Archive for the ‘Dessert Recipes’ Category

Why Ice Cream Is Important

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Fewer food products have had such a wide range of appeal, and such a longstanding appeal, as ice cream. The popularity of ice cream has withstood the test of time, being a greatly-loved treat from generation to generation. The enjoyment of ice cream knows no barriers of age, class, gender, or any of the other factors which often divide and separate people. Ice cream is truly a universal delight almost everyone loves it!

Ice cream itself is not specifically designated as one of the Four Basic Food Groups. While some people, albeit humorously, believe that it should be, ice cream merely takes its place amongst the Dairy Group. The result is that it can then get lost amidst the more basic dairy products, such as plain milk and plain cheese, while there is nothing at all plain about ice cream!

Humor aside, ice cream’s place in the food groups is very important, for standard ice cream and its many variations is a very healthy food. Although there are a number of factors to consider in selecting and consuming ice cream, categorizing it along with the other food products in the Dairy Group is wise, for even just the factor of its high calcium content makes ice cream a product which is beneficial to most people’s everyday diets.

Ice cream also has a “community” aspect on a number of different levels. On one of the most personal and memorable ends of the scale, ice cream is a favorite addition to a family dinner. For the many whose meals are not complete without a dessert, family members will certainly state that ice cream is at or at least near the top of their list of favorites.

On the other end of the scale are the larger, community events which include ice cream. Some, for that matter, such as the ice cream socials which are popular in parts of the United States, place the sharing of ice cream as the main focus. Sharing ice cream and interacting with friends and neighbors thus becomes synonymous.

For children and adults alike, ice cream can be a special treat. Whether ice cream is a standard part of everyday life or not, it can also be more meaningful and memorable. Ice cream can be a major part of a party, it can be a reward to yourself or your child for a job or task done well, and in the excessive heat of summer weather it can be a delightful and refreshing way to cool off. There is something that is not exactly describable in terms other than “very good” about being able to walk into your favorite ice cream shop on a hot summer day and treat yourself to a double-scoop ice cream cone.

Many people also choose ice cream as a favorite “comfort food.” Ice cream is a great way to boost one’s mood when life is at less than its best. Whether one’s preference is to dig into a half-gallon container from one’s freezer, or to go to a local ice cream shop and order something “with everything on it,” there is no comparison to the mood-elevating effects of ice cream.

Ice cream is also one of the basics for simple relaxation. After a long, hard day at work, it is a very positive thing indeed to be able to enjoy a bowl of your favorite ice cream while relaxing in your own home in front of the television set or while reading a good book.

In all of these situations and others, ice cream adds to the enjoyment of everyday situations, and makes what would otherwise be ordinary, to be even better!

Who Loves Ice Cream?

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

It is a safe bet to say that most Americans love ice cream! It has been a standard part of most people’s diets for many generations. But if you ask a dozen different people what they like the most, you will probably receive a dozen different answers. It seems that each person has his or her own preferences; and with ice cream, they are usually very strong preferences. Each person simply knows what he or she likes the most. Surprisingly– or not– there are a number of factors which influence this type of preference, determining why some people prefer specific ice creams over others. While a person may occasionally try something new and different, he or she will usually have one flavor and one form that he or she likes the best.

Studies have shown that the main deciding factor in this preference is set in childhood. Ice cream, a standard treat for most American children throughout the decades, is often associated with good, happy, carefree moments of childhood. Sometimes this factor includes specific events in one’s childhood, or simply the time-period itself.

Associating one’s ice cream choices in adult life to early childhood is not as odd as it may sound. Ice cream preferences may be connected to childhood experiences, such as the favored dessert at one’s family dinners, the main focus at birthday parties, or a treat given as a reward for special accomplishments. Statistics show that if you were given a vanilla ice cream cone after attaining a good report card, for example, decades later you will still have a distinct preference for vanilla ice cream.

In ice cream preferences, there are a number of other factors which influence preference. Some are so common that the clerks who work in ice cream shops can often make very accurate guesses as to what a customer will want before he or she orders, simply based on these factors. Young children, for example, are those who are most likely to request the most creative types of ice cream. Youngsters are naturally drawn to such tasty oddities as gummy bears, and it presents a double treat for them when such things are added into or mixed into their ice cream.

On the other hand, high schoolers have a distinct preference for milkshakes. Teenagers loved milkshakes fifty years ago, and teenagers today love them just as much. Whether it is the still-popular oldfashioned form of a malted, or the ever-increasing flavor and style varieties of Dairy Queen Blizzards, teens love these products which are sold in large cups, portable and delicious.

Not surprisingly, it is the trendy young adults who usually prefer the trendy ice creams. Being drawn to the unusual names which ice cream manufacturers give these products, and the unusual compositions of these ice creams which may or may not live up to their names, young adults go for what is new, modern, and different.

