It’s no surprise that the food service industry loves to keep secrets. Colonel Sanders swears by a special blend of 11 herbs and spices. Dr. Pepper has kept their mix of 23 flavors under wraps for years. People all over the nation attempt to recreate the infamous Chick-fil-a sauce. Even Plankton still devotes every minute of every day to uncovering the Crabby Patty formula. The point is, restaurants wouldn’t be the same without their secret recipe differentiating them from their competition. Which leads us to today’s blog – The Jubie’s Secret Recipe.
Wait a minute. Am I really going to reveal exactly what makes Jubie’s ice cream better than everyone else before we even open our doors? Well… no, not exactly. What I am going to reveal are the ingredients that make up virtually every single ice cream shop’s “secret sauce”, and how we landed on ours. Those ingredients include…drum roll please… ice cream dairy mix and vanilla. Seriously, that’s it.
This may seem like a facepalm moment, but it's actually much more involved than it sounds. If you don’t believe me, go out and try a scoop of vanilla from every ice cream shop in the area. Once you try them back-to-back, you’ll have an entirely new outlook on ice cream (as well as a tummy ache). Each scoop will have a completely different flavor profile, texture, and color from the rest. This difference stems directly from each shop’s proprietary blend of dairy mix and vanilla which is used as the base of every single ice cream flavor, even chocolate. Mind = Blown.
We began the search for our “secret sauce” by looking into the dairy mix first. For this, we wanted to buy local. That was a no brainer. After researching all the Ohio dairies that offered a premium ice cream mix (aka a higher butterfat percentage to make our ice cream extra creamy), we landed on 4 local dairies to try. Next, we delved into vanilla. This was a little trickier than the mix considering we wanted a product that not only had a high-quality taste, but also remained consistent. To do that, our research broadened outside the state of Ohio where we found hundreds of variations of vanilla made with beans sourced from Mexico, Indonesia, Madagascar, and Tahiti. Each of these countries had a very distinct flavor profile, and we not only had to decide how we wanted our vanilla to taste, but also how strong we wanted it to be and how we wanted it to smell. Eventually, we narrowed our options down to 7 different vanilla blends from 4 different manufacturers. Cue the taste test.
While we were beyond excited to finally begin tasting our potential product, we wanted to be systematic about it. This wasn’t just a good time, this was science. There were 3 rounds total. Each ice cream mix was assigned a letter, and each vanilla flavor was assigned a number to ensure we remained unbiased for each test. During the first round, our family tested all 28 combinations in liquid form and ranked each one. In this round we were solely focused on the taste of the vanilla and dairy mix blended together.
From there, we took our scores and froze down the top 7 combinations for the second round. This time we were not only focused on flavor, but the texture and color of the product as well. To ensure we had a variety of pallets testing each combination, we also invited a select group of friends over to participate in the blind taste test. This resulted in a variety of preferences, some almost completely opposite from others. Ultimately, we found a natural break in the top scores to move on to the final round. And then there were 3.
For the last round, we wanted to make an ice cream flavor from our menu. That way we could simulate how our product would truly taste with one of these mix combinations as the base. We decided to make the forever classic cookies and cream. To our surprise, our top choice as a group was almost unanimous, and thus, the Jubie’s Secret Recipe was born!
We are confident in our recipe and believe that this blend will help set us apart from other ice cream shops around town. But wait, didn’t we say that we would be offering both hand-dipped ice cream AND soft serve? Is that the same mix? The short answer is no, and we have been testing those mixes as well. We even recently attended the Mid-America Restaurant Expo to try many different soft serve blends back-to-back. Again, we were amazed at the difference in taste, texture, and overall quality of the product. The one we ultimately landed on was, hands down, the best soft serve we’ve ever tasted, and there’s no doubt in our mind that our customers will think so too.