Ice cream is one of the world's most beloved desserts. It's creamy, sweet, and refreshing, making it the perfect treat for any occasion. But have you ever wondered how ice cream was first created? Well, get ready to go on a journey through history, as we explore the origins of this delicious dessert!
It all started thousands of years ago, in ancient China. Legend has it that the Chinese Emperor Tang, who ruled in the 7th century, was a big fan of frozen treats. He would have his servants gather ice and snow from the mountains, which he would then mix with fruit and honey to create a dessert that he called "milk ice." It was basically a proto-ice cream, and it was a big hit with the emperor's court.
But ice cream as we know it today didn't really take off until much later. In fact, it wasn't until the 16th century that the first real ice cream was created. And it wasn't in China, but in Italy. Yes, the Italians can claim credit for this one!
The story goes that a man named Ruggeri, who was a chef in the court of Catherine de' Medici, the Queen of France, was tasked with creating a new dessert for a royal banquet. Ruggeri decided to experiment with some of the frozen treats that were popular in Italy at the time, and he came up with a dessert that he called "gelato."
Now, gelato is actually a bit different from ice cream. It's made with more milk and less cream than traditional ice cream, which gives it a denser, creamier texture. It's also churned at a slower speed, which incorporates less air into the mixture and gives it a more intense flavor.
But despite these differences, gelato was a huge hit with the French court. And soon, it spread throughout Europe, becoming a favorite dessert of royalty and aristocrats. Common folk did not have access to the ice necessary to make the treat, so it remained something for the upper class for a long time. It wasn't until the 18th century that ice cream really started to take off in America and with the masses.
You history buffs out there might be thinking, "Wait a minute, didn't the founding fathers eat ice cream?" And you would be correct! In fact, George Washington was apparently a huge fan of the stuff. According to legend, he even had his own ice cream recipe, which called for a quart of cream, a pint of milk, six egg yolks, a half-pound of sugar, and a quarter-pound of grated chocolate. Yum!
The incredible story of bringing ice cream to the lower classes is all thanks to one man: Jacob Fussell. Fussell was a dairy farmer in Maryland, and he had a little problem: He had too much milk. See, back then, there wasn't really a great way to preserve milk, so farmers had to find ways to use it up before it spoiled. Fussell's solution was to turn his excess milk into ice cream, which he sold to his neighbors (lucky!).
It was a hit of course, and soon Fussell was churning out hundreds of gallons of ice cream a day. But he didn't stop there. He realized that he could make even more money if he could figure out a way to ship his ice cream to other parts of the country. And so, in 1851, he built the first ice cream factory. Hallelujah!
Fussell's factory revolutionized the ice cream industry. It allowed ice cream to be produced on a much larger scale, and it made the dessert much more accessible to the general public. And soon, ice cream parlors started popping up all over the country, serving up scoops of the sweet stuff to anyone who wanted it.
Unfortunately, Fussell's dairy and ice cream company is no longer in operation today. Jacob Fussell's ice cream factory was eventually sold to a larger company, and over time, the Fussell family moved on to other endeavors. However, the impact that Fussell's ice cream factory had on the industry was significant, and it paved the way for the mass production of ice cream that we enjoy now.
Today, we have countless flavors and varieties of ice cream to choose from, from classic vanilla and chocolate to more exotic options like green tea and lavender. And whether you prefer your ice cream in a cone, a cup, or sandwiched between two cookies, there's no denying that this frozen treat has come a long way from its humble origins in ancient China.
Soft serve ice cream is a classic treat that many of us have enjoyed for years. It’s creamy, delicious, and perfect for a hot summer day. But have you ever wondered how a soft serve ice cream machine works? It is a complex piece of equipment that is specifically designed to churn out this creamy dessert. In this blog post, we'll take a deep dive into the inner workings of a soft serve ice cream machine, and explore how it turns liquid ice cream mix into the delicious treat we all know and love.
Before we get into the technical details, let’s talk about the ingredients that go into soft serve ice cream. The basic ingredients for soft serve ice cream are just like regular hard ice cream: milk, cream, sugar, and flavorings. The difference is in the butter fat ratios and temperatures. These ingredients are mixed together and then poured into the ice cream machine. Some soft serve machines also have the ability to add in other ingredients, like fruit or candy pieces, to create unique flavors.The mixture is placed in a refrigerated hopper, which keeps it at a temperature of around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This helps to keep the mixture fresh and prevents it from spoiling.
The freezing process is where the magic happens. Soft serve ice cream machines use a special freezing process that creates a soft, creamy texture that we all know and love. The machine uses a combination of cold temperatures and air to freeze and mix the ice cream mixture.
The liquid ice cream mix is pulled into the machine by gravity, and is fed into the freezing chamber. The freezing cylinder is surrounded by a refrigerant, like Freon or ammonia. The refrigerant is at a temperature of around -20 degrees Fahrenheit, which freezes the mixture as it’s fed through the cylinder.The mix is exposed to a very cold surface, which causes it to freeze rapidly. But instead of freezing into a solid block, the mix is churned by the dasher, which breaks up the ice crystals and incorporates air into the mix.
