Alaskan winters are notoriously dark and cold. Subzero temperatures are normal, and the lack of sunlight makes some days feel like an extended night. Levi Stewart can remember one such midwinter’s day when, as a very young boy, he and his family made the hundred-mile drive into Anchorage. Hour after hour they drove, searching for an ice cream machine. An ice cream machine? Alaska? Well, it turns out that Alaskans are massive ice cream eaters and eat more per capita than any of their countrymen, cold weather or not. The family stopped at stores large and small, and each time drove away empty handed. It wasn’t that ice cream machines were so hard to find. His father refused to buy an electric machine, insisting on tracking down an old-school, hand-cranked model. Ice cream was taken pretty seriously in this family, and eventually they did indeed find one, tucked away on a dusty shelf in the back of a hardware store on the edge of town.
So we should forgive Levi, now a classically trained chef of twelve years, his ice cream obsession. He comes by it honestly. In fact, let’s just enjoy the results. He and his native Floridian wife, Jocelyn, have recently launched the Midnight Sun Ice Cream Sandwich Co. in Orlando, Florida, scooping the frozen goodness to order from inside a lemon-yellow 1973 Chevy truck. Fortunately for us, the old handcrank has been replaced by a gelato-style Italian ice cream machine.
Pull up a “Lemon Bar,” in the form of buttery shortbread cookies surrounding tangy lemon curd ice cream. Or, get your hands on the roasted strawberry ice cream between oatmeal-caramelized white chocolate cookies. Try the malted vanilla ice cream with bacon-peanut buttercrunch and chocolate chunks inside two coffee-potato chip cookies. Salted cashew with fudge ripple. Cinnamon straciatella. Brown butter with peach swirl. The list is always growing. It shouldn’t be difficult to find something that’s up your alley, though it may be hard to choose just one. New flavors and current truck locations are announced on the website and via Twitter, making it easy to keep up with the truck and the constantly changing selections.
All Midnight Sun ice cream is scooped to order, which means no frozen, rock-hard cookies. Everything is freshly made, including the ice cream, using top quality ingredients. This food truck is a moving experience.
– Otis P. Driftwood, President, American Ice Cream Appreciation Society – June, 2013