In Miami's ever-growing, fast-paced culinary environment, rapidly freezing a batch of ice cream and transforming it into a rich and creamy concoction seems like old news.
In the past year, nitrogen-ice-cream shops have sprouted up across Miami, with places like Lulu's and Chill-N becoming resident frozen-treat staples. And with the rise of food truck concepts, locals have also gotten a taste of innovative ice-cream concepts beyond an old-school ten-flavor truck. Companies such as Wynwood Parlor, which sells gourmet ice-cream sandwiches, and Mr. Bing, which offers shaved creams, have become a frequented sight around the city too. But Miami has yet to see nitrogen ice cream on wheels. That is, until now.
Frost Byte, which officially launched July 4, is one of Miami's newest confection startups. Peddling what the founders call "ice cream of the future," the truck creates made-to-order combinations that are flash-frozen using liquid nitrogen on the spot.
"It's been a lot of fun," says Andrew Platt, cofounder of Frost Byte. "The process really captivates an audience because there's a lot of theatrics associated with it. It separates us from conventional places like Cold Stone or Häagen-Dazs."
Platt, who created Frost Byte with childhood friends Tiffany Cardoso and Ryan Ramirez, says the entire process — from flavor-choosing to first bite — takes about a minute. Making the ice cream itself, which happens inside the truck and in front of customers, takes about 30 seconds.
"We're not a mom-and-pop place that uses churners," Platt says. "Sometimes you have to adapt and change with the times or risk getting left in the dust."
The three founded the Frost Byte concept in January and has spent the past six months making their distant dream a reality. Platt, who has experimented with nitrogen ice cream for more than ten years, and Cardoso are classically trained chefs, while Ramirez handles the business side of production.
The menu, Platt says, is "Miami-centric." Signature flavors include Cuban apple pie, blending salted caramel and cinnamon apples; pastelitos, fused with cream cheese ice cream and guava chunks; and the lemon granita, which is a vegan, organic lemonade variety. Prices range from $5 to $8, and optional toppings cost $1 each. Custom flavors are also available upon request.
"We're always working on new flavors," Platt says. "People love our combinations so far. Most haven't experienced something like this, and the reactions have been perfect."
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Unlike most food trucks, Frost Byte has teamed up with municipal governments to cater local public events.
"We've done the numbers," Platt says. "You have a much better chance of reaching a customer in a small environment than at a large gathering."
To find out where Frost Byte will be next, visit its Facebook page.