Durian-flavored ice cream will be available in Costco stores in the Bay Area next month.
Sisters Gwen and Christine Nguyen are the co-founders of Mavens Creamery. Wholesale giant Costco initially approached them years ago for their macaron and ice cream sandwich products, but the pandemic interrupted those plans, according to SFGate.
Noticing the durian trend, Costco approached Mavens again for an ice cream recipe featuring the popular fruit. The yellow and green pints will reach 18 Bay Area locations in early October. A full list of locations can be found on their Instagram.
“I must say that ice cream, because it’s already blended with cream, sugar, milk, the taste is toned down. In terms of how strong it smells, how pungent, it’s maybe a five or six out of 10. But the fresh fruit when opened — that’s 20,” Christine told SFGate. “We’re very proud of this durian ice cream because if you look at the rest of the ingredients, it’s very, very simple: milk, sugar, cream and durian.”
“There are just certain ingredients that are introduced being Vietnamese. Fish sauce, that’s in our DNA. So durian fruit, I just have always known for it to be a part of a dessert or a fruit after we would have a meal,” Gwen added. “It is a delicacy fruit, though, and it’s very rich, so you probably wouldn’t want to have it every day.”
For the duo, to roll out the ice cream in the Bay Area makes sense as it is not just their home, but a community that can appreciate the product.
“Some people think garlic. Some people think it’s the blue cheese of fruits,” Gwen told SFGate. “The Bay Area region is going to be the first region for this ice cream. And it only makes sense because this is our home. And it only makes sense because the demographic is here for this product. There are only specific regions that have that ethnic Asian community and durian lovers, durian fans because durian is not an acquired thing.”
Mavens Creamery started as an idea in 2014 when Gwen was inspired by a pop-up store selling macaron ice cream sandwiches. Neither Gwen or Christine had formal bakery training, but they spent hours perfecting their macaron and ice cream making craft in their garage through YouTube tutorials and lots of trial and error.
Now the brand sells their macaron ice cream sandwiches at Safeways on the West Coast to Whole Foods on the East Coast. They even made an appearance on ABC’s reality show “Shark Tank” in 2019.
Feature Image via Mavens Creamery/Photographer: Bryan Ngo