Ice Cream The Globally-Loved Treat

Custom ice cream cups

There’s just something about ice cream that has never and will never lose its appeal. According to NPD Group, in any given two-week period, 40% of Americans will eat ice cream. Although ice cream is traditionally associated with hot summer days, the fact is that we tend to eat ice cream all year round. At a birthday party in October, you’ll still break out the ice cream. It doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas Eve and freezing outside — ice cream will still seem like an appropriate choice. As such, it’s no wonder why so many grocery stores keep their freezers well-supplied with ice cream. But there’s more to ice cream than just sugar and a well-blended mix of flavors. Ice cream has grown and expanded throughout the world to include a number of different flavors and forms — it’s probably one of the most universal desserts out there! Let’s look into the world of ice cream, what it covers.

Ice Cream International: The Wonderful World of Cold Desserts

Ice cream has a long history, and it didn’t start in America — although today, it’s estimated that 90% of Americans indulge in some kind of frozen treat. Perhaps the oldest form of ice cream began in China, in the year 200 B.C. Some form of early ice cream was also eaten in ancient Rome and throughout ancient Asia. Early mentions of what we recognize now as ice cream are included in reference to Catherine de Medici. The famous Italian woman brought the treat over to France when she married its king. Today, there are many different forms of desserts that may not be called ice cream directly, but definitely fall into the ice cream “family”. One of the most famous is gelato in Italy. Gelato cups can be found today not only in Italy but America. But good, authentic gelato cups don’t include a treat that tastes exactly like American ice cream. Gelato cups and spoons have become iconic reminders of the Italian sweet life, and the consistency is certainly different than American ice cream for a reason. While ice cream contains 50% air after the churning process, gelato contains only 30% air and between three and eight percent milkfat. As a result, what you’ll taste in gelato cups has a richer flavor than ice cream. Sorbet is another case of “similar but different”. It contains no dairy, being a fruit puree; it may look like ice cream, but it’s far from it. Frozen yogurt, by contrast, has become very similar but is made with yogurt rather than milk or cream, resulting in a tarter flavor and lower fat content. In Asia, many ice cream-like dishes are made with shaved ice and dairy products, mixing in red beans or fruit as well. Frozen custard can be found throughout the States but is fairly rare, containing at least 10% milkfat, 1.4% egg yolk, and much less air. As you can see, there are plenty of different ways to define “ice cream”. It certainly bridges the cultural divide!

What Are The Most Popular Types Of Ice Cream?

As seen above, there are too many types of ice cream out there for one to win out globally. But in America, the most popular flavors of ice cream are fairly simple. According to a survey given to the International Ice Cream Association Member Companies, the most popular flavor remains vanilla, winning with 28% of the vote. That just goes to show that some times a classic, familiar flavor wins out. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for the wacky and wild when it comes to ice cream flavors. Each day, experts are thinking of different flavors of ice cream. Different flavors have included things like green tea and maple and bacon. Some ice cream is modeled after popular candies. But one thing is for sure — no matter how different or out there ice cream gets, it will always be a fixture in our culture. We just can’t get enough!

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