I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. It’s the summer time staple that seems to appeal to all ages, faces and races. For its simplicity, it also offers such complexity. Have you ever wondered what the difference is between ice-cream and gelato, or, sherbet and sorbet? For a foodie like me, this is one of life’s great questions, so I’ve got the scoop on ice-cream and various other cold confections that I have come to know and love.
Worldwide, there are many variations on this frozen food, each bearing their own distinction and name, the following however seem to be the most common:
Frozen Custard: a cold dessert similar to ice cream, made with eggs in addition to cream and sugar
Frozen Yogurt: a frozen dessert containing yogurt or other dairy products, that is slightly more tart than ice cream, as well as lower in fat
Gelato: is different from ice cream because it has a lower butterfat content and is produced using more air at the time of freezing. The sugar content in gelato is precisely balanced with the water content to act as an anti-freeze to prevent the gelato from freezing solid. Unlike its North-American counterpart, ice cream, high-quality artisan gelato holds its peak flavor and smooth texture only for several days.
Granita: is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings
Ice-Cream: is usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream, and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavours and most varieties contain sugar. In some cases, artificial flavourings and colourings are used in addition to (or in replacement of) the natural ingredients. This mixture is stirred slowly while cooling to prevent large ice crystals from forming and air is introduced at the time of freezing. The result is a smoothly textured and creamy ice cream. With its higher fat content, it can be stored in a freezer for months.
Ice Milk: is made with less than 10 percent milkfat and the same sweetener content as ice cream.
Ice-Pop/Posicle: frozen fruit puree, fruit juice, or flavoured sugar water on a stick or in a flexible plastic sleeve.
Maple taffy: a popular springtime treat in maple-growing areas. Maple syrup is boiled to a concentrated state and then poured over fresh snow (or shaved ice) congealing in a toffee-like mass, and then eaten from a wooden stick used to pick it up.
Semi-Freddo: is a class of semi-frozen desserts, typically ice-cream cakes, semi-frozen custards, and certain fruit tarts. It has the texture of frozen mousse because it is usually produced by uniting two equal parts of ice cream and whipped cream
Sherbet: an American term for a frozen dessert like sorbet, but containing a small amount of dairy
Snow cones: made from balls of crushed ice topped with sweet syrup served in a paper cone. They are consumed in many parts of the world, but some of the most common places to find snow cones are in North American amusement parks.
Soft-serve: is generally lower in milk-fat than ice cream. Soft serve contains air, introduced at the time of freezing which alters the appearance and taste of the finished product. When produced with low quantities of air, the cream has a heavy, icy taste and appears more yellow while products with higher air content (like soft serve and gelato) taste creamier, smoother and lighter and appear whiter.
Sorbet: is a frozen dessert made from sweetened water flavored with fruit (typically juice or puree), wine, and/or liqueur.
Whatever you call it, and wherever you enjoy it, ice cream is quite simply one of the most recognizable and popular frozen treats, that make the heart and taste buds smile. Buon Appetito!