There is a lot to love about ice cream. It just might be America’s favorite dessert. Turns out ice cream can also help deliver life lessons.
Earlier this year, a school teacher in Michigan invited a local ice cream shop owner to deliver a lesson in money and economics to some elementary school students. Dozens of youngsters were taught about supply and demand, goods and services and how certain things (like money) can sometimes be scarce in life.
They also learned about some of the things that go into running a small business. The ice cream shop was used as an example of such a business.
The students’ teacher had hoped to take the students to a local ice cream shop, but funding was not available. So, the business owner came to the students. She explained how terms like goods, service, producer and consumer related to the ice cream business. Students were then tested on their newfound knowledge to see what they had learned.
Among the things they learned was the difference between good and services. Goods, they learned, are things that can be touched, like an ice cream cone. Services, like a haircut, cannot be touched.
Ice cream and toppings were used as sweet treats and learning tools. The students were served vanilla ice cream. If they wanted to add toppings like whipped cream, chocolate syrup or sprinkles, they had to “pay” for the toppings by agreeing to read 20 minutes at home.
We love this example of how ice cream was used in the classroom, both as a treat and as a learning tool. We also appreciate the ice cream shop owner taking time to give back to the community. A favorite ice cream shop, locally owned and operated, can be a special place in a community. It’s a place where memories are created and delicious ice cream is enjoyed by family and friends.
It’s always fun to get ice cream. Yet some people just can’t decide on a flavor. Ever been in line for ice cream behind someone who just can’t make that all-important flavor decision? We get it. Sometimes it’s tough to choose.
Now the people who fly on one airline are being given the honor of making an important ice cream decision. Three new ice cream flavors have been created for first-class passengers on Virgin America. Here’s the thing: Only one of the new flavors will be served on flights.
The three ice creams are creations from Humphry Slocombe, a San Francisco-based ice cream shop. The three flavors are Butter By Moodlight (buttery with a blueberry glaze), Red Hot Banana (featuring real Red Hot Candies) and Coconut Blond Ambition (vanilla marshmallow Fluff with lemon sorbet). All three of the ice creams are hand-made.
The voting will be done on social media. Passengers and fans have until Friday, February 28th, to tweet their favorites. The flavor that prompts the most tweets will be delivered daily to the terminal in San Francisco and served in first class on flights to New York, Newark, Boston and Washington D.C. starting next month. Passengers who want ice cream, but don’t want anything too crazy, will still be able to order Tahitian Vanilla (which we assume tastes like vanilla).
It seems like ice cream is always evolving as new flavors are created. Perhaps this is no limit to the flavors that can be created with ice cream. It seems the culinary world will never stop trying.
Of course, there is no need to fly from California to New Jersey to try different and delicious flavors of ice cream. Here in Connecticut, you can sample creations like Beez Neez and Cookie Kaboom. In fact, there are so many great flavors, you may have trouble deciding. Just remember to think of the person behind you.
When it comes to ice cream, lots of people are traditionalists. Vanilla and chocolate always rank high when surveys are taken on America’s favorite ice cream flavors. Others like to try something newer and equally delicious like Cookie Kaboom or Beez Neez.
One of the many great things about ice cream is that because there are so many different flavors to try, you’ll never run out of reasons to keep eating ice cream.
It’s true that flavors have gotten more creative over the years. We’ve found places that add bacon to ice cream and you can find people that fully support the marriage of olive oil and ice cream.
But bone marrow ice cream?
That’s what is being served up by one ice cream maker in Portland, Oregon. The folks who run Salt & Straw, a small ice cream maker, are testing Bone Marrow and Bourbon Smoked Cherry ice cream. The ice cream is actually made with bone marrow, which features a lot of fat. This ice cream is made with 17% butterfat, which gives it a very thick, creamy base.
The shop is using a smoky bone marrow to go along with the bourbon-soaked cherries. The people at Salt & Straw say bone marrow is the base ingredient to many salty foods like soups and barbecue sauce, so why not ice cream? The makers say that smoky bone marrow combined with the bourbon-smoked Bing cherries is a “match made in heaven”.
This is homemade ice cream and that fact is reflected in the ingredients. The Salt & Straw recipe calls for two cups heavy cream, one cup whole milk and one pound of marrow bones. The marrow bones are dropped into boiling water, then removed and allowed to cool. The marrow is removed from the bones and rendered over low heat. The liquid marrow is eventually poured into the ice cream mixture.
The flavor remains in its testing stages. It could be available in store by summer.
Valentine’s Day is this week and that puts candy (and romance) on the minds of many people.
Why not ice cream?
We think ice cream is a great romantic edible treat. And we’re not the only ones. Our friends at the Daily Meal are passing along some flavor ideas that really work for Valentine’s Day. There are plenty of delicious flavors out there that can help set the mood for romance:
Crème Brulee: Yes, we know it’s an actual dessert but the folks at Haagen Dazs are also delivering this in ice cream scoop form. They are serving Crème Brulee-flavored ice cream by the pint. Crème Brulee is one of those great desserts that tops off a romantic dinner at a fine restaurant. If you are staying in this Valentine’s Day, this might be a sweet substitute. If you like an after-dinner drink, you might want try Haagen Dazs’s take on Bailey’s Irish Cream ice cream.
