Julianne Goodman tells how a Passion Project grant is helping her develop her own ice cream menu — and why Wharton tastes like spicy espresso chocolate.

Some of Julianne Goodman’s earliest memories are of making homemade ice cream with her dad. They began by scouring farmers’ markets for fresh fruit. Once they were satisfied with their selections, they transformed the fruit into custard, placed the custard into their Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker and froze the processed custard overnight. Then came Julianne’s favorite part, the taste test.

“Oh, it’s so good! Very creamy and rich, just super refreshing,” Julianne recalled with a smile. “[My favorite flavor] was a special mint with Sno-Caps.”

Since childhood, Julianne’s love of homemade ice cream has only intensified. Now, through a $300 grant from the Wharton Passion Projects Program, Julianne (who is earning a finance BS in Economics from Wharton and an economics BA from the College) is developing a tasting menu of homemade ice cream flavors based on seasonal products and local Philadelphia-grown ingredients.

Ice cream ingredients

Wharton Passion Projects Program

Passion Projects is hosted by Wharton Wellness and the Wharton Dean’s Undergraduate Advisory Board. The goal of the program is to promote wellness and mental health within the Wharton community by encouraging students to pursue nonacademic passions. Passion Projects is entering its fourth year of nurturing students who exemplify the values of commitment, passion, and purpose.

Wharton freshman and member of Passion Projects committee Nick Amore said Julianne’s project felt “very genuine…She [is] someone with a very strong character. We thought that she’d be extremely motivated and ultimately do a really awesome job on the project, while also helping other students in the community.”

Throughout the semester, Julianne will be sampling ingredients, hosting tasting parties and honing her homemade ice cream to perfection. Her project will culminate in a final symposium in the spring where this year’s Passion Projects Fellows will present their projects to friends, family and peers in the Huntsman Hall Forum.

Julianne tasting a finished batch
Julianne tasting a finished batch

Developing a Tasting Menu of Homemade Ice Cream

Compared to store bought ice cream, homemade ice cream can be richer, creamier, and more flavorful, with fewer calories and more room for personalization. Julianne delineates between traditional ice cream flavors (chocolate, peanut butter, and caramel) and more experimental ones, noting the current trend is disrupting existing flavors. In the past couple years, ice cream flavors like lavender, dark-chocolate olive-oil, and pineapple-chocolate-basil have become increasingly popular. Reflecting this contemporary shift, Julianne plans to create a balance of unexpected ice cream flavors and much-loved classics for her tasting menu.

Making homemade ice cream is a creative and collaborative process for Julianne. She brainstorms ideas for different flavors, turning to Philadelphia farmers’ markets as a source of inspiration. She also collects ideas for ice cream flavors from her friends, online recipes, childhood memories, Dominique Ansel Kitchen and even job recruiters.

“I’ve talked to so many different interviewers about ice cream and their favorite ice cream shops,” Julianne laughs. “They know me as The Ice Cream Girl.”

Julianne, who plans to pursue a post-Wharton career in investment banking, does not envision becoming a professional ice cream maker, nor does she intend to sell her ice cream in the immediate future. But when she retires, Julianne hopes to open her own ice cream store. She loves seeing how different ice cream flavors come together and views ice cream making as a wonderful way to connect with friends. Homemade ice cream is the centerpiece of her childhood memories and now, some of her Penn ones.

According to Julianne, the Passion Projects Program is a reminder that Wharton students have passions outside of finance, accounting, and consulting. “It humanizes people,” she said. “There’s so much more to me than what you might see on my resume or what you might see when you see me walking the halls of Huntsman.”

When asked to describe Wharton as an ice cream flavor, Julianne said it would be a Spicy Espresso Chocolate — bold and intense with an “extra little kick.”

—Caroline Harris

Ice cream tasting
Ice cream tasting in Julianne’s apartment

Posted: February 19, 2018

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