Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams has released a flavor featuring ingredients from three Central Ohio producers− a collaboration that exemplifies how businesses can leverage their products by teaming with like-minded peers.
Oakvale Young Gouda with Vodka-Plumped Cranberries unites young soft cheese from Oakvale Farmstead with cranberries plumped with OYO vodka from micro-distillery Middle West Spirits. Per usual, Snowville Creamery provides the cream.
“It’s like a full dinner, cocktail, and dessert in one pint of heavenly goodness,” says Brady Konya, principal at Middle West Spirits.
The gouda ice cream is rich and creamy, so the vodka is needed to cut through that, says Jeni Britton Bauer, Jeni’s founder and president.
“The dried cranberries provide a festive flavor and color, but also they suck up the vodka and carry the flavors into your mouth,” she adds.
Jeni’s latest offering was conceived last summer when Britton Bauer was at Oakvale and sampled its new young gouda.
“The aged gouda has always been a favorite in my home kitchen, but the über creaminess and meltability of the young gouda made me think that it should be an ice cream,” she says. “Meeting Brady and Ryan [Lang] this summer also made me want to use Middle West Spirits OYO vodka for soaking our cranberries this year. They are doing it right, building the vodka from the ground up using Ohio red wheat.”
Though they make different products, a common thread between Jeni’s and Middle West Spirits is their commitment to using locally sourced ingredients, Konya says.
And all four businesses that contributed to the new flavor are, in a sense, poster children for the concept that distinctive, quality goods are being made in the state of Ohio, he adds.
Similarly, Britton Bauer contends that when businesses work together, “we can draw attention to the great products and amazing personalities that live here. It’s about building and sharing culture.”
Also, knowing each other makes the businesses accountable to one another and more likely to put out a product that people like and that showcases the great work of the folks involved, she says.
Oakvale Young Gouda with Vodka-Plumped Cranberries will be sold at all six Jeni’s shops starting tomorrow and is available for purchase now at JenisIceCreams.com.
“It’s so delicious,” Britton Bauer says. “As my grandmother would say, ‘Ya done good, Kid.’ I would say that to all the collaborators −Middle West, Oakvale, Snowville and our very own kitchen team− with a big pat on the back. This flavor is really, really tasty.”
All photography by Adam Slane.