Red Velvet Cake: Red Velvet Cake seems to be everywhere these days, from cupcakes to pancakes. The ice cream version has got all the right colors for Valentine’s Day. This allows you to have cake (kind of) and ice cream on Valentine’s Day.
Chocolate Covered Berries: Chocolate is HUGE on Valentine’s Day. And there are lots of great marriages of chocolate and ice cream. Blue Bell makes this cherry-flavored ice cream with a chocolate swirl.
Chocolate Therapy: Ben & Jerry’s came up with this creation of chocolate ice cream with chocolate cookies and swirls of chocolate pudding ice cream.
If you want terrific ice cream made right here in Connecticut, head down to Praline’s to try some of these flavors that are sure to make hearts flutter:
Dulce De Leche: Caramel-flavored ice cream with a caramel ripple. Smooth and sweet.
Truthfully Cherry: Chocolate Thunder ice cream with a chocolate cherry ripple, cherry cordials, maraschino cherries and chocolate flakes. It’s like the ice-cream version of a dozen long-stemmed roses.
This must be an oxymoron right? Ice cream and healthy couldn’t possibly be in the same sentence. Well, there are actually several health benefits that come with eating the delicious dairy based dessert that is ice cream. If consumed in moderation, ice cream can be a great addition to a healthy diet. Here are five benefits that may make you want to start having a scoop of ice cream more often!
Benefit #1 – Great Source of Vitamins
Ice cream contains many vitamins that are essential for your body. In ice cream you’ll find vitamins A, B, B12, C, D, and E. It also contains vitamin K, which helps prevent blood clotting.
Benefit #2 – Energy
Ice cream contains carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, which are needed for energy creation.
Benefit #3 – Rich in Minerals
Ice cream contains minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. These minerals are important for building and maintaining stronger bones. So just like milk, ice cream does the body good!
Benefit #4 – Stimulates the Brain
Ice cream stimulates the thrombotonin, a hormone of happiness that helps reduce the levels of stress in your body. The milk in ice cream contains L-triptophane, which is a natural tranquilizer that helps relax your nervous system. This is why you are always smiling when eating ice cream!
Benefit #5 – Reducers Risk of Cancer
The calcium content found in ice cream can help reduce your risk of colon cancer. Aside from helping build strong bones, the calcium in ice cream also can help reduce the risk of cancer.
We don’t often think about ice cream and science as being tied together. However, researchers at the University of Wisconsin’s Food Science Department are studying the microstructure of ice cream. Their research may eventually lead to better ice cream.
The researchers are studying how changes in ice cream’s microstructure affect the way ice cream acts and tastes. An ice cream’s microstructure is made up of fat globules, air cells and ice crystals. Researchers compared the differences in melt rates in 20 commercial brands of ice cream. The researchers are also making and studying their own ice cream.
Researchers say by using the ice cream information they’ve gathered, they can tell an ice cream manufacturer how to decrease the ice cream’s fat content without altering the ice cream’s taste and texture.
One researcher says although ice cream has been around for more than 100 years, many people still don’t understand its complexities. He also says this is the first study to really examine different brands of commercial ice cream in this way.
The makeup of a particular kind of ice cream affects the ice cream’s nutrition, among other things. Creamier ice cream tends to have more fat globules. The microstructure of the ice cream with the fat globules can make an ice cream have a greasier texture.
The researchers will also look at things like what impacts the shelf life of an ice cream and why some ice cream is harder to scoop than others. It turns out the amount of air injected into the ice cream determines the difficulty of scooping.
There is a lot to digest with this research. If it leads to even better ice cream, who can argue that it was all worthwhile.
We all know there is some really terrific ice cream out there right now. And we don’t need to do any scientific research to prove it. The proof is in the quality and taste.
Can ice cream be nutritional?
Sure, especially if it’s served by one ice cream company in Ireland. Late last year, the company introduced FitFuel Nourish. It’s an ice cream fortified with additional protein. The ice cream is being used to encourage elderly patients in hospitals and elderly care homes to increase their daily protein intake. It’s a tasty way for healthcare professionals and dieticians to increase the amount of protein patients consume.
The protein-packed ice cream is made by Paganini, a company that was founded by a dairy farmer back in 1990. He created the company in order to distribute Italian-style ice cream.
The creator’s son helped develop the FitFuel ice cream. He also helped expand the ice cream by creating a low-fat version that is also fortified with additional protein. This version of the ice cream is marketed to sports and fitness-minded people. Seems the son is a competitive cyclist who had “taste-tested” a number of sports nutrition products. He believed there was a gap in the market for a real food alternative. He was looking for an alternative to all the protein bars and shakes. So he helped develop the protein-powered ice cream.
This culinary brainstorm is being recognized and rewarded. The father-son team won a food innovation award.
