"I'll take a Red Corridor, please." The impoverished region of India with Maoist militant activity is probably not your typical go-to ice cream order. But this chai masala ice cream topped with almonds slivers and candied fennel is one of four flavors inspired by political uprisings from Ethan Frisch and Ori Zohar of the new cart Guerrilla Ice Cream.
The pair of 23-year-olds debuted the new mobile project at the Pushcart Market a couple weeks ago. Frisch, who graduated with a degree in conflict studies, worked briefly as a pastry chef at Allen & Delancey (until it closed in March) and now he's rolling up Indian burritos, which are kind of similar to kati rolls, at Tabla's streetside cart out front of the restaurant. Plus, he's been interning for the Street Vendor Project. "I actually found this cart in the office closet." So the idea all just came together.
His friend and business partner Zohar—"we're still friends! even after all this, which is a good sign," Frisch says—is another pro-ice cream, socially-conscious type. They wanted to create flavors that people like but wouldn't necessarily expect in ice cream. After brainstorming revolutions past and present, they eventually came up with four.
Libertação is the 72% chocolate and port wine ice cream inspired by Guinea Bissau's fight for independence. The chocolate is really rich, but you keep shoveling your spoon in to figure out what makes it so good. "Well, there's port in it," SE intern Leah Douglas answered. Wise lady. Plus it's topped with big cashew hunks and just-bruleed banana discs. There are many great fruit-nut combos out there, but cashews and bananas have to pretty high up on the list, wouldn't ya say?
8888 Uprising (woo democracy in Burma!) is a refreshing sorbet of mango and lemongrass, and you can really taste both. Not to mention the palm sugar. You never really think of sugar as a flavor but the beyond-just-white-sugar is complex, and really rounds out the meaty coconut shreds and just-zested lime threads on top. "I wanted all the toppings to have texture, not just flavor," Frisch says.
The last one is for the lemon poppyseed muffin lovers and/or Slavophiles out there: Velvet Revolution, a lemon ice cream polka-dotted with poppy seeds and topped with crumbled-up spice cookies. They're the clove-happy, crazy gingery, almost spicy kind of spice cookies too. "The Czech Republic is the leading producer of poppy seeds," explains Frisch.
Frisch has put a lot of thought into each flavor-topping-political-uprising combo, but even more impressive, all of the profits will support marginalized populations locally, and all over the world. This summer they're donating to the Street Vendor Project.
Now, the hard part—finding a spot to actually set up and sell the ice cream. "We'll go wherever," he says. "Even cross bridges." They're planning to be at the Hester Street Fair this Saturday, June 26, and at the Fulton Stall Market at the Seaport on July 11. Look for the world map menu—each of the flavors is push-pinned over the conflict region it represents.