About a week ago, which was also one of the coldest weeks this winter, my family decided that it was the perfect time to get ice cream. Although it sounds insane, we enjoy eating ice cream all year long but mostly in the winter despite the frigid weather conditions. Anyway, my mother was sorely disappointed after we decided to purchase a few flavors from Breyer’s as there was a sale at our local supermarket. She began a huge dispute about how she didn’t like the flavor of the ice cream, she also complained about how her ice cream craving wasn’t satisfied by eating a bowl of this particular brand. This eventually led to my explaining the variance of ice cream to my mother and I began to wonder how many people do not know the true behind this frozen treat that many of us enjoy. I wanted to share my knowledge on ice cream to educate others on ice cream before they make their next purchase.
Before, I get started, I first need to tell you that not all ice cream is created equally especially with brands like Breyer’s which is sometimes advertised as frozen dairy dessert not ice cream. This begs the question, “What constitutes as ice cream?” because there are so many derivatives. But I’m getting ahead of myself; there is one word that should come to mind when hearing about ice cream, overrun. Overrun refers to the total volume of air incorporated in an ice cream base during the freezing process in which it is being churned. For the United States, the maximum amount of overrun allowed is 100% to be considered as ice cream but in other countries, it can be as high as 120%. An example of overrun is an ice cream base that is one gallon; if 100% of overrun is incorporated then the final frozen product will be two gallons. And for that reason, Breyer’s is listed as a frozen dairy dessert is because it exceeds the one hundred percent limit and because of this air the gallon weighs less than 4.5 pounds which also does not allow it to be labeled as ice cream. (“Did You Know? Why Some Ice Cream Is a “Frozen Dairy Dessert” | Brand Eating”, 2015) This will also affect the melting rates of ice cream based on brand as each company has their own precise percentage of overrun that they will use as a guide for each of their products.
This will usually affect the cost of ice cream as well; a pint of ice cream with a lower overrun will cost more than one with a higher overrun because you are paying extra for the additional ingredients use instead of the air incorporated into the cheaper one. It all comes down to quality so ice creams like Ben & Jerry’s and Häagen-Dazs have lower overruns so it is considered premium ice cream. However, Edy’s Grand Vanilla has a 97 percent overrun, and Ben & Jerry’s which has the fewest additives and the lowest overrun percentage of 24 percent. (Osborne, “The Real Scoop on How to Choose Quality Ice Cream”, 2012)
What are your favorite ice cream brands and/or flavors? What makes it so delicious to you? Comment below about your experience.