Although each person is individual, of course, studies have shown generalizations in the ice cream preferences of people by group. Women have been shown to be more in-tune with the weight aspect of the foods they consume, and make up the majority of those who most often choose the low-fat and light styles of ice cream. Women are also shown to be more cautious in their food choices, preferring standard, basic, and what is most familiar.

On the other hand, it is usually the men who are most inclined to “throw caution to the wind” in their choices of desserts and treats, choosing their ice cream mostly on the basis of taste and enjoyment. But whether male or female, the older people are the more likely they are inclined toward butter pecan and pistachio.

Where To Find Your Ice Cream

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Whether you have current preferences or are seeking new ice cream products to try, there are many places where you can find ice cream. Some of these places focus mainly on the basics, while others cater to specific tastes.

If your preferences tend toward the basic, you can find a wide range of ice cream products in your local grocery store. While the ice creams you will find there can be considered uncomplicated, that does not mean you will not have an extensive variety from which to choose. In most larger grocery chains you can find a huge selection of ice cream in various sized containers, including not only a large variety of flavors but also offering a variety of fat content, sugar content, and calcium-fortified styles. Most of these stores carry the most basic brands from their own stores to the nationally-popular brands. You can also find ice cream novelties, ranging from ice cream bars to ice cream sandwiches to small ice cream cups which come with their own spoons.

Ice cream specialty shops are another possibility. In some locations these are in the form of old-fashioned family-owned ice cream parlors, and some locations still have similar shops as part of their drugstores and department stores. More widespread in the United States these days are the ice cream chain stores. Dairy Queen, Baskin-Robbins 31-Flavors, and Carvel are three of the most popular. Offering a nice selection of flavors in ice cream cones, these chain stores also sell ice cream novelties, ice cream pies, and custom-made ice cream cakes decorated for special occasions. Dairy Queen’s specialty is soft-serve; Baskin-Robbins sells the standard hard-scoop style of ice cream. If you love ice cream, and you love good ice cream, every trip to one of these ice cream shops will leave you satisfied and happy.

When you think of Starbucks, you might naturally think of coffee. But Starbucks also sells its own brand of ice cream. Starbucks Seventh Heaven ice cream now comes in five regular flavors– Java Chip, Mud Pie, Coffee Almond Fudge, Caramel Cappuchino Swirl, and, of course, Classic Coffee ice cream; as well as the no sugar added Coffee Fudge Brownie and Low Fat Latte. The next time you visit your local Starbucks for a cup of coffee, try one of their new Starbucks ice cream flavors.

If you have a distinct preference in which ice cream you want but cannot find it in your local grocery store or hometown ice cream shops, some of the most well-known ice cream manufacturers will assist you in ordering your ice cream directly from their companies. You can have your ice cream favorites delivered directly to your home! One of the most popular ice cream companies, Ben and Jerry’s, will ship an order of six pints of your favorite Ben and Jerry’s ice creams, currently priced at $54.95, which includes the cost of shipping.

Moxley’s Ice Cream, of Baltimore, Maryland, is another company which will supply your ice cream by mail order. Moxley’s, which only has its stores on the East Coast, is available to ice cream fans regardless of location by way of mail order. You can choose any of their thirteen basic flavors, and they will ship the pints of ice cream to you. Pierre’s Ice Cream, based in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Ice Cream of America company, which is located in Hickory, North Carolina, also offer mail ordering and delivery of their ice cream products.

The Best-Kept Secrets About Ice Cream

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Fans of ice cream will be pleasantly surprised to learn that two of the most common myths about this product are not based in fact. First, ice cream is not a high-calorie diet disaster; and second, ice cream is actually better for you than its substitutes. It is a good idea to dispel these popular misconceptions, for you can not only enjoy ice cream, you can also appreciate knowing that it is good for you.

Many people believe that ice cream is high in calories, and therefore believe that it is a treat which should be avoided. While calorie content varies, depending on which particular brand and style you prefer, the brands and styles you can find in your local grocery store are considerably lower in calories than one might think. It is not necessary to sacrifice taste and enjoyment, for the regular varies of ice cream do not contain a caloric count that is significantly higher than the “light” or “diet” types.

For example, Breyer’s, which is one of the most popular brands of ice cream, has only 140 calories per serving in their all-natural vanilla flavor. While one might be skeptical about additional tasty morsels in ice cream, Breyer’s natural rocky road only has 160 calories per serving. And while the Blue Bunny brand entices you to its product with wonderful enhancers, even their Bunny Tracks delight, which is said to be “chunky and gooey” will not sabotage your wish to eat healthy treats, at 170 calories in each serving.

For those who prefer their ice cream to be portable, many of these treats are also well within the range for calorie-counters. An Edy’s ice cream sandwich, for example, contains only 150 calories; and there are only 180 in each Blue Bunny neapolitan ice cream sandwich.

