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Ice cream: how is it made?



Ice cream now and then


In the 16th century, in order to produce home-made ice cream, one would need two tin dishes of different size, cream, some fruit, e.g. raspberries, and sugar. In the smaller dish, all the required ingredients would be mixed as desired, and then placed in the larger dish, filled with ice cubes and a handful of salt. The concoction would be left for an hour to freeze, and then the ingredients would be mixed once again and left for about 1.5 hours. The whole process would seem as easy as they come, and yet ice cream manufacturers and confectioners, though blessed with developed technology, refrigerators and coolers included, and access to products from various corners of the world, are still puzzled by the secret of the ideal recipe and production method for ice cream treats. After all, they don’t want to be worse than their predecessors, whose unique and exquisite desserts were immortalised in many ancient books.


Speaking of the old days, it is worth mentioning that vanilla and lemon used to be particularly popular ice cream flavours. The latter was often served in Procope, the famous ice cream parlour in Paris, visited by Marie Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparte, to name only a few.  Due to high prices charged by parlours, caused by production costs, ice cream was for decades a delicacy for the upper classes. As the technology advanced, the production and selling processes were simplified, thus making ice cream confections widely available.



So many countries, so many customs


This saying is also true for ice cream, with each country “specialising” in a different ice cream composition. Thus, for instance, the Italians make the best desserts, not to mention soft serve twists of Italian origin, while the French are experts in sorbet, e.g. the legendary cassis. Americans, in turn, are famous for sundae, a dessert consisting of one scoop of ice cream topped with various sauces. Their neighbours Mexicans adore fried ice cream in batter, nieves (sorbet) and milk-based ice cream, known as helados.

The Turkish dondurma has certain qualities which distinguish it from ice cream produced in other countries, namely thick texture and resistance to melting. This is possible because of two ingredients involved in the recipe: salep (a type of flour based on two wild orchid varieties) and mastic, i.e. resin from the Aegean Sea region. The Indian kulfi consists of condensated milk and double cream. What about the North Pole? The question seems rhetorical, but actually it isn’t. True, they eat ice cream there, but they prepare it from…fish oil. And then there’s Japan, where the most popular ice cream comes in such flavours as cherry blossom, chicken, soy sauce, azuki (red bean), or garlic.




Contrary to what may seem, the ice cream recipe has not changed much since antiquity. Water, sugar, milk, cream and fruit are still its basic ingredients, used depending on the desired outcome (sorbet, milk- or fruit-based ice cream).  In the case of milk-based ice cream, the mixture is pasteurised at ca 85°C and then cooled at 5°C to be finally frozen at –10°C, while being stirred vigorously at the same time. The cooling process takes about 10-15 minutes. Sorbet is usually made from spring water combined with juice or fruit, sweetened and pasteurised at the temperature of ca 90°C. It may be frozen or stored as liquid.


Triticum durum 


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Fruit desserts, sorbets, tarts, sandwiches, muffins – all kinds of ice cream treats conquer the world, especially in summer. Try out our recipes for delicious ice cream desserts!


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