Keeping Cool and Changing the World

1982 de Glacée and Justice Ice Cream

2020 / July

Chen Chun-fang /photos courtesy of Jimmy Lin /tr. by Geof Aberhart

Despite each coming to the ice cream industry independently, both 1982 de glacée’s Miky Wu and Justice Ice Cream’s Onion Li have landed on the same approach: using environmentally friendly ingredients free of chemical additives. Infused with idealism and hopes for society, ice cream can also be a medium for positive thoughts and for focusing public attention on food safety.

Ice cream is not just a sweet treat that can comfort the soul; it can also be a medium for communicating ideas! 1982 de glacée founder Miky Wu chose ice cream as her medium for practicing environmental sustainability.

A sweet connection

The old house in Tainan's West Central District that is now home to 1982 de glacée was originally an ice-making plant owned by Miky Wu’s grandfather. Helping make ice and playing around in the plant became an indelible part of Wu’s childhood experience, but her parents didn’t want to take on the business, instead choosing to close it down several decades ago. Wu decided to go into accountancy, but while she enjoyed it, she always wanted to work on environmental issues, and so she set off back to her home town and her grandfather’s former plant, to make it a base for experiments in sustainability.

Wu had clear reasons for settling on ice cream as her subject: “The quickest route to a sustainable environment is through agriculture. It takes five to ten years to switch to organic farming, but it takes at least 30 to reclaim arable land from having been concreted over.” On top of this, food is the bridge that connects agriculture and people. What consumers want in ice cream flavors is variety, says Wu. “I can take any food, whether it’s from the seaside or the mountains, and make it into ice cream, as long as it gives me a chance to talk more about environ­mental issues.”

It was this spirit that led to her launching a “jacana water caltrop” flavor. Guan­tian, in Tainan, once saw large numbers of pheasant-­tailed jacanas die from ingesting pesticides, and so the local farmers switched to producing water caltrops in environ­ment­ally friendly ways, giving the jacanas a safer place to live. Touched by their action, Wu was inspired to make a water-caltrop ice cream. It took her a year to succeed, but ultimately she developed an ice cream flavor combining water caltrop with a hint of caramel.

To add or not to add

1982 de glacée uses only environmentally friendly ingredients that do not harm rainforests, and unlike commercial brands, which use emulsifiers and thickeners, Wu’s company uses milk, eggs, sugar, and no chemical additives. “My grandfather was making additive-­free gelato back in the 1960s,” she says. Wu recalls her grandfather’s small plant serving as both a retail outlet and a wholesale one, demonstrating that ice cream without additives can also be mass-produced.

Each ingredient has its own different levels of water, sugar, and fat, and even fruit produced on the same plot of land by the same farmer can taste different from year to year because of climatic factors. As a result, the production process requires constant adjustments to come out with delicious, natural, and healthy ice cream. However, as the food industry has grown, ice cream has become standardized, and now as long as you buy an ice cream powder with additives like emulsifiers and thickeners, anyone can make delicious ice cream.

Nowadays ice cream containing additives is considered normal by the public, to the extent that many even mistakenly believe added emulsifiers are necessary for making it, when in reality eggs and milk contain their own natural emulsifying agents. In 2013, a food scandal involving modified starch hit the headlines in Taiwan, with unscrupulous manufacturers adding industrial adhesives to chemical starch and using it to produce tapioca balls, fish balls, and more. Later, agar powder was adulterated with industrial preservatives, with the resulting powder being used in puddings and ice creams. The seemingly endless stream of food safety issues angered Onion Li, who was working at the time as a highly paid project manager. He decided to leave his job and return to Hualien, where he founded Justice Ice Cream and began selling additive-free ice cream, trying to use his small helping of strength to fight back against the domin­ance of additive-­filled commercial ice cream.

Taste takes teaching

Justice Ice Cream’s products are divided into four categories by price and rarity of ingredients: premium, top, select, and classic. For example, their “Milk Wine” flavor requires first brewing some coffee, then adding cocoa and whiskey to create a liqueur which is made into ice cream. Their using this complicated process rather than just flavoring it with commercial liqueur is what places this variety in the premium range. Meanwhile, more common flavorings like peanut, taro, and passionfruit come under the “classic” umbrella. While the cheapest of the classics might be just NT$50, some people still find that a bit pricey, says Onion Li. “This is about 50% more than similarly flavored commercial brands, but the ingredi­ents cost five or ten times as much as those the commercial brands use.”

The difference lies in the concentrated flavorings that commercial brands use. For example, commercial pineapple ice cream can be made by adding just a few drops of concentrate and no actual pineapple, whereas Li’s ice cream uses as much as 300‡500 grams of pineapple per kilogram of ice cream.

