Today is National Strawberry Ice Cream Day, a good excuse to have an ice cream tasting.
Most of us keep buying Brand 1 out of habit; but perhaps we’d prefer Brand 2, 3 or 4. Manufacturers can change their recipes over time, and new brands pop up. Your own tastes change, as well.
Pick up different brands of strawberry ice cream and treat family or friends to an ice cream tasting. Analyze the different components: creaminess, berryness, density, mouthfeel, texture, sweetness.
Take notes and rank your favorites. The results may surprise you.
For Your Ice Cream Tasting
While we’re happy with just the ice cream, we wouldn’t turn down some shortbread or butter cookies on the side. You want a simple cookie that complements the ice cream.
Another tip about ice cream: Don’t serve it rock-hard. A good part of the flavor will be frozen solid as well. If your freezer has hardened the ice cream to the max, set the pints on the counter for 15 minutes before scooping and serving.
WHY IS IT CALLED “ICE CREAM?”
The original frozen desserts were fruit ices, or sherbets, which date back to China, as early as 3000 B.C.E.
Ice cream as we know it was most likely created in Florence in the 1500s for a Medici banquet (details). While no details survive of the creation, according to FoodTimeline.org, cooks began to make summer desserts by taking the richest part of the milk, the cream, flavoring it with seasonal fruits—like strawberries—and cooling it down with ice. The chillier the cream, the more solid the product.
Thus, the dessert’s name was a description of the process by which it was made. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “iced cream” first appeared in print in 1688; “ice cream” appeared in 1744.
Before modern refrigeration, ice cream was a rich man’s treat. Only wealthy people had access to ice in the summer (it was cut from lakes in the winter and stored in cellars and caves).
And wealthy people had the staff needed to make ice cream: those to hold down the ice-filled bowl and those to hand churn the bowl of cream set in it, until it solidified—constant stirring for up to an hour!
It was not until the late 19th century that commercially-manufactured ice cream was accessible to people across socioeconomic levels.
Check out the history of ice cream, which began with flavored ices in China, as early as 3000 B.C.E.
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