Awan’s latest ice cream flavor is made with blue corn tortillas

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From left to right: Tehachapi Grain Project is growing Oaxacan green dent, Nothstine dent, painted mountain, and Oaxacan blue dent varieties of corn. Photo by Sherry Mandell.

Market correspondent Ben Mims meets up with Zen Ong of Awan at the Sunday Hollywood Farmers’ Market. Ong says he spent the last 15 years focusing on fine dining with hopes of opening an Indonesian restaurant. The pandemic forced him to reconsider those aspirations and the plant-based ice cream shop Awan was born. He says that he shys away from the term “vegan” because the dessert is much more than that. A complex science formula of emulsifying sugar, water, and fat, he says, “it’s a perfect canvas to add other ingredients.” Importing vanilla beans from Bali and coconut water from Indonesia, Ong is currently making a tortilla ice cream using heritage blue corn tortillas from Tehachapi Grain Project.

Zen Ong of Awan makes ice cream using blue corn tortillas from Tehachapi Grain Project. Photo by Zen Ong.