As the mixture is frozen, air is added to the mixture to create the soft, creamy texture of soft serve ice cream.The amount of air that is incorporated into the mix is a critical factor in the quality of the final product. Soft serve ice cream is known for its light, fluffy texture, which is achieved by incorporating a lot of air into the mix. This is why soft serve machines are also referred to as "air pump" machines. The amount of air that is incorporated is controlled by the dasher speed and the size of the openings in the freezing chamber. The faster the dasher turns, and the larger the openings, the more air will be incorporated into the mix.
The machine periodically measures temperature and viscosity in order to keep the ice cream at the perfect texture. As it does, the machines motors will automatically cycle on and off as ice cream is dispensed.
The final step in the soft serve ice cream making process is dispensing. Once the ice cream is frozen and mixed, it’s ready to be dispensed. Soft serve machines have 1 to 3 dispenser heads that can be fitted with a variety of swirl designs to create unique patterns.
As ice cream is dispensed from the machine more liquid mix is automatically pulled into the freezing chamber and the process continues!
Cleaning and maintenance
Like any piece of equipment, soft serve ice cream machines require regular cleaning, sanitizing and maintenance to keep them running smoothly. The hopper and freezing cylinder should be cleaned after every use to prevent the buildup of bacteria and ensure that the ice cream mixture stays fresh.
The dispenser head should also be cleaned regularly to prevent clogs and ensure that the ice cream is dispensing properly. The machine should be cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent damage to the equipment.
Soft serve ice cream machines may seem like a simple piece of equipment, but there’s a lot of science and engineering that goes into making them work. From the ingredients to the freezing process, every step is carefully designed to create the delicious soft serve ice cream that we all know and love.
Whether you’re enjoying a classic vanilla cone, a fruity Dole Whip, or trying a unique flavor combination, soft serve ice cream machines are a fun and delicious way to enjoy this classic treat. So, the next time you’re indulging in a swirl of soft serve, take a moment to appreciate the engineering that goes into making it possible.
Here, at Phrozen Soft Serve, we use commercial grade Taylor 162 single phase machines that use 220 volt power. These machines pull a lot of power to make sure the 3 chillers keep up with demand on those hot summer days!
Ah, ice cream. It’s the dessert that brings smiles to faces, joy to hearts, and sugar to bloodstreams. But when it comes to ice cream, there are two main types: soft serve ice cream and hard scoop. While they may look similar at first glance, there are some notable differences between the two. So, grab a spoon and let’s dig in!
First up, let's talk about soft serve ice cream. Soft serve is like the wild child of the ice cream world. It’s creamy, it’s dreamy, and it’s always ready to party. One of the biggest differences between soft serve and hard scoop is the texture. Soft serve is, well, soft. It has a light, airy texture that makes it easy to eat by the coneful (not that we’d know anything about that). Additionally, the temperature of soft serve ice cream is a little bit higher, and there is more air incorporated to give it that smooth texture.
Another difference is the way it’s served. Soft serve is dispensed from a machine, which makes it perfect for impromptu ice cream runs. No need to wait for someone to scoop it out for you – just pull the lever down and voila! Soft serve also has the ability to take on a variety of fun shapes, like swirls and cones, making it a visually appealing treat as well. While traditional ice cream is made in small batches off site and stored in a freezer, Soft serve ice cream is made on the spot as long as there is mix to be made. The Ice cream machine is the freezer!
Now, let's talk about hard scoop ice cream. Hard scoop is like the responsible older sibling of the ice cream world. It’s firm, it’s sturdy, and it’s always there when you need it. The texture of hard scoop is, well, hard. It requires a little more elbow grease to scoop out of the container, but once you do, it’s a satisfying feeling.
One of the biggest differences between hard scoop and soft serve is the flavors. Hard scoop comes in a variety of unique, gourmet flavors that you won’t find in soft serve. Want to try lavender honey ice cream? How about balsamic vinegar and olive oil? You’ll have to stick to hard scoop for those. Plus, hard scoop ice cream is perfect for making ice cream sandwiches or scooping into a sundae.
So, which is better – soft serve or hard scoop? That’s a tough question, and one that we’re not sure we can answer. It all depends on your mood and what you’re looking for in an ice cream. Are you in the mood for something light and fluffy? Go for soft serve. Are you looking for a unique flavor experience? Hard scoop is your friend.
In the end, the most important thing is that you enjoy your ice cream, whether it’s soft serve, hard scoop, or a little bit of both. Just make sure to have some napkins handy – things can get messy when you’re dealing with ice cream!
We here at Phrozen Soft Serve are obviously just a little bit biased! Having a Soft Serve Machine at your big event means the ice cream or Dole Whip flows fast and continuously for all your guests. It means you don't need a huge freezer or sturdy scoopers. It means its easy for young and old to get as much as they like. It also means that added toppings to customize your perfect flavor is super easy. So, book us for your next event and enjoy party!