Ever since Carmen's Best Ice Cream won the Ultimate Taste Test #6 in Rockwell in 2011, I have yet to taste another ice cream that comes close to its artisanal goodness. Recently, this was the ice cream served to the Pope during his PAL flight back home to Italy, and is now served on the long haul business class flights of Philippine Airlines.
It's one of the Philippine-made food products that we can be proud of and can be exported to ASEAN and the rest of Asia.
We talked to our friend, Paco Magsaysay, the man behind Carmen's Best, on what makes Carmen's one of the best ice creams in the world...
Since 80% of ice cream is comprised of milk, the secret to its yumminess is in the source.
Carmen's Best gets its milk directly from Real Fresh Dairy Farms, known for Holly's Milk.
The 27-hectare cow farm is owned by Paco's dad, Ramon Magsaysay Jr., together with the Dimayuga, Arroyo, Casiño, and David families. It's located in Brgy. Masaya, Bay, Laguna (near U.P. Los Baños).
Their milk is sourced from Holstein-Sahiwal Cows from New Zealand. Each produces 10-12 liters of fresh milk daily.
The milk is processed in the only Fresh Milk Pasteurizing Plant in the Philippines, right across the farm.
Carmen's Best only uses pasteurized fresh Holly's Milk direct from the farm.
Note: Low-quality ice cream uses cow's milk that is processed using UHT (Ultra-high Temperature) or Extended Shelf Life (ESL) method to extend its shelf life, or worse, from powdered milk.
According to Paco, one of the best-kept secrets of Carmen's Best is that it has a higher percentage of butterfat than the premium ice creams like Haagen-Daaz and Ben & Jerry's.
Paco attended the 2013 Penn State Ice Cream Short Course and won the prestigious Keeney Award!
He infected the entire organization with his passion and mindset of delivering the Perfect Ice Cream.
The freshly churned ice cream is only mixed with the Best Ingredients selected based on taste (not based on profit margin).
Each container is handcrafted in small batches and made to order based on demand.
Some of the ice cream flavors are inspired by Paco's foreign travels--Hokey Pokey from New Zealand, Turrón from Spain, and Stroopwafel from the Netherlands.
Our favorite Carmen's Best flavors are: Malted Milk, Butter Pecan, and Pistachio! Check out www.carmensbest.com.
Download the Carmen's Best Ice Cream Podcast to know more about the story of the ice cream and its flavor.
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: This post is a collaboration with Carmen's Best. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.
P.S. We need to teach the next generation of Filipinos on what really good ice cream tastes like and be proud of our other artisanal food products made in the Philippines!
P.P.S. The Carmen's Best Corporate Social Responsibility program is with the PGH Medical Foundation. They have donated over P130,000 to the foundation last August 2015.