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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

Ice Cream: The Perfect Garnish

Dec 03, 2014 10:59PM
by Samantha Hudgins

Winter doesn’t typically evoke thoughts of sundaes and milkshakes, but Susan Soorenko, owner of Moorenko’s Ice Cream and Moorenko’s Ice Cream Café, proves that artisanal ice cream is the perfect cold weather garnish.

Moorenko’s is a locally owned artisanal ice cream that can be purchased as close as their Silver Spring café, or as far out as Richmond and Charlottesville, Virginia and Baltimore and Annapolis, Maryland in Whole Foods Markets, Giants and other retailers. Their small batch factory is located not far from their storefront and churns out both ultra premium ice cream and sorbet.

The designation of ultra-premium is given to Moorenko’s ice cream because it is made with more than 16 percent milk fat, the highest grade an ice cream can achieve. More milk fat means less sugar and less lactose. With a low over run, Moorenko’s also has less air whipped in. All of these factors result in a denser and more satisfying ice cream; customers feel fuller faster and longer.

Another way Moorenko’s is able to satisfy their customers is through the use of egg yolk in their ice cream. Egg yolk not only allows the ice cream to keep its integrity through the fluctuating temperature of a constantly opened freezer door, it anchors the flavor. Soorenko explains this to mean, “Even after you’ve swallowed your ice cream, you can still taste it.”

Putting Moorenko’s satisfying product to use in the winter is easy when thought of as a garnish full of possibilities. While there is nothing better than a cool dollop of ice cream melting into a delicious sauce on top of a warm pie, Soorenko has broader ideas for Moorenko’s. She suggests adding their ginger or crème fraiche flavors to pumpkin soup for a creamier texture and deeper flavor, or rounding out a salad with their cranberry sorbet. For a new spin on pie, Soorenko suggests pumpkin ice cream in a cooked pie shell topped it with cream cheese icing.

Ice cream lends itself not only as a garnish to food but to drink as well. A spoonful of bittersweet chocolate ice cream can be used to cool hot cocoa to the perfect drinkable temperature or transform coffee into a mocha drink. Both hot cocoa and coffee are offered at Moorenko’s café, for those who need something warm.

For those who prefer their ice cream by itself, Moorenko’s has a variety of innovative flavors, some of which are only available during November to January, such as egg nog, cranberry walnut and cinnamon. Other year-round flavors that lend themselves well to cold weather by evoking warm thoughts include rice pudding, red-hot chocolate and hot toddy sorbet.

If the high quality artisanal ice cream, sorbet and warm beverages weren’t enough incentive to brave the chilly winter months, what Moorenko’s Ice Cream Café offers to the community will certainly draw a crowd. The café can be booked for group meetings and parties and offers 10 percent savings to Montgomery College students on Wednesdays. Moorenko’s factory works in conjunction with the Ivy Mount School. Twice a week autistic students help hand label containers for sale in exchange for ice cream and real world job experience.

Soorenko reminds the community to remember that maintaining a local business is a give and take. While Moorenko’s loves being part of the Silver Spring community, the café is only able to function when customers aren’t afraid to put on their coats and visit in cold weather as well as hot.

Moorenko’s Ice Cream Café is located at 8030-B Georgia Ave., Silver Spring. For more information on hours, flavors and wholesale, visit


Samantha Hudgins is a writing enthusiast and outreach director for Natural Awakenings.


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