June 20 marked the official start of summer, and the official start of the ice cream season.
Ever since Dolly Madison popularized the frozen treat in the 1800s by serving it at her husband’s inaugural ball, people have gone crazy for the sweet treat. Whether smooth and creamy or chockful of mix-ins, there is an ice cream for everyone, and not all of them even contain cream! The summertime sweet can be had in vegan, sugar free, and even savory variations. Here are some favorite iterations:
This standard American ice cream generally boils cream and sugar to create a thick custard base that is constantly stirred and agitated as it freezes, to make it creamy. If eggs are added to the base, making it even thicker and richer, it becomes frozen custard. Favorite flavors include vanilla and chocolate, but mix-ins like chocolate chips, nuts, and even brownies are popular.
The fruity version of ice cream is often made dairy free, from fruit juice or wine. It is made the same way as ice cream, through constant churning, and can be used as a palate cleanser in between courses at a meal. Try making tomato basil sorbet as a middle course during an Italian dinner.
This Italian form of ice cream has a lower milk fat content than American ice cream because it uses whole milk instead of cream. Gelato also has less air churned into the final product, which results in a denser texture and often more concentrated flavor.
Using yogurt as the main component of the ice cream, along with sweetener and flavoring, this gained popularity in the 1980s as a lower fat alternative to ice cream. They range from extremely tart to quite sweet, and stores like Pinkberry have continued to make the popularity of frozen yogurt climb.