Ice creams which are listed as light or diet do not generally have a lower enough calorie content to make it a factor. Most serious ice cream fans will be happy to know that they do not need to sacrifice flavor, taste, and the better consistency of their favorite product for the sake of lower calories. Schwan’s light vanilla, for example, contains 120 calories per half-cup serving, while their regular vanilla is only 140; Perry’s light vanilla has 110 calories, but their premium White Lightning has only 170 calories.

In addition to concern about calories, many people who love ice cream also believe it to be unhealthy in general, and opt for less enjoyable substitutes. While those who have been advised by their physicians to limit their intake of fats and sugars due to medical conditions, should follow their doctors’ advice, people who are in good health and do not have such limitations can note that ice cream substitutes are not generally more healthy than traditional ice creams.

The most well-known ice cream substitute is called ice milk. While many believe that this product is significantly more healthy than traditional ice cream, the only differentiating factor is that ice milk contains less than ten percent milk fat, whereas ice cream is required to contain at least ten percent, and many of the better brands range up to sixteen percent milk fat. Gelato, the Italian style of ice cream which is increasing in popularity in many areas, also does not have a much lower fat content– up to seven percent, as opposed to regular ice cream’s required ten percent. Other than ice cream products which are specially made fat-free or sugar-free for those who have medical conditions which necessitate this, the ingredients in regular ice cream and the process by which it is made make it not only a good choice for one’s enjoyment, but also a healthy one.

The Future of Ice Cream

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Ice cream, America’s favorite treat, has been around for a very long time. It is believed that some form of ice cream dates back to 200 B.C. Folk lore has it that in the 1st Century, Roman Emperor Nero ordered his slaves to bring ice from the mountains to make his iced mixture with fruit topping. Since ice cream has evolved in one form or another for over more than 2000 years, what is in the future of the ice cream business?

An innovative product called “Dippin’ Dots” has already made pioneering advances in the freezing techniques of ice cream that may pave the way to a whole new ice cream of the future.

Curt Jones, a microbiologist and Founder and Chairman of Dippin’ Dots began using cryogenic encapsulation which uses extremely cold temperatures to freeze tiny beads of ice cream, yogurt and ice crystals. The quick deep freeze preserves the freshness of the flavor of the ice cream ingredients. The ingredients are fresh dairy products and fruity and exotic flavorings. Liquid nitrogen flash freezes the ingredients almost instantly. This cryogenic flash freezing process may put an end to the use of the huge ice cream hardening tunnels.

Another ice cream of the future may actually be semi-sold in form and will be kept in the refrigerator rather than the freezer. Since ice cream will be able to be kept in the refrigerator, then packaging will likely change.
Vending of frozen snacks and soft-serve premium and low-fat ice cream is a trend for the future. The vending machines will provide consumers healthy products in the workplace, public places and in schools. These pre-packaged single serving products are convenient and are already portioned for counting fat grams and calories.

It stands to reason that with the increased concern over the nations’ growing waistlines, the science of ice cream will constantly be involved in working to find a healthier ice cream that suits America’s palate, lasts longer, and costs less. Food science is constantly looking for fat substitutes that will replace the butterfat in ice cream. However, if there is no fat in ice cream, it couldn’t technically be called ice cream because there has to be a minimum of 10 percent fat in the ingredients.

Co-branding is a recent trend in ice cream that is expected to continue. Ice cream products are teamed up with other products like candy, chocolate, cookies, peanut butter, and coffee to make premium ice cream products. This has been a very popular marketing strategy that has brought attention to ice cream products and other products. The success of this partnering will entice manufacturers to continue this method into the future.
Ice cream has been around for over 2000 years and isn’t likely to go away very soon. With such longevity, perhaps it will be around for another 2000 years. It remains to be seen how the product will evolve over time. Will ice cream go full circle and go back to the original, healthier fat-free version of ice covered with fruit topping? But then it wouldn’t technically be ice cream.

Origins And History Of Ice Cream

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

If one is curious about the facts concerning the origin of ice cream, the curiosity will have to continue to stand, for no one is one hundred percent certain of its exact origin. The absence of facts leads to theories, and the most prominent ones are quite interesting. The most interesting aspect of the theories of ice cream’s origin, however, are the inconsistencies. Perhaps it was invented by the Roman emperor Nero, perhaps it was discovered by Marco Polo, or perhaps the early Chinese deserve the credit. Facts also give way to unproven theories in terms of its time of invention. It has been theoretically calculated that ice cream had its beginnings around 618-97 A.D., the second century B.C., and the fourth century B.C. The only clear fact about the origin of ice cream is that no one knows the facts.

