Ice Cream Climatology

[Image: The Cloud Project van by Zoe Papadopoulou and Cathrine Kramer].

Like a whimsical hybrid of molecular gastronomy and Glacier/Island/Storm, the Cloud Project by Zoe Papadopoulou and Cathrine Kramer, design-interaction students at London’s Royal College of Art, would use “artillery dispersed ice cream ingredients,” fired from roof-mounted cannons, “to make clouds snow ice cream.”

[Images: From the Cloud Project by Zoe Papadopoulou and Cathrine Kramer].

The van’s projectile clouds of aerosolized nanotechnology would kick-start snowflake formation high above—seemingly inspired by the cloud-producing exhalations of open-ocean algae—but they would also then scent the resulting snowfall with the aroma of fresh strawberries.

The result? Ice cream, delivered soft, cold, and delicious, falling straight from the afternoon sky. Perhaps we’ll soon all need ice cream gloves.

[Image: A how-to guide for precipitating strawberry ice cream by Zoe Papadopoulou and Cathrine Kramer].

Oddly, BLDGBLOG proposed a variant on this—scented snow—a few years back, so it should come as no surprise that I think it’s at least worth a shot. After all, what could possibly go wrong?

But it’s worth asking what other foodstuffs might also be made to precipitate directly from the summer sky—when agriculture gives up the ghost, say, or once our planetary soils have been entirely depleted, could we someday farm the sky? Aerocultural precipitation: nutrition fresh and direct from the planet’s atmosphere.

And what a strange planet it would be if this somehow sparked runaway ice cream climate change: unstoppable drifts of Chunky Monkey filling the streets of Montreal, vast glaciers of the stuff carving valleys through Antarctic plains.

(Thanks to Liam Young for the tip! Speaking of food, meanwhile, don’t miss the previous post about this coming weekend’s quarantine banquet).

11 thoughts on “Ice Cream Climatology”

  1. A cute art project, but what is the effect on people with allergies?

    Every time I've accidentally eaten strawberry, I've gone into anaphylactic shock.

    Strawberry in aerosol form would set me into a medical emergency. Boo.

  2. Brendon:

    I don't know if all of the above stated components of the 'strawberry flavor' are actually representative of the flavoring components in a real strawberry. They could be, but I'm not a food scientist. 🙂

    Also, the flavoring molecules may not be what is triggering your allergic reaction, so you may still be safe. That goes for any food-based artificial flavouring components – why does chocolate ice cream taste NOTHING like real chocolate (rhetorical question). 🙂

  3. You can use oils which are very natural which can carry those scents. The scent is the biggest part of a taste. but the actual components are different. The seeds are often not described in flavor.

    Those things are likely to give you the allergic rections.

    From one of the companies here in Holland, I've seen a presentation about it. The presenter answered a question about that, that there are hardly any problems with allergic reactions because of the natural oils and extracts they use.

    I hope that answers your question =)

  4. am I the only one who wonders – to use the ice-cream making machine it would have to be cold already, right? And who wants to eat cold ice cream when it's already freezing outside?

  5. Well, I echo Brendon. I — and a good portion of the world's population who are not northern European and don't carry that freak genetic variation allowing adults to drink milk — wouldn't be at all pleased with milk coming out of the sky in any shape including ice cream.

    Way to get stuck in your own cultural paradigm, Englishpeople. I fart in your general direction.

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