Making the best ice cream in Melbourne begins with the best ingredients. It’s hard to beat Ceres for that.
This week I visited Ceres, in Northcote, to search of some in-season produce that could be transformed into ice cream. Scoop Club loves Ceres – they grow their own vegetables and fruit as well as selling produce from lots of other suppliers around Victoria. Although I come here often, it’s actually surprising how many people haven’t been to Ceres. I’m hoping this post will help shine the spotlight on a fantastic community initiative.
So here’s a quick run-down on what this place is and why we like using them as one source of ingredients for our ice cream. Whether you’re passionate about the environment or have an interest in furthering the communities social, cultural and spiritual values – we think this is a place you’d enjoy.
Ceres began back in 1981 when a group secured a 4 hectare lease on a piece of industrial wasteland and began transforming it into an organic market garden.
If you check out their website you’ll see they do a lot of stuff. Growing and selling fruit and veges is one piece of a quite large puzzle.
Some of what Ceres has to offer includes:
- A nursery
- Organic store
- Community gardens
- Community kitchen.
- Educational programs
- Energy Park
- Multicultural exhibits
- Market day
At Scoop Club, we love the permaculture and bush food nursery which offers an experience unique to other nurseries you may have visited. The purpose of the Ceres nursery to to encourage people to start producing their own food in the back yard at home; whether it’s an expansive 1/2 acre plot or a few pots in the window.
Sometimes we buy herbs such as mint or coriander to grow and then make ice cream with.
On this visit, I was too early and the nursery was closed. Instead I took a walk around the whole complex as it was a perfect Melbourne winter’s day! From there, I made our way to the organic store. There was no plan for what to buy – the only criteria was it needed to taste good in ice cream.
The winning ingredient was…
Even though it is winter there was still seasonal fruit for the taking. I found some delicious looking organic pears and apples that would have made a mean ice cream. But what caught my eye in the end was some bright red rhubarb that was calling out to be eaten. This was organic rhubarb grown in Yeo, Victoria; a much better looking, healthier looking product than what you’d buy from most supermarkets.
I know, I know, rhubarb is the worst possible ingredient you could add to ice cream – or is it?
What I’ve found it that it pairs really well with chocolate, especially in small quantities. So on this day, the rhubarb was purchased and taken back to the test kitchen. The rhubarb was stewed with some sugar, water and vanilla then cooled overnight. The next day I churned a mild flavoured chocolate ice cream and added in the rhubarb at the end of the process.
The final product revealed
Ok, here it is. The ice cream was fantastic and because the team were feeling really hungry, we made ice cream sandwiches using Kit Kats. Yum!
Wouldn’t you like to know what ingredients go into the foods you buy?
At Scoop Club, we’re passionate about making good quality ice cream. It’s not just an on-trend marketing slogan that we use to sell our ice cream. We are passionate about using sustainable, local ingredients whenever possible because everyone wins!
- The farmer sells more produce at a fair price.
- The local economy prospers.
- The environment is happier because less transportation is required to truck in foods.
- Our customers enjoy a superior tasting end product.
Each month we produce two new flavours of ice cream to send to subscribers of our Melbourne ice cream club. Customers think it’s pretty cool knowing where the ingredients come from that go into their ice cream. Check out our future posts to find out more about where our ice cream ingredients come from.