Move over, froyo — there’s a new dessert in town: ice cream rolls.
How it works: Flavored cream is spread on a flattop of at least -10 Fahrenheit. It’s smoothed across the surface until it stiffens and scraped into rolls. Add toppings and serve.
Ice cream rolls were popularized in Thailand, and Rowland Heights’ Chelo Creamery is the first to bring them to Los Angeles County. “The rolls are definitely the best sellers these days,” says the shop's owner (and Rowland Heights native) Jeannette Chang.
Chang had long wanted to open a dessert shop, so she parted ways with her e-commerce marketing job and spent three years researching cool desserts. Chelo opened late this summer with an icy repertoire of ice cream rolls, Italian ice, gelato and shaved snow. Her menu is extensive with an Asian touch; ingredients such as matcha, dragon fruit and mochi are commonly featured. And though its offerings are diverse, Chelo has seen the most social media attention for those rolls.
The rolls are divided into seven flavors, including chocolate Oreo, matcha green tea, strawberries and cheesecake, dragon fruit, salted caramel and even the polarizing durian fruit (though it’s tamed with a hint of coconut). They’re topped with thoughtful garnishes such as a coconut cookie or a flurry of good-quality mochi.
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At $6.50 a bowl, the dessert isn't cheap. But Chang maintains that she uses real fruit for each of her mixes, and the flavor does shine through. Texture-wise, it’s more gelato than ice cream, and there’s more resistance to each bite than, say, shaved snow. Currently the most popular item is the Good-Zooky — matcha green tea with red bean and mochi. And it’s trailed by Ballin’ on a Fudge, which is chocolate, Oreos and brownies.
Chelo Creamery, 18558 E Gale Ave., Rowland Heights; (626) 965-5817, chelocreamery.com.