Freezing Moo is Edible Performance Art

Thai-Style Ice Cream Made to Order

Freezing Moo's Mucho Mango Freezing Moo's Mucho Mango is a show and dessert. (Pete Dulin I Flatland)

Tommy Tang, who co-owns Freezing Moo Ice Cream (6936 W 135th Street, Overland Park, Kansas) with Truman Yeh, places fresh strawberry and mango onto a cold metal plate set to 16 degrees. Tang is about to make Mucho Mango, one of ten ice cream flavor combinations available. Watching from behind a plexiglass screen, a sweet confectionary performance begins.

The square plate looks like a frozen stainless steel table. Tang uses two spatulas to dice and chop the fruit into a coarse paste before adding sweetened whole milk. The milk forms a miniature lake that soon begins to freeze like a pond in winter. Similar to the technique of making scrambled eggs, Tang turns the edges of the milk and fruit mixture repeatedly into a semi-frozen mound. Within a minute, the ice cream is nearly ready.

He uses spatulas to spread the fruit-laden ice cream into a thin sheet across the cold plate. Yeh drizzles chocolate sauce onto the ice cream layer with a smiley face design, adding to the performance. Tang uses a spatula and scrapes off rows of ice cream to the edge of the plate. Each roll curls into a cylinder that is tucked into a house made waffle cone bowl nestled in a serving cup. Customers may choose up to three toppings from a wide selection before the rolled ice cream is served.

“The biggest difference with this ice cream is that it uses fresh milk, cream, cane sugar, and fruit,” says Yeh. “There are no chemicals or preservatives. And it’s not just ice cream. We provide an experience.”

Freezing Moo, modeled after a style of made-to-order ice cream that originated with a street vendor in Thailand, opened one month ago in Overland Park’s Deer Creek shopping center.

“We’re the first shop with this concept in Kansas City,” says Yeh, who has managed multiple restaurants throughout his career. “I thought it would be good as a healthy, fresh treat. We have a clean, safe, and fun family-friendly environment.”

Hundreds of colorful Sticky Notes with fun messages and printed selfie photos are posted to the walls of Freezing Moo. Customers are able to take selfie photos, send them to a printer in the shop, and immediately print them out as part of the interactive experience.

Other ice cream flavors include bestsellers such as Whole Latte Love (coffee, cookies, caramel), Mint To Be (mint Oreo, chocolate), and Cookie Monster (Oreo cookie, chocolate). For an Asian-influenced flavor, the Green Giant uses green tea, lychee fruit and condensed milk. Flavors of the rolled ice cream are predetermined by Yeh and Tang. They choose what ingredient combinations taste good together and work well on the cold plate for spreading and rolling. While the flavors will remain the same in the first few months, Yeh and Tang plan to rotate new flavors as the seasons change.

Freezing Moo posts free ice cream giveaways as promotions on its Facebook page. The business owners have already reached out to local schools and organizations, such as the local school district and soccer league, to promote its ice cream and get involved with its neighbors.

Yeh says, “We want to be part of the community and participate in school events and activities. We want to help grow the area.”

With Freezing Moo, Yeh and Tang have found a means to reach people “from all walks of life and nationalities.” Yeh adds, “Everyone loves ice cream.”

To add to the participatory, interactive appeal of Freezing Moo, the business will host a monthly contest and invite customers to vote on three or four options as an upcoming flavor of the month.

Meanwhile, Tang begins to prepare another ice cream flavor: Cookie Monster. Om nom nom. That’s how he rolls in this cowtown.

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