Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, August 13

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Review Thu Oct 08 2009

You Scream, I Scream...

It may be October in Chicago, but the time is always right to for this girl try out a new spot for ice cream. Especially when that spot features high-tech, liquid-nitrogen-spewing equipment, and a list of about 60 options for flavors, mix-ins, and toppings combined to make whatever creation you can dream up - all at Wicker Park's iCream.

If you have not heard of the innovative iCream, the shop is the brainchild of two University of Chicago Graduate School of Business graduates. Jason McKinney and Cora Shaw came up with the idea while working on a project for a Venture Strategy course, and decided to run with it. And what, exactly, was the idea? Take a base (dairy or sorbet), combine it with flavors like mint or coffee, mix in treats like candy or fruit, and freeze it - on the spot - using liquid nitrogen. The iCream store is a futuristic world of mad scientist laboratory meets the Jetsons. But the result is nothing like freeze-dried astronaut food or a chemical-laden creation. Instead, you get probably the freshest cup of ice cream (or frozen yogurt or sorbet or even hot pudding) in town. My ice cream + white chocolate flavor + strawberry + graham cracker crust + chocolate sauce creation was fantastic, and my friend's choice of caramel-flavored ice cream and Reese's peanut butter cups was amazing. Even the oddly paired white chocolate + green tea flavor + Nutella turned out to be yummy.

Jason says the name comes from the personalization that customers get when choosing their treat - it's mixed and frozen right there, on the spot, for you. So if you can make it past the 7th grade jokes long enough to walk on in and give it a try, you'll be in for a treat for both the eyes and the taste buds.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
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