Beyond the Trend: Rolled Ice Cream and 10Below


Charles Lee

Originally from Thailand, rolled ice cream has become one of the hottest food trends in the United States. 10Below recently added Ice Cream Tacos to their menu at their Lower East Side location.

Yasmin Gulec, Dining Editor

Rolled ice cream might just be trending now in the United States, but it has long been a popular snack in Thailand. Its popularity in the United States is reaching the caliber of bubble tea, with many shops such as I CE NY, Juicy Spot Cafe and 10Below opening in quick succession.

Rolled ice cream is a scrumptious dessert that originated in East Asia, where it is a street food. The two-minute process of creating rolled ice cream is very entertaining to watch. A milk-based, flavored liquid is poured onto a steel grill that is about -10 degrees Fahrenheit. As the base freezes, it is chopped up and put together again with little paddles. Depending on the flavor, chopped fruit or chocolate is sometimes incorporated into the liquid. The mixture is then spread across the circular grill, and the spatula digs into the solidifying lather to turn strips of the ice cream into rolls. The ice cream tubes are then vertically placed into a cup and topped with fruit, graham crackers, chocolate, and a variety of sauces, like chocolate and condensed milk.”

10Below is one of the most famous rolled ice cream vendors in New York City. With four locations — the Manhattan Chinatown, Flushing, Lower East Side and East Village — it is a place you must visit, especially with how close two of the locations are to campus.10Below was the first Thai-inspired ice cream shop to open in New York City, and it uses fresh ingredients and keeps the street food tradition by preparing orders right as they come in. They do not add any fat or emulsifiers to reach a creamy, smooth texture because the treat reaches that consistency through their advanced rolling technique. One order is $7 including tax. Although rolled ice cream is a pricey dessert, the portions are very big, customers can choose unlimited toppings and — most importantly — it’s delicious.

Some staple flavors offered at 10Below are are Strawberry Shawty, which is strawberry ice cream topped with fresh strawberries and graham crackers; Matcha Made in Heaven, with matcha ice cream and strawberries; and I Love You A Latte, which is cold brew coffee ice cream with condensed milk. The great menu items and ability to customize makes 10Below the perfect place for a treat.

However, not everyone agrees that rolled ice cream is worthy of the amount of exposure it has been getting. CAS freshman Charles Thomas was disappointed after trying this trending dessert.

“It is just ice cream,” Thoms said. “It is very good, but it’s not that special and not worth the seven dollar price tag.”

SPS senior Nadav Funstein expressed sentiments similar to Thomas. He had the opportunity to taste rolled ice cream for free.

“I am glad I did not have to spend money on this,” Funstein said. “I always wanted to try it, but there are better ice cream places to go to.”

The Insider recently released a video that promotes 10Below’s newest menu item — ice cream tacos. Their signature rolled ice cream is placed in a cone shaped like a taco shell and topped off with goodies. Although it is currently only offered at its Lower East Side location, 10Below plans to bring this menu item to its other stores.

The tacos are a bit hard to eat, since the taco shell breaks very easily. However, the struggle and mess are worth the taste. Whether you want a trendy Instagram photo or are simply an ice cream fiend, 10Below is the perfect place to go.

Email Yasmin Gulec at [email protected].