Tyler Moss drizzled his vegan ice cream mix onto a frozen disc in his food truck, spread it out and then scraped it into eye-catching rolls. It was like watching a sculptor create a masterpiece.
Each Thai-rolled creation made from coconut cream, milk and other allergen-friendly ingredients, looked almost too good to eat, but that didn’t stop everyone lined up at his dessert truck, Cocoanuts, from digging right in.
And all the customers agreed, it didn’t just look good, it tasted good too. The flavors included frozen hot chocolate, creamsicle, cookie dough, blueberry swirl and strawberry.
Friends of Animals invited Moss to debut his ice cream at our headquarters in Darien, Connecticut.
“As an organization dedicated to ending the exploitation of animals, we want to support plant-based businesses. They need loyal customers if they are to survive and thrive in a culture all too welcoming to animal products and massive fast food chains,” said Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals. “We think it makes sense for Tyler’s Darien debut to be at our headquarters.”
Moss decided to get behind the wheel of this project after nearly dying from an allergic reaction to a peanut. His desserts are so rich and delicious, he says, you would never know they are allergen free.
Moss couldn’t have picked a better time to launch his vegan ice cream truck. (Connecticut members take note, it will be stationed at the ice rink at Veterans Park in South Norwalk on Seaview Avenue from October through March.)
Over the summer The New York Times called this the Golden Age for vegan ice cream.
Mark Van Buskirk, group vice president for grocery merchandising at Albertsons Companies, which operates the Safeway supermarket chain, among others, said in the article that sales of all nondairy products had been steadily increasing over the past two years, with packaged nondairy ice cream leading the way (up by 50 percent over the last 12 months).
Van Buskirk sees this trend continuing, keeping in step with the decline in sales of traditional dairy products.
“The growth in nut milks in particular has been exponential compared to regular dairy,” he said in the piece. He noted that soy milk sales are decreasing as those of nut and other plant milks rise.
The article also points out that for home cooks, this is promising territory, and is “a rich if head-spinning new world of ingredients to experiment with.”
Feral, the author of two vegan cookbooks and a vegan dog biscuit book, enjoys making her own vegan ice cream. She recently made roasted banana ice cream adapted from Ben Van Leeuwen’s Artisan Ice Cream Cookbook and called it “dreamy.”
“Vegan ice cream is on the top of the list of my favorite things to eat,” she said.
Cocoanuts Food Truck: @ Sono Ice House 300 Wilson Avenue Norwalk
Open 7 days a week