Unimaginable for customers of bars, restaurants, guinguettes… to do without ice cubes with these repeated heat waves. Also professionals bend over backwards to meet their demand.
What could be better, with these heat, than a very cold drink with ice cubes clashing in the glass? To best meet this need for frosty dehydration, most cafes and restaurants have their own ice maker. Most often it looks like a hidden cupboard in the bar. Just open it to stock up on Frosted Cube. “The machine is directly supplied with water and produces ice cubes as needed,” explains this employee of the Pyrénée restaurant, located close to Fnac, in Toulouse. “Paradoxically, this machine works less in summer than in winter because it’s a slow period for us,” he slips.
This is not the case of the bar LesAméricains, located a stone’s throw away. Fortunately they are equipped with an ice machine, because at the moment, they consume a lot of it. “With all the lemonade, soda, etc., at the rate of two or three ice cubes per glass in summer, things go quickly”, recognizes Frédéric, room manager. The property even has a small backup machine, just in case…
“We use a good ton of ice per day”
No cocktails without ice, but also no fish without ice. Christophe Leveau manages the lodge “La tide toulousaine” at the Victor-Hugo market in Toulouse. For him, ice cream “is downright white gold”. Every day, he “consumes a good ton of it in the form of flakes” to garnish the stalls where sole, mackerel, prawns, salmon are displayed…
For this, he has two machines that produce it, “one upstairs, the other in the basement of the market. They are programmed to make up to three tons of ice daily from water and salt to harden it. This also allows it to melt more slowly”, specifies Christophe Leveau.
These two machines are located behind white airtight doors, where they produce ice continuously. Moreover, when you open the door, you can hear the crackling of the falling films of ice. “We have – here a frozen cylinder in which the salt water enters, explains the manager of the Toulouse Tide. The water solidifies directly then it is cut by a knife before piling up in flakes. All that’s left to do is take it out with a shovel to stuff the polystyrene boxes.
The successive heat waves of this summer have increased the needs, the ambient air being warmer, the ice melts more quickly, it must therefore be renewed often to keep the fish cool. “Our consumption has been multiplied by at least two, even three”, recognizes the manager of the Toulouse Tide.
Once the ice has returned to liquid form, it is unfortunately not reusable “because of the smell of fish”.
For its part, the Museau-Musette guinguette, located on the banks of the Canal du Midi, a stone’s throw from the Matabiau station, explains that it anticipated the problem linked to the production of ice cubes “by equipping itself with machines. We have two, one for ice cubes, the other for crushed ice,” explains Xavier Wasser, the co-manager. These two machines are very useful “because we can serve up to 250 covers and they produce 210 kg of ice cream every 24 hours. We easily consume 100 kg of ice cubes and 100 kg of crushed ice per day”, continues the co-manager. “A mojito without crushed ice doesn’t have to be. Today, a customer who pays his Coke €3.70 agrees that there are ice cubes,” admits the owner of the guinguette. For him too, ice cream is sacred in summer. Sébastien Authier, head of the Catering Brigade, in Fenouillet, calls on the Toulouse Glaçon, which supplies him with crushed ice. “With the heat waves, we are led to order more but I have never had a problem”. This summer, he plans to consume 2.5 tons of ice cream per month, “over a full season, I need between 10 and 12 tons”. Beyond the blow, Sébastien Authier pays attention “to the ecological side, to avoid having too much loss. This is why, at the end of the ceremony, the melted water often ends up in the planters.