Li says that such flavorings have slowly pervaded the whole industry, making it difficult for businesses using authentic ingredients to get by and forcing them to get on the bandwagon. When concentrated flavorings replace the products of farmers’ hard work, farmland falls into disuse and is ultimately snapped up by developers. As people have become accustomed to artificial flavorings and flavor enhancers over time, they have gradually become numb to nat­ural flavors. The cumulative impact of these drips and drops is something the public has never ­really contemplated.

To address this, Li travels around holding “taste education” sessions, explaining the potential impacts of artificial additives on human health. For example, overseas research has found that some additives have a positive correlation with hyperactivity, allergies, and even gastrointestinal cancer. “Natural flavors have layers to them,” says Li. He has children try ice cream made with real fruit, teaching them to appreciate the subtleties: “At first there’s a sourness, followed by sweetness. Then there’s a milky flavor, and after you swallow, a fruity flavor lingers in the nasal cavity.” This kind of aftertaste, he says, is key to distinguishing natural foods. While artificially flavored ice cream may taste fruity while you eat it, once you swallow, there’s nothing following it. Planting the seeds of educated tastes, Li believes, will mean that “one day, we’ll be able to buy truly safe foods all over Taiwan.”

Telling more tales

Miky Wu founded 1982 de glacée in 2011. Since then, she has worked on developing truly Taiwanese flavors, through which more people can learn about Taiwanese produce. For example, her “Ruby Black Tea” flavor uses the distinctively Taiwanese Taiwan Tea No. 18, while “Rice Wine Jujube” uses dried jujubes in place of raisins, and rice wine and its brewing mash in place of rum, to create a uniquely Taiwanese take on rum and raisin. These two flavors have both been awarded Three Stars in the A.A. Taste Awards, held by the international Anti Additive Association, helping Taiwanese tastes find a place on the global stage.

After many years of exploration and observation, Wu has come up with what she calls the “cornfield theory”: “Just supporting organic farmers isn’t enough—we also need to encourage reduced pesticide use in neighboring fields if we are to improve the overall environment.” To this end, she has plans to launch another brand, PariPari, which will use not only environmentally friendly produce, but also traceable agricultural products. The brand is named for a Taiwanese-language term meaning “fashionable,” and with flavors all taking Taiwanese-­language names, Wu hopes to use this new brand to tell even more tales of Taiwanese culture.

Despite being burdened with debt, Onion Li insists on staying open during winter. While this might eat through his summertime profits, it helps his staff enjoy a stable income. This determination speaks to Li’s founding mission for Justice Ice Cream: to be a just and upright man who makes ice cream in a just and upright way. He hopes to build a brand that can benefit small farms, the business owners, staff, and customers.

When they talk about ice cream, these dedicated special­ists’ eyes twinkle. They have invested their ideals into every scoop, full of the real deal in terms of both ingredients and commitment.                        

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文・陳群芳 写真・林格立 翻訳・山口 雪菜


アイスクリームが理念の媒介にもなる。「1982法式氷淇淋(1982 de glacée)」を創設した呉書瑀は、アイスクリームを通してサステナビリティを実践しようとしている。









そのため、添加物が入ったアイスは正常なもので、乳化剤などを加えなければアイスクリームはできないと考える消費者もいる。しかし、卵や牛乳の成分は天然の乳化剤である。2003年、台湾では「毒澱粉事件」が発生した。あるメーカーが工業用増粘剤である「無水マレイン酸」を澱粉に添加し、それを使ったタピオカや魚肉団子などが市場に出回った。その後も工業用防腐剤を加えた寒天粉がプリンやアイスクリームに用いられるという騒動があった。食の安全をおびやかすこうした行為に、「正当氷(Justice Ice Cream)」を創設した李孟龍は激怒した。そこで年収100万元のプロジェクトマネージャーの仕事を辞めて花蓮に帰り、無添加のアイスを作って、一人の力で添加物まみれのアイス市場に対抗しようと考えた。









呉書瑀は2011年に1982法式氷淇淋を開業して以来、台湾らしい風味のアイスを作り、人々に台湾の作物に触れてもらってきた。例えば「南投紅玉紅茶」には台湾の紅茶品種・台茶18号を使い、「東方ラムレーズン」は干しブドウの代わりにナツメ、ラム酒の代わりに清酒と酒糟を使っている。この二つはA.A. TASTE AWARDSで三ツ星に輝き、台湾の味を世界に知らしめた。






文‧陳群芳 圖‧林格立






















吳書瑀自2011年創立1982法式冰淇淋,她開發各種富有台灣特色的口味,透過冰淇淋讓更多人認識台灣的作物。例如「南投紅玉紅茶」用的是台灣特色茶種台茶18號;「東方萊姆葡萄」則以紅棗替代葡萄乾,米釀的清酒和酒粕代替萊姆酒,做出屬於台灣的味道。這兩支口味還獲得國際無添加發展促進會舉辦的全球純粹風味評鑑(A.A. Taste Awards)的三星獎,讓台灣的好味道登上世界舞台。




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