The Tribune reports that an accidental explosion at a major nitrous oxide plant in Florida is behind the shortage
An explosion at a nitrous oxide plant halted Reddi-Wip production.
There are few things that are given when the holidays hit—you’re probably going to get a tree, you’re going to blow way more money than you want to on gifts, and you’re going to put whipped cream on everything. That’s just part of being festive.
But your holiday-induced whipped cream fetish might be in serious danger. According to the Chicago Tribune, the country is about to experience a shortage of canned whipped cream—nooo! It’s all due to a national shortage of nitrous oxide, the gas that makes aerosol cans of whipped cream work.
The Tribune reports that an accidental explosion at a major nitrous oxide plant in Florida is behind the shortage, and chains like Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf say they might have to start serving some drinks without whipped cream because of it. Some grocery stores are also posting signs about the shortage.
ConAgra, which makes Reddi-Wip whipped cream says it’s had to “stop all production” of the sweet stuff until it can get more supplies.
Before you panic, know this: You can make whipped cream at home, and it’s not that hard. Obviously, it’s different than picking up a can at the store, but desperate times call for desperate measures… .
Jenny McCoy, pastry chef instructor at The Institute of Culinary Education and author of several cookbooks including Modern Eclairs, says it’s actually easier than you think to make whipped cream. “It is easier than going to the grocery store, putting it in your cart, and checking out,” she says. “It’s incredibly easy, super-fast to make, and you can make it to your liking."
Here’s how: Add one teaspoon of powdered sugar to one cup of chilled heavy whipping cream. You can also add half a teaspoon vanilla extract for flavor. Whisk it with an electric mixer until you get stiff peaks (meaning, the whipped cream stands up straight when you lift up your whisk). That’s it—seriously.
McCoy says can get all fancy with it by adding in other flavors, like cinnamon, and if you want a sweeter variety, just add more sugar, but that’s the basic recipe. It doesn’t last as long as the store-bought variety—this is best when it’s used right away, although you can store it in the fridge for a few hours—but it definitely tastes better than the shelved stuff.
If you know you want to make your whipped cream now and eat it later, McCoy recommends whipping it until it's stiffer and storing it in the fridge. Then, when you’re ready to use it, whisk it up again for 30 seconds, and you’re good to go.
If you’re more of a canned whipped cream kind of person, you can still buy it in most stores now. Just stock up, because it’s not going to last.