April 19, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Lucky Roll in Englewood Is the First Kosher Rolled Ice Cream in the U.S.

Rolled ice cream. Doesn’t sound possible, does it? Rolled ice cream is a popular street food in Thailand that is popping up throughout the U.S. Lucky for us, David Ng, a young entrepreneur from New York’s Chinatown, got the idea to open a rolled ice cream store in Englewood, at 2 East Palisade Avenue near the railroad tracks. And it wasn’t long until he learned that kosher certification would bring more customers through his door. In the planning for almost a year, Lucky Roll opened in September 2017.

What is rolled ice cream? David showed me the process, one that all customers view when they order. The key is a special device with a shallow round surface that is kept at below freezing temperature. In the middle, the server puts a mound of filling. Cereals are very popular, such as Fruity Pebbles and Cap’n Crunch. Around the cereal, he pours the special liquid cream mix. Then the server swings into action with two large spatulas, combining the filling into the mix with rapid chopping motions until it freezes. He spreads it out into a rectangle and lets it harden. Slowly he rolls up one row at a time. The rolls are placed in a cup, drizzled with toppings and then served to the happy customer.

Rolled ice cream is pure and flavorful, David said. “It’s made from scratch with no preservatives. The only thing that keeps it as ice cream is the cold. Store-bought ice cream is loaded with preservatives to keep it frozen. And it’s also a show when you watch it being made.” Lucky Roll has just started catering so they can also bring the show to you. Rolled ice cream at milchig birthday parties and simchas are now the coolest thing!

While the basics of the recipe are milk and cream, there are a few other ingredients. “Only me, my partner and my rabbi know what they are,” David laughed.

Lucky Roll has limited kosher certification from Rabbi Aaron Mehlman. The certification is limited as the store also sells Boba, a special tea drink from Thailand that is vegan but not kosher. Rabbi Mehlman said this is not a problem. “Everything is cold, itemized, delineated and split,” he explained to me when I visited. “If there was any cooking, we couldn’t do it. But since it’s cold it’s OK. David worked very hard to make lists so that it is crystal clear to the customer what is kosher and what isn’t.” The ice cream is kosher, as are most of the toppings. The ones that are not kosher are clearly specified. And since there is no cooking, nothing can be made in advance on Shabbos to be served later.

David discovered Englewood by accident. He and his girlfriend, Debbie He, were driving on the Palisades Parkway, on their way back to New York City, when they decided to get something to eat before heading over the bridge. A detour off Exit 1 took them into Englewood. They liked the bustling yet comfortable downtown area. And then they faced a dilemma: He wanted something to drink, she wanted ice cream. That’s when they started thinking there was a need they could fulfill for a spot with both in the same location. And it would be nice if that location was in Englewood, out of the New York City congestion but convenient for them to manage. They did a lot of research, took the plunge and opened the business together.

Visit Lucky Roll at www.luckyrolls.com and on Instagram @theluckyrolls. For more information on event catering, send an email to: [email protected].

By Bracha Schwartz

 

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