Peta Frysh – The Lady Behind Pete's Super Natural Ice Cream

 

Peta Frysh

Peta Frysh


Journalist and video producer Peta Frysh fell in love with ice cream when she tasted green apple sorbet in Cape Town three years go.  She bought an ice-cream machine, began experimenting … and the rest is history.
Producing superb ice cream has come naturally for Peta, the “Pete” of Pete’s Super Natural.  Her lifelong obsession with fragrance and cooking, plus a background in research, has been put to good use.
Pete’s Super Natural is all-natural. The milk and cream come from a family-run farm in Henley on Klip, from cows that are pasture-fed, with no hormones or antibiotics.  There are no artificial colours. And the flavours are the real thing.
Every pint of vanilla ice cream includes a whole Madagascan vanilla bean, sprinkled through its creamy base. The lemon in Pete’s lemon frozen yogurt is lemon juice, but the lemon zest is added for a hint of complexity – a hallmark of Pete’s Super Natural. Vietnamese coffee is steeped in freshly-brewed coffee with a touch of chicory, because Peta’s flavours have more than one note.
Even the peanut brittle is made in Peta’s kitchen using a dry burn technique.
When necessary, Peta goes far afield for ingredients. There is Maldon Salt, for example, in the best salty caramel in South Africa.
But she uses local suppliers whenever possible. Most of her customers are chefs and the variety of flavours she produces for them includes lavender, with the real thing from an organic farm in the Karoo, and Lemon Frozen Yoghurt with blueberries, made with blueberries from the Cape. Cookies ‘n’ cream mixes in pieces of chocolate sandwich cookies from Joburg baker Heidi Dodd; the peppermints for Pink Peppermint are from the redoubtable Dicks Sweets; marshmallows for Mexican Hot Chocolate come from Moema’s in Parktown North.
She has created a range of croquant ice creams, with local nuts that are roasted, caramelized and mixed in.
What’s not in the ice creams is eggs. “For me,” she says, “eggs interfere with flavor. The casein and whey in the milk are an effective protein to inhibit ice crystallization, without the added richness of eggs.” Pete believes that from a taste standpoint, milk and cream together provide the cleanest, purest base for flavor.
Pete’s Super Natural is, for the most part, ice cream for grown-ups. There’s nothing cloyingly-sweet, and the ice cream comes in the colours of its ingredients, no test tube blues or reds, in fact nothing astronaut-friendly at all.
But discerning children love it too. Peanut brittle is perfect for small people, anything with chocolate or peppermint goes down well, and vanilla is always a winner.
The artisan movement has taken much of the world by storm, and with good reason: the quality is first-rate, ingredients are organic when possible, always natural, and great care is taken with the product.
And there’s plenty of room for experiment, research and creativity in artisanal operations.  Peta’s gift for research comes to the fore when customers ask for something specific, new and different. It can be halva with honey and toasted almonds, rose pomegranate Turkish delight, orange cardamom, or spicy bloody mary sorbet.
She scours the country for the best ingredients and tests different combinations until Peta, her team – and her customers – are satisfied with the results.
Like most artisanal kitchens, Pete’s is a small operation. The week’s production is usually sold out quickly and the team begins again, starting from scratch, the following week.
 
 
 
 

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