Herrell’s to Produce Winning Flavors from UMass’ Ice Cream Competition

by Alice

Herrell’s, the renowned craft ice cream purveyor, is set to bring to life the delectable creations from the annual UMass Amherst Food Science–Herrell’s Ice Cream & Bakery Ice Cream Product Development Competition for the second consecutive year. The competition, known for its innovative and mouthwatering entries, saw all four winning flavors earmarked for production and sale at Herrell’s popular Northampton store.


A panel of judges, led by Judy Herrell, president and CEO of Herrell’s, meticulously evaluated each entry based on various criteria including texture, overrun, sustainability, aroma, and taste. The top spot was claimed by the brown butter miso caramel flavor, lauded for its impeccable balance and intricate preparation process involving made-from-scratch caramel, browned butter bits, and hand-cut dark chocolate chunks.

Winning accolades from the panel were food science majors Victoria Cercone, Adam Forbes, and Ethan Walton, who crafted the winning flavor. Their creation, described as a bolder take on the classic salted caramel, impressed judges with its innovative blend of miso and caramel.

Charmaine Koo, the competition organizer and food processing lab instructor, commended the creativity exhibited by all participants, particularly highlighting the winning flavor’s daring fusion of miso and caramel.

In addition to the expert judging, attendees had the opportunity to vote for their favorite flavor, resulting in the People’s Choice Award going to pineapple upside down cheesecake. Despite ranking fourth in the judges’ tally, this flavor captivated audiences with its dark cherry swirl and creamy texture reminiscent of the iconic dessert.

Rounding out the top entries were tea time, a chai tea ice cream with rose water and Biscoff cookie crumble, and appel kruimel ijsje (apple crumble ice cream), inspired by Dutch Stroopwafels.

The competition not only showcases the students’ culinary prowess but also provides them with valuable hands-on experience in applying food science principles and product development techniques.

All winning flavors, including the People’s Choice favorite, will be available on rotation at Herrell’s throughout the year, allowing patrons to savor the delicious fruits of the students’ labor.


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