Ice Cream Melts Away into History

There has been far too much emphasis on fats being the culprit in heart disease, which has led to the vilification of cream, butter and other animal fats—and the demise of real ice cream.

ice cream, n. (1688): a sweet flavored frozen food containing cream or butterfat and usually eggs.

This topic should be cut-and-dried. Bottom line: ice cream should have CREAM in it—and cream should be the first and main ingredient, not at the bottom of the list or left out altogether. But go to any supermarket today and you will be hard pressed to find any old-fashioned ice cream as defined in a Webster’s dictionary.

Over the past few decades, many manufacturers have switched from cream to milk as the base for their ice cream, and some are now using skim milk—or worse yet, soy milk. Also, ice cream used to be sweetened with sugar, now you will find corn syrup or even high fructose corn syrup on the label. As a rule of thumb, the longer the ingredient list, the more adulterated the product.

Here’s the ingredient list for Dean’s Neapolitan “ice cream”: Milkfat and nonfat milk, sugar, corn syrup, whey, strawberries (strawberries, sugar, water, high fructose corn syrup, propylene glycol, natural flavors, pectin, locust bean gum, citric acid, carrageenan) potassium sorbate (preservative), sodium benzoate (preservative), calcium carbonate, red #40, cocoa (processed with alkali) mono and diglycerides, cellulose gum, guar gum, carrageenan, natural flavor, red #40, annatto (color).

Rise up America!! Stop buying fake ice cream and go back to your roots. Your ancestors made and bought the real stuff, i.e., ice cream made with cream!!! Ice cream socials brought families together and were the highlight of the summer. Cream (perhaps a little milk), sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, were churned in an old-fashioned ice cream maker that used salt and ice to freeze the mixture into a wonderful dessert. If you don’t have time to make your own, look for brands with cream and egg yolks in it. For example, the ingredients in Haagen Daz’ Rum Raisin are: Cream, skim milk, rum raisins (raisins, sugar, water, rum) sugar, egg yolks, rum.

Where did we go wrong? There has been far too much emphasis on fats being the culprit in heart disease, which lead to the vilification of cream, butter and other animal fats. Responding to and capitalizing on consumer fear, manufacturers starting making “light” ice cream with low-fat substitutions for high-fat cream. When you didn’t complain, and because they were making more profits (i.e., cream is more expensive than milk or skim milk), they continued to take “ice cream” down this unpalatable path. Most formulations leave out egg yolks altogether.

Always read labels. Don’t settle for frozen fakes. Look for short ingredient lists. If you can’t find the real thing, fight back! Buy some cream (preferably raw, pasteurized is OK, but avoid UHT), farm eggs with deep-yellow yolks, maple sugar (which works wonderfully), some real vanilla extract and organic fruit to make your own ice cream. Your family will love it—and so will you.

For Thomas Jefferson’s ice cream recipe, click on this link: Jeffersonian Ice Cream