With the height of summer fast approaching you’ll often find one type of food that seems to be on everybody’s mind, especially the minds of little ones: Ice Cream! Yes, it seems whenever the suns out –or even when it’s still cold for a lot of us! – there’s nothing people like better than treating themselves to a sweet cold treat. But are you a dairy dunce or a milk master? Do you know your Ice Cream from your Italian Ice? Would you be able to pick a Sherbet out of a line up? Fear not, just brush up on the info we’ve got below and you’ll become an expert in no time!
Firstly, let’s start with the classic; Ice Cream. Ice Cream is often used as a catch-all term to describe any dairy based dessert product. However, if you want to get technical (and we do), Ice Cream has to contain at least 10% milkfat or butterfat (both oddly named, both delicious!) and must be churned during freezing to increase the base volume by no more than 100%, resulting in a final product with no more than 50% air (we warned you this would get technical!) as set out in guidelines by the USDA. Ice Cream is also sweet and tasty and can be made from almost any flavor you can think of, from apple cider to, believe it or not, wasabi pea dust.
Italian Ice – known in certain areas as water ice – is similar to the Sicilian dish ‘Granita’ and is made in the same style as Ice Cream, except Italian Ice omits one crucial ingredient: the cream! Italian ice is usually made by freezing and churning water and fruit or fruit flavourings, which results in a grainy, chipped ice texture. Due to the lack of cream in Italian Ice, it often focuses on fruitier flavors and can be sharper than ice cream, which many find make it a more refreshing option to cool down on a hot day, as opposed to the richer, creamier Ice Cream.
Now, Sherbet (sometimes stylised as Sherbert) may look and sound very similar to Sorbet but looks can sometimes be deceiving. Sherbet is more of a mix of Ice Cream and Italian Ice, as it contains dairy, water and fruit flavour, though it contains only about a tenth as much milkfat or butterfat as Ice Cream does. Sherbet is always fruit based in flavour, and basically acts as Italian Ice with a bit of cream in, which means it perfectly melds together the grainy, sharp nature of Italian Ice and the creamy smoothness of Ice Cream, offering people the best of both worlds!
So, now that you have a bit more information about the different dairy products on offer there’s really only one thing left for you to do: Try them all! Taste test them all and find out which is your favorite now that you’re a milk master!