When the summer temperatures come in, you will definitely want to have a cold dessert in your hand to help cool you down! Whether you enjoy something on the beach or at home.
Ice cream was the first entry into the category of ‘chilled desserts’. But nowadays, ice cream is no longer just “ice cream.” You have typical ice cream, soft serve, gelato, custard, and fro-yo. How many times have you heard these terms which confuse the hell out of you? All you wanted was an ice cream and the store has suddenly thrown out many more options. You for one have no idea on what the difference between Gelato and Ice Cream is? You probably always thought that Gelato is just an Italian word for Ice Cream! And as if this was not enough, we have frozen yogurt, soft serve and Custard to add to the mire. Well, not to worry! You’re not all alone. But what really is the difference between them?
I’m pretty sure all of you have tried all of these at some point in your lives. That being said, you can probably identify the slight differences in texture and flavour that make each one unique. While some people claim “they’re all the same thing,” there’s evidence to support that there really are differences between these frozen delicacies.
⦁ Ice Cream
Ice cream is happiness condensed!
Ice cream is a sweetened frozen food typically eaten as a snack or dessert. It is usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream, and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavors. The standards for ice cream consist of 20% cream and 10% milk. Also, ice cream will usually contain at least 10% fat. It is typically sweetened with sugar or sugar substitutes. Ice Creams though are heavily loaded with calories, beat most other desserts. Typically, flavorings and colourings are added in addition to stabilizers. The mixture is stirred to incorporate air spaces and cooled below the freezing point of water to prevent detectable ice crystals from forming. The result is a smooth, semi-solid foam that is solid at very low temperatures. It becomes more malleable as its temperature increases. When compared to the other ice creams, this classic kind will be less dense and is often served very frozen.
⦁ Soft Serve
This sounds super obvious, but only because it is. Soft serve ice cream is ice cream that is…well, soft and is often found at buffets since machine makes it easy to keep cool. It contains the exact same ingredients as regular ice cream, but comes from a machine that results in a smoother texture and is offered in a cone. So, what makes Soft Serve ‘soft’? Soft serve has around ‘30-45% of air’ as its content, which creates porous openings in the cream and gives it an exquisite soft texture rather than the hard Ice Cream feel. Soft serve ‘melts’ as soon as your tongue feels it which also accounts for its huge popularity!
Soft serve is the ice cream of choice in fast food places and restaurants, as the staff just has to put the ingredients in a machine and let it do its job. It has been a continuous hit for all leading brands like McDonald’s etc.
This Italian ice cream always seems more fun and luxurious than regular ice cream. The flavours are always fancier and unpronounceable. One of the main components of gelato production is that it is churned very slowly, making it much more dense than regular ice cream. However, it contains about 5-7% less fat, due to the higher ratio of milk to cream. Another factor is, it is characterized as meling in your mouth because it is so dense, so what you are tasting is the creaminess and intense flavour is the fact that it is served at warmer temperatures. Instead of it being super icy, the creamy texture melts into a pool of happiness as soon as it hits your tongue.
Gelato places can be more difficult to hunt down compared to the other types of frozen treats but the great thing is that it’s less fat than ice cream, makes it much healthier!
⦁ Frozen Yogurt (“Fro-Yo”)
This “ice cream” is definitely the most unique out of all the different frozen treats and is another after meal delicacy. That is because in addition to the mixture of ice cream, yogurt is added that makes the taste tangier.
Frozen Yogurt is high in sugar content but less in fat and calorie content; but what’s really fascinating about this dessert is that frozen yogurt has many probiotics, which helps in improving digestion and is helpful particularly for lactose intolerant people.
But it’s all ice cream with different forms. Sure, we can quibble over names and definitions, but at the end of the day, it’s all one happy frozen, creamy family. We can argue about differences, or we can sit down and dig in to a pint together?