Midnight Sun Ice Cream
On March 31st, 2015 my expectation for eating ice cream was changed forever.
I was minding my own business at my usual Tuesday night hang, over at Tasty Tuesdays in the Milk District. My apathy to all things domestic always leads me to my favorite food truck gathering in the city, where I'm always trying new trucks and staying faithful to those that have proved to be tried and true hubs of foodie goodness.
This Tuesday however, was different, as I noticed a truck I had never seen before. It was bright yellow, my favorite hue. I noticed a sign that said ice cream sandwiches, but what made me stop dead in my tracks was seeing the flavor Lavender - Ricotta - Candied Kumquat.
See below proof of my tweet from that night that these events actually did take place.
What in the world is in the glorious truck is all I could think. I quickly ate something for dinner, and then headed back to this golden beacon of sweet anticipation and asked for the flavor that had caught my attention. One bite in and cue the moaning and groaning that makes my husband roll his eyes. This was no dramatic exaggeration, but instead the type of gratification that triggers texts to friends and perhaps an embarrassing amount of food selfies.
I immediately searched for an Instagram page and found none. I found a Twitter account and immediately followed them and posted a picture of me and my grand prize from that evening. The next Tuesday I was ready and waiting for another treat, but there was no yellow truck to be found. It took me weeks of internet stalking to find Midnight Sun again.
Thankfully we were reunited when they started a regular stint at the Audubon Park Farmers Market on Monday nights and a more regular appearance at Tasty Tuesdays.
The owners are husband and wife Jocelyn and Levi who have certainly brought a game changing truck to Orlando which is needed when dessert specific restaurants are sorely lacking here.
The name Midnight Sun comes from Levi's roots of being born and raised in Alaska. Alaska receives more sunlight in spring and summer than any other state and many other parts of the world. In Barrow, the state’s northernmost community, the sun does not set for more than two and a half months.
Like many talented people I've been able to speak with that are bringing their skills to our stomachs, Levi grew up in a foodie family that prepared most meals from scratch. An experienced Chef in his own right, this is his current passion, mixing ingredients and flavors and bringing his craft to something new for us to enjoy.
Jocelyn, another veteran of the restaurant world, having worked at Prato and now Kabooki Sushi, is his business partner in this delicious crime, working alongside him always eager to play the role of taste tester.
They recently lived in San Diego, but have been living in Orlando for a few years now (Jocelyn is originally from Melbourne) and they are looking to lay down some roots and join the food loving community that is growing here.
A lot of people like to use "artisinal" or "hand-crafted" where it deserves no such label. You can confidently use both of these terms when describing the goodness that Chef Levi is bringing to masses just by looking at their menu board on any given night. They source locally as often as they can getting ingredients from places like Lake Meadows and Heart of Christmas farms.
Despite having some very unique and tantalizing flavors that they like to rotate on a regular basis, their Vanilla Bean is almost always available as it is always in demand. Even though I am a lover of all things vanilla, I couldn't wrap my head around this, seeing the other exciting offerings, but the fan favorite was absolutely true. As I watched Jocelyn attend to the crowd so many of them read the menu board thoroughly and still opted for Vanilla Bean ice cream on double chocolate cookies. That was alright I suppose, more Cinnamon Creme Fraiche Ice Cream served on a Madeline Cake with blueberry sauce for me.
While the vintage 1973 truck that they are using right now is working out for visiting markets, food truck rallies, and catering private events and weddings, they do have their sights set on opening a brick and mortar location in the near future.
I love to ask everyone, especially Chef's what their favorite places to visit in Orlando are. Levi had no hesitation when mentioning his love of Kappo. Other favorites included Prato, Korea House (which I now need to go try) and the many farmers markets we have around the greater Orlando area.
When I asked what advice they would give to anyone teetering on the thought of diving into their own business their advice all centered around quality. Levi explained that having an original concept is helpful, but above all, if the quality of what you are making is great then people will continue to be loyal and keep you going.
They are committed to that quality by not only using locally sourced ingredients, but high quality ingredients that may cost more, like European cultured butter, but will secure that their product will keep people coming back for more.
I cannot stress enough that this truck is not to be missed. Do not be intimidated by the flavors. Open yourself up to experience new tastes, knowing that there are years of experience behind the mixing of these concoctions.
Not to mention that Jocelyn and Levi are some pretty cool people, so you should definitely seek out their truck, say hello, and indulge in what I can honestly say is the best ice cream in Orlando right now.
Follow Midnight Sun on Instagram(@MidnightSunIC) and Twitter (@MidnightSunIC) and be on the lookout for a newly revamped website coming soon so you can stalk their every move around the city.