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From Idea to Product

Photo: a look into my freezer. During the past two years of restretching and developing our tahini plant-based ice cream, my freezer was stocked with many formulations and flavor variations.

Some of my childhood indulgences were drizzling tahini and date syrup on top of my ice cream or topping it off with halvah crumbs, the tahini-based Middle Eastern confection. At home, my mom made a frozen dessert using whipped cream, sugar, and tahini. She poured the mixture into a Tupperware Jel ring and stored it in the freezer, serving it later as a perfect hot summer day treat.

Inspired by these nostalgic flavor experiences and the many uses of tahini in cuisines across the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, I decided to try using tahini as a base for nondairy ice cream. Tahini is a top source of plant-based fats; it's naturally smooth and creamy, and its subtle nutty taste complements various flavors. Unlike most plant-based ice cream brands, which neutralize the flavor of their base ingredient and focus on creating classic, nostalgic flavors without the dairy milk, we see tahini as a feature and highlight its rich, delicious taste. Our Middle Eastern-inspired flavors would bring a more inclusive and global falvor experience to grocery stores and your home freezer, hoping to spread some light and honor the history and cultures of this troubled region.

We first introduced the tahini-based frozen dessert at a local trade show in Bosotn in June 2022, where the prodcut drew a lot of attention from industry stakeholders such as Holly Long, Whole Foods Market local forager, and Vincent Petryk, founder of JP Licks. Later that year, I began working with an ice cream consultant to develop a commercial-grade, store-ready product. Today, after two years of research and development, we are preparing to launch the prodcut in stores this summer.

Bear with us for a month or two as we approach the manufacturing stage. In the meantime, consider topping your ice cream with a drizzle of tahini paste straight from the jar and a dash of date syrup, maple, or honey.

Photos: On a recent trip to Tel Aviv, I indulged in tahini-topped frozen yogurt, and my daughter enjoyed a Paleta popsicle made with tahini and silane (date syrup).


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