Sub Zero Ice Cream & Yogurt
607 E. Main St., Ventura

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you noticed the record-breaking temperatures in Ventura last week. Thankfully, Sub Zero Ice Cream and Yogurt is here to save the day from the extraordinary seasonal heat.

Owner Russ Charvonia says that he jumped at the opportunity to open the franchise, thanks in part to his interest in the “customized food” movement; and at Sub Zero, customization is front and center. Well, that and the gigantic tankard of liquid nitrogen.

It works like this: Choose an ice cream base, ranging from traditional milk, yogurt and custard to nondairy bases such as cashew, almond and coconut milk; and then pick among dozens of mix-ins from fresh fruit to candy pieces. If you’re unsure, Sub Zero’s “Sensations” feature combinations such as the Mass Mocha Madness with mocha syrup, almonds, chocolate and crunchy Heath candy bar pieces.

Once your decision has been made, the “delicious science,” as Charvonia calls it, happens. All of the ingredients are placed into a stainless steel bowl, stirred and then placed into what looks like the basin in Dr. Frankenstein’s kitchen. When a pedal is pushed on the floor, liquid nitrogen is dripped into the bowl from the top while warm water circulates on the bottom, all the while the employee stirring vigorously. Like magic, ice cream is made.

My first sampling of Sub Zero’s unique concoctions was the Mass Mocha Madness with the cashew milk base, previously sitting in liquid form just moments prior. It took all of 30 seconds to transform into the consistency of ice cream and about five minutes for me to consume it. It was exactly as Charvonia described: delicious science, custom-made and good-to-go on a hot afternoon.