For now, this protein-fueled ice cream will remain out of the U.S. The company is exporting to Britain and the Middle East. Still, it does make us think about the future of ice cream and what someone will come up with next.
This is not to say that regular old ice cream does not have nutritional benefits. Ice cream contains calcium, which is essential for strong and healthy bones. Many ice creams also contain vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin B2 and vitamin B12.
Of course, nutrition is probably not on the minds of most people when they head down to their favorite ice cream shop. Like many things, ice cream is best in moderation. Still, who knows what culinary innovations await us.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to learn more about ice cream. If you are a big fan of the sweetest of sweet treats, you might find ice cream education to be interesting.
It turns out, one major university offers an actual course in ice cream.
This is no new course at Penn State University. The university has a famous creamery with a rich history. It’s the largest university creamery in the United States. The ice cream course is a short course offered under the University’s College of Agricultural Sciences. Penn State says each year about 120 students from all over the world attend the course. It’s a seven-day program offered every January. And this is not some new course designed to attract attention to the school creamery. This is the 119th year of the course. It’s also thought to be the first continuing education course in the U.S.
To be honest, many of the students are more than just ice cream lovers. They are people who work in the ice cream industry. In fact, the students are often people from ice cream juggernauts like Ben and Jerry’s, Baskin Robbins, Blue Bell Creamery, Borden, Breyers, Colombo, Haagen-Dazs, Friendly, Dairy Queen and Nestle.
The program is designed to help those professionals better understand the nuances of ice cream manufacturing. Yup, for many people the ice cream business is, well…a business. During this year’s course, students will attend more than 20 workshops. They will learn about ice cream technology in the areas of flavoring, refrigeration, hardening techniques and freezing. There will also be workshops on the manufacturing of frozen yogurt and novelty frozen desserts.
Of course, if you just want to enjoy ice cream, you don’t need to take a college course. Just head down to your local ice cream shop and dig in. You can leave the notebook at home.
We love to talk about ice cream history because we love to talk about ice cream. Any excuse to talk about ice cream is a good excuse.
Today, we’re thinking about ice cream cones. Why ice cream cones? Why not? There are so many different types of ice cream cones nowadays: The traditional wafer-style cone, the sugar cone, the waffle cone…the chocolate-covered waffle cone….mmm….chocolate-covered waffle cone. Sorry, almost got distracted there. Anyway, there are plenty of delicious options to choose from if you love to hold and eat your ice cream.
The search for the beginnings of the ice cream cone reminded us of our search for the origin of pie a la mode. In other words, who invented the ice cream cone? Well, there we’re in kind of a grey area.
Both paper and metal cones were apparently used in parts of Europe prior to the 19th century.
Edible cones can be traced back to cookbooks in 1825. Cones were described as being rolled from “little waffles”. Another reference to the ice cream cone is found in an English cookbook back in 1888. That description included a recipe for a cone made with almonds and “baked in the oven, not pressed between irons.” The edible ice cream cone made its American debut at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. Historians say there were over 50 ice cream cone stands at the Fair. It’s said that a Lebanese immigrant built one of the first ice cream cone machines in the U.S. It was a mold for pastry cups that were then filled with ice cream.
The earliest edible ice cream cones were rolled by hand, from hot and thin wafers. In 1912, an inventor in Portland, Oregon patented a machine for rolling ice cream cones.
No matter who invented what and when, one thing is not in dispute: Ice cream cones, when filled with great ice cream, are delicious.
As we get ready to say goodbye to 2013 and welcome in 2014, it’s time to look at what the future may hold in the world of ice cream. We are always about the ice cream here.
Let’s look at some trends that are on the rise in the ice cream business. It seems more and more, ice cream is growing up. We are seeing more adult-themed ice cream flavors.
When we say “adult-themed”, we do not mean anything X-rated. We’re talking more about the combination of adult beverages and ice cream.
You may be saying “How can ice cream freeze with the inclusion of alcohol?” One way to avoid that problem is, if you are planning to try and mix ice cream and alcohol, include gelatin, which will keep the alcohol from staying “too warm” to freeze. Again, this is only important if you are set on making sure the ice cream is for people 21 and older.
Here’s a breakdown for a recipe for White Russian ice cream:
½ cup milk
2 ½ cups heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1 packet of gelatin
¼ cold water
2/3 cup refrigerated vodka
2/3 cup refrigerated Kahlua
Here’s the way to bring that list of ingredients together for a grown-up dessert treat. Of course, there are other ways to enjoy ice cream flavors that were inspired by adult beverages. You just need to head to Praline’s. There you will find flavors like Rum Raisin, rum-flavored ice cream with rum-soaked raisins. Praline’s also has its own delicious version of White Russian ice cream. This version is made up of light coffee ice cream flavored with vodka and coffee liquor. You can also try seasonal flavors like Irish Cream. This ice cream is butter pecan-flavored ice cream blended with irish cream liquor.
These are just some examples of how grown-up flavors can bring out the kids in all of us when it comes to ice cream. Happy New Year!