japanese cookie sticks) from a shop in Boston

Photo Courtesy of Tiffany Heeren

No longer do you have to venture out to New York or Boston to get a taste of the treat every dedicated ice cream lover can’t stop talking about. Rolled to perfection and smothered with toppings, Thai rolled ice cream (finally) arrives in the land of 10,000 lakes—soon to be land of 10,000 rolls of ice cream.

What look like mini, edible rolled-up rugs packed nicely into a cup and ready to be torn apart with a spoon can now be consumed at two new specialty ice cream shops in Minnesota. Wonders Ice Cream Co. and Sota Hot & Cold roll into St. Paul only a few blocks away from each other. The trendy dessert made its way into the U.S. last year by way of Southeast Asia, where street vendors sell the delicacy.

Photo courtesy of tiffany heeren

Sweet-toothed customers can watch the creation right before their eyes. The buzz-worthy dessert starts as a flavored, milk-based liquid that’s poured onto an exceptionally cold metal plate. Some shops use dry ice to chill the plate or run a coolant underneath it. Depending on the flavor, a candy, fruit, nut, syrup, you-name-it is then chopped up and mixed into the liquid as it cools on the plate. It’s flattened out, and a spatula is pushed across to create the rolls. Choose from a selection of toppings, and voila—you have yourself an Instagram-worthy, edible work of art.

video Courtesy of Ice Cream Rolls, YouTube

Rolled ice cream (also known as stir-fry ice cream for the spatula-handy way it is made) possesses no inherent difference from regular ice cream. If melted, it would be the same (although the house-made treat does boast that it's additive-free). Really, it's the form that prevails as the dessert's most attractive, distinctive aspect. The appeal lies in the look—artistic, fun, different—and feel. Take Dippin’ Dots, for example. The pebble-size dessert is the same as regular ice cream ingredient-wise, but those little dots introduce a new mouthfeel and an element of excitement. Devouring Dippin’ Dots in sadness, anger, or any emotion that isn’t happy simply isn’t possible.

At around $6 a cup—depending on the flavors and toppings you choose—rolled ice cream is a little pricey considering you can get a tub of regular ice cream from the grocery store at a cheaper price. But ice cream lovers pay for the experience. With a tub of ice cream, the process remains lost—a creation that most likely isn’t worth viewing. But with rolled ice cream, how it's made mesmerizes.

It’s out with the frozen yogurt craze and in with the stir-fry ice cream obsession as the trend continues to make its way across the country. Now, when will the insane milkshakes topped with slices of cake and whole cookies make their way from the Big Apple to the Minne Apple?

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

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