×

UMass students stump judges with lip-smacking good ice cream creations

  • University of Massachusetts senior food service major Chris Von Achen, front, speaks as he and his group, including Jay Mohanka, background, describe their Lemon Raspberry Swirl. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Bruce Jenks, co-owner of Maple Valley Creamery in Hadley, examines a spoonful of Lemon Raspberry Swirl. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Maple Valley Creamery co-owners Laurie Cuevas and Bruce Jenks name the winners. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • University of Massachusetts student Madeline Tucker samples Fizzy Root Beer Float ice cream. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Laurie Cuevas, who is the co-owner of Maple Valley Creamery in Hadley, tells her business partner Bruce Jenks that she will not be making lemon zest manually, as the two judge a Lemon Raspberry Swirl. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Bruce Jenks, second from left, who is the co-owner of Maple Valley Creamery, asks a question while judging ice cream flavors. Beside him are other judges, from left: O'Brian Tomalin of Sierra Grill; Charlotte Dewey, of Eaglebrook School; and Robert Conlin of The Farm Table. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • UMass students Paola Martinez, left, and Tiah Ghostlaw sample Fizzy Root Beer Float ice cream. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • UMass students Chris Von Achen, background left, and Curtis Barnes, second from left, celebrate with Jake Sawicki, right, and Cory Page after all the teams were announced winners. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS


Friday, May 05, 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.