Now that it’s summer, events will be heading outdoors for some much needed fun in the sun. However, as the temperatures rise, your guests may be in search of some refreshing frozen treats to help keep them cool.
Don’t be fooled, however, “cool treats” are so much more than traditional ice cream cones.
Let’s start with the obvious: outdoor events are prime territory for frozen treats. Whether it’s popsicles, sorbet, or ice cream cones, these sweet treats can help beat the heat. However, frozen or chilled fruits can also offer a healthier alternative (think frozen grapes, watermelon, and paletas).
Cool treats aren’t solely reserved for sweets though, there are plenty of savory options that are perfect for a hot summer day. A great savory option for outdoor events is chilled soups, such as gazpachos. Chilled soups can also make great hors d’oeuvres by being served in shot glasses, martini glasses or in tasting spoons.
Alright, you have the food covered, so how do you help quench the thirst of your guests? Through frozen, refreshing cocktails of course! Margaritas, daquiris, Frappuccinos, slushies, shakes; there really isn’t a shortage of summertime beverages to keep things cool.
Frozen or chilled items can also offer opportunities for a bit of showmanship in the form of nitrogen-cooking, ice cream trucks or coolers, Thai-rolled ice cream, and blender action.
Try out these creative ideas for a truly chill summer event.
Keep your cool
As much fun as cool treats are for outdoor events, they also require forethought for safe serving.
One of the most important aspects of safe food service is to keep it out of the “danger zone.” This refers to the temperature range in which bacteria growth occurs most rapidly on food. According to ServSafe recommendations, food temperatures between 41- and 135-degrees F represent this danger zone. ServSafe states that four hours is the maximum length of time ready-to-eat foods can stay in the temperature danger zone.
Here are some thoughts on keeping food at that icy temperature that guests love:
- Ice is your best friend. Pack your frozen treats in ice to ensure they stay deliciously cold for the length of serve time.
- Pack items in coolers. Transport boxes and chillers (such as Cambro’s Cam GoBoxes and Camchiller) are designed to extend the holding time of your food without the mess of melting ice. These cold containers can keep food chilled for hours. Plastic or metal coolers recommended.
Bonus tip: When using a cooler, wrapping it in aluminum foil is often suggested. The aluminum foil acts as a barrier to the outside weather.
- If you have access to electricity, consider renting or investing in refrigeration equipment.
- Bring in a food truck or ice cream truck that already has the equipment in place to keep items cold.
- Sun is not your friend in this instance. During your site visit, observe where shade lands during the event, if any, and place your serving areas accordingly. If not, consider tenting or large umbrellas to keep food out of direct sunlight.
By having the essential equipment for keeping food cold, it ensures the food will have the maximum amount of safety and flavor.