After a day of intense Harknessing, nothing is more disappointing for Summer Exonians than getting a cone of dining hall soft-serve, only to find their tasty mound of ice cream splattered on the floor. Although dining hall ice cream’s rebellious nature will always stay a mystery, a few ice cream aficionados at Exeter offer tips about how to prevent soft serve catastrophes by mastering the art of the perfect swirl.
Michaela Lewis from Dunbar Hall says the best way to make a perfect swirl is with a sugar cone and her original technique named the “The Lewis Method.” She begins by holding a sugar cone steadily under the ice cream dispenser until the inside of the cone is filled completely. “After” she adds, “I move my hand clockwise, and I let it [the ice cream] go as as high as I want and I stop the machine really quickly, and then I move the ice cream away.”
If this method fails, and the ice cream is a blob, she says to brace for stains and eat the ice cream anyway — or just to abort the mission and try again with a new cone.
For Exonians seeking a thorough approach to the perfect craft of their ice cream, Luisa Slomp, who lives just down the hall from Michaela, explains how to make that happen. Like Michaela’s technique, Luisa starts by putting the cone beneath the dispenser and keeping her hand on the lever until the ice cream fills to the brim. Luisa says that it doesn’t matter what type of cone she uses because the size of the swirl is most important:
“When I see that the ice cream is leaving the border, I start to swirl the cone around. Every time, I swirl a little bit less and make the swirl a little bit smaller, and when it gets to the top I pull up the lever and push the cone down to make that perfect swoosh.” Even though she’s very confident about the success of her method, she says she always has a plate handy if the swirl happens to topple over.
A final word of advice comes from Matt Rimland of Wentworth dorm who says the key to making a perfect swirl is simply to make an illusion of the perfect swirl. “The trick is not to go for the swirl; rather to push the cone towards the nozzle to get the soft serve effect that makes the ice cream look whole rather than like a tub.”
Creating a beautiful ice cream swirl isn’t
as simple as it seems. But every method only
boils down to a twist, a pull, and a little
practice. Even if your ice cream ends up
looking like glob sometimes, don’t give up and
make sure to enjoy it–because misshapen ice
cream is still delicious.