CLEMSON – As the saying goes, “there’s something in these hills,” and it’s not just Clemson football.
Clemson ice cream has its own fan club and it now has a signature flavor to mark the football team’s 2018 National Championship.
The new flavor is “Mountain Mania,” created during Dabo’s All In Team Foundation’s Clemson Ice Cream Experience held in the Newman Hall Ice Cream Innovation Lab and hosted by April Czarsty and Kathleen Swinney. The foundation was founded in 2009 by Clemson Football Coach Dabo Swinney and his wife Kathleen with a mission of raising awareness of critical education and health issues in order to change the lives of people across the state of South Carolina. Money raised from this event will help support the foundation.
Clemson professor Johnny McGregor said the event was a great way to give back to the community while encouraging teamwork.
“Our Ice Cream Innovation Lab is a world class facility,” said McGregor, advisor for the ’55 Exchange Student Entrepreneurial Center and Home to Clemson Ice Cream. “Events such as this are a great way to share our facility with our community and for our students to learn leadership and team building skills that will benefit them when they begin their careers.”
Members of the winning team are Reynolds Czarsty of Greenville, Ann McCorvey of Clemson, Lisa Bundrick of Clemson and William Luce of Greenville. The team was mentored by Clemson alumnus Kinsey MacDonald who graduated in 2017 and is now a product developer at Hudsonville Ice Cream in Holland, Michigan. Mountain Mania is a white chocolate English toffee ice cream with chunks of chocolate Heath toffee bars and ribbons of caramel.
Inspiration for the winning flavor came from a mountain graphic Coach Swinney has used to motivate the football team.
“The idea behind this graphic is to reach one victory at a time, step-by-step,” Luce said. “Just as the Clemson football team utilizes teamwork to win national championships, our team worked together to win this competition.”
A lot of thought went in to determining ingredients and deciding on a name for the winning flavor.
“We selected white chocolate because we learned this is a good base flavor,” Luce explained. “The caramel represents a winding road going around a mountain and the Heath bar crunch represents rock and boulders that can be found on mountains.”
Because euphoria is the feeling most people get when they reach the top of a mountain, Luce said Euphoria was the first name the group came up with for the flavor.
“But we decided Mountain Mania was a more catchy name,” he said.
Luce “highly recommends” this event for anyone looking for team building exercises.
“It was set up so that everyone could participate,” Luce said. “Everyone played the game. It was a phenomenal experience and the people who were helping were so knowledgeable. We had a great time and learned a lot. And, when it was over, we had something good to eat!”
Reynolds Czarsty is a 9-year-old 4th grader at Sara Collins Elementary School in Greenville who said he learned it takes “a lot of people to make ice cream,” adding making ice cream also requires self-control.
“It was so much fun making the ice cream and tasting all of the different flavors,” Czarsty said. “It also was hard not to sneak a taste before it was done.”
Czarsty credits everyone who participated in the event. His siblings, Kennedy, 7, and Campbell, 4, also participated and “had a blast,” April Czarsty said.
“I thought that it was not just our team that was the best, the others were good, too,” Reynolds Czarsty said. “They said that they would sell the others (flavors) in the ’55 Exchange store too. So, shout out to everyone who buys all the ice cream but especially those who support the Mountain Mania flavor.”
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Pints and scoops of the new flavor will be available for purchase at the ’55 Exchange in the Hendrix Student Center, 720 McMillan Road, Clemson, SC 29634, beginning Thursday, Sept. 5.
Clemson students benefited from this event by assisting the teams. These students included: Amy Grace Funcik, a graduate student in food, nutrition and culinary science; Joleah McComb, a senior in food science and technology; Javine Goodine, a junior food science and human nutrition major; Matthew Suffern, a senior in food science and human nutrition, and Katie Hannahs, a sophomore in food science and human nutrition. The students agreed this was a rewarding opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
“I learned how truly amazing the Clemson family is,” said McComb, who is from Charleston. “Even though we were all from different parts of Clemson’s amazing community, we all worked together and created an amazing championship flavor. Even though we all have different roles at Clemson, we all have contributions we can make to add to the greatness and championship manner of the Clemson family.”
Goodine, who is from Salisbury, North Carolina, made ice cream flavors in a batch freezer.
“I learned how to scale up recipes and work with large groups of people in an efficient, timely manner to create a product of championship quality as is found here at Clemson,” Goodine said.
MacDonald was joined by other alumni who came in to assist with the event — Hunter Clayton who graduated in 2018 and is now research and development chef at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream in Columbus, Ohio, and Sam Lopane who graduated in 2017 and is now an associate culinary scientist at Freshly in Washington D.C. They credit their success to what they learned from McGregor while at Clemson.
“The knowledge I gained from Clemson has been invaluable in my career,” MacDonald said. “What I learned in Dr. McGregor’s dairy processing and evaluation of dairy products classes are things I now use everyday for my job. Dr. McGregor is still teaching students to love the science of dairy. Being able to serve as a mentor for this event was such an unreal experience because I distinctly remember my freshmen year as a food science student listening to alumni talk about their careers after they graduated. I am now one of those alumni that can pour wisdom into undergraduates and I just want to give back as much as I can.”
“Clemson provided me with so much more than an education,” Clayton said. “The life skills and relationships I built while I was there have proven the most valuable part of my college career. Dr. McGregor played an instrumental role in my career and any student of his would agree that he treated us like this own children and made certain he sent us into the professional world with everything we needed. My experience working at the ’55 Exchange provided me with a unique skill set of not only having the technical knowledge to understand everything ice cream related, but also the ability to communicate cross functionally and see product in the marketplace. This range of knowledge from production to consumer is especially important in my role at Jeni’s as I watch product go from bench top formulation, to scale up pint runs, to being scooped at one of our shops.”
Dabo’s All In Team Foundation provides funding to four main focus areas and a grant program. Focus areas are Breast Cancer Research and Education, The Family Effect, The Call Me MiSTER Program and the ClemsonLIFE Program. The foundation supports these focus areas and grant program by money raised from fundraising events held throughout each year, as well as through partnerships and general donations.
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