The history of ice cream throughout the ages is a different story. Ice cream has been enjoyed in most parts of the world; and each part of the world has brought its own special variations to the subject of ice cream. Thomas Jefferson can be credited with introducing ice cream to America. Long being a much-loved dish in England, ice cream’s first place in America was limited to the wealthy, but soon gained a place with the general population as ice cream parlors were established. No longer limited to the upper-class, ice cream soon became a part of life for the American public in general.

The very first commercial ice cream company in the United States began in Baltimore in in 1851. Established by Jacob Fussell, this ice cream plant was a decisive step toward making ice cream accessible to the American public. The invention of the hand-cranked freezer in 1846 marked the beginning of production of the type of ice cream which has continued in its popularity to the present day.

Other well-known ice cream variations also have interesting roots. The ice cream cone, similar to the style we are familiar with today, was first produced at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. And the original Eskimo Pie was designed in Iowa in 1920. The history of ice cream in the United States makes clear the point that regardless of its changes and variations throughout the years, the American public’s love for ice cream is one factor which has never changed.

In other parts of the world, ice cream has a number of variations. Some countries’ ice creams bear little resemblance to what we know as ice cream, but are equally enjoyed by their citizens. In some countries the emphasis is less on the dairy products which we generally associate with ice cream, and, instead, on fruits and the frozen nature of the dessert, placing the dish more in the range of sorbets, sherbets, and even snow cones. In India, the origin of ice cream products goes back to the fruit sorbets of the sixteenth century. More closely related to the American version of ice cream is Kulfi, which is frozen milk and sugar with added flavorings such as orange, peanut and apple.

Although ice cream production in the United States began as a delicacy inaccessible to the general population, it soon gained widespread appeal. Ice cream’s availability to the public which began in New York and Philadelphia’s ice cream parlors has, over the course of time, resulted in the approximately five hundred commercial ice cream companies currently in business.

With seven ice cream plants in the United States, Dreyer’s, which is based in City of Commerce, California, is currently the largest selling ice cream manufacturer in America. Ever expanding their line of flavors, Dreyer’s also produces sherbets and fruit bars. The production– and consumption– of ice cream has come a long way since Thomas Jefferson first introduced it to the United States.

Let’s Celebrate With Ice Cream!

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

People love celebrations, and people love ice cream. What better of a combination than a celebration with ice cream? All it takes is a little imagination and planning to design an event which everyone present will enjoy. Allow yourself to be creative, and the results should be memorable.

In planning a celebration, one of the first factors is to take into consideration the preferences of your guests. You can decide whether you wish to present a variety of ice cream, or one basic creation which will appeal to everybody. While the former is in general much simpler, the latter does not need to be difficult and can generate a very positive effect on your guests. The key is in having an idea about coordinating your treats to your guests’ tastes.

If your celebration consists of sophisticated guests, you may not think that ice cream would be a suitable dish. But as most people do love ice cream, it is the presentation which matters the most and will lead to the best response from your guests. One absolutely delightful ice cream dish which will appeal to both the taste buds and sophistication of your guests is Baked Alaska. Baked Alaska is not nearly as difficult to make as one might think; and the time and effort put into this famous ice cream creation will be well worth the effort. Hidden under the savory meringue can be any flavors of ice cream that you and your guests desire. This traditional ice cream dish will certainly be the focus of admiration at your next dinner party.

For celebrations of a more casual nature, many people like ice cream pies. Ice cream pie is easy and quick to make, requiring very little preparation. Most styles of ice cream pie can be made by simply placing the ice cream in a pie shell, topping it with your favorite prepared pudding mixture, and adding whipped cream. Of course there are more detailed recipes, but this is by far the easiest and quickest to prepare.

For special events, most ice cream shops sell ice cream cakes which can be custom-decorated to your specifications. These cakes are always well-received at celebrations such as birthday parties. Dairy Queen, Carvel, and Baskin-Robbins are at the top of the list of ice cream shops which make these delightful cakes. Many grocery stores also sell smaller, ready-made ice cream cakes.

When celebrations include small children, for them to gain the most enjoyment from the occasion it should be taken into consideration that their preferences are quite varied. Some children naturally prefer simplicity, and will get more enjoyment from ice cream products which fall into the category of quick and easy and portable. These are the youngsters who would most like hand-held ice cream products such as ice cream bars, ice cream sandwiches, fruit bars and popsicles. Other children are drawn toward anything which is creative. These are the children who would most like ice cream treats that contain all sorts of extras that are colorful and tasty. They tend to like their ice cream with anything from chocolate coating shells to jellybeans mixed in.

When planning a celebration around ice cream, don’t forget that many people enjoy being a part of the process. While it is an individual preference, you will even find senior citizens who get as much enjoyment from making their own ice cream as little children do. In making the celebration a success it is a good idea to know in advance whether your guests will want to participate in ice cream making. If you choose this activity for your next special event, be sure to have enough ingredients on hand, and allow time for preparation and clean-up!