Friday, July 18, 2008

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream!

What is your favourite flavour of ice cream? Vanilla? Chocolate? Butter Pecan? Banana? Strawberry? Chocolate Chip? Think about it. I did an informal survey of friends and family and got a lot of different answers including the those, but also coffee, black licorice and peanut butter!

Ice cream, actually goes back a long way. There is evidence of a form of it in Greece in the 5Th century BC. There are also versions created by the Persians and the Romans in the fourth century BC. The Chinese are credited with creating the first ice cream makers.

A version of ice cream was developed in Italy in the 1500's and was also found in France and Spain by the 1600's. By the end of that century, England also had it's own secret recipe. By the 1700's, Americans were starting to create ice cream. By the late 1900's it had become a favourite treat by many around the world. In 1832, an African American candy maker/inventor, named Augustus Jackson developed several recipes and also invented an improved method for making the delicious treat.

Today, there are hundreds of versions of ice cream. From fat free, light, to all natural and many in between. The flavours are endless. It can be really hard to choose.

My dad told stories of making ice cream on the farm as a kid. My mom remembers making peach ice cream at a cousins in Iowa when she was a little girl. They had to fill the outside with rock salt and turn the hand crank for what felt like hours to get that tasty frozen treat!

I've always loved ice cream. As a kid we would often stop at the local drive-in (which was owned by my uncle) and have a soft serve ice cream cone. As a real treat we could have it dipped in chocolate. One drive-in in another town had what was called a "pinto" cone - it was also known as a "black and white" or a "swirl" - chocolate and vanilla in one cone!

It always amazed me, the creativity of some of the flavour combos that made it to the stores. How did this stuff make it past taste testers? I never got to adventurous with buying new flavours. I didn't want to waste my money on something that I didn't know if I'd like. I always tried to stick to combos that had ingredients that I liked and thought MAY go well together! If I couldn't find one I liked, I usually stuck with vanilla and added in my own flavourings after it had softened a bit.

In the mid 1990's I realized that I was often getting sick after eating ice cream. Other dairy didn't seem to bother me. It took a few weeks to sort out the problem, but I finally figured out that if I ate the cheaper store brand varieties then I would have stomach cramps and diarrhea within a couple of hours. Even my old favourites of the soft serve were making me sick. It turned out that the chemicals that were being used to make those store brands and soft serve were the problem. When you read the ingredients, there is actually very little "real" dairy products in all but the premium brands of ice cream and some of those are even questionable! For awhile, I bought only all natural ice creams, sorbets and gelatos but I really couldn't afford such expensive treats. I really didn't want to give up all natural ice cream or get sick eating what I could afford

My solution? In 1998. I bought my own ice cream maker! I've been making sherbets, and ice creams ever since! I don't make the really rich ice creams, but instead prefer to make lighter varieties that are more like an ice milk than the traditional ice cream. This way I can enjoy a variety of flavours and combos. I know exactly what I'm putting into my recipes. My first ice cream maker was getting old and I knew it wasn't going to last much longer so a little over a year ago, I bought the ice cream mixer attachment for the Kitchen Aid stand mixer.

Ice Cream Personality Test

Are you ready to learn about your personality?
A national manufacturer of ice cream, Edy's Grand Ice Cream, commissioned an ice cream flavorology study to determine how ice cream preferences relate to personality. The study, conducted by Dr. Alan R. Hirsch (M.D.), Neurological Director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, revealed that distinct personalities correspond with ice cream flavors. Pick your fav flavor of ice cream from the following:
1)Vanilla 2)Chocolate 3) Butter pecan 4)Banana 5)Strawberry 6)Chocolate chip

If you like VANILLA, you are colorful, impulsive, a risk taker who sets high goals and has high expectations of yourself. You also enjoy close family relationships.
If you like CHOCOLATE, you are lively, creative, dramatic, charming, enthusiastic, and the life of the party. Chocolate fans enjoy being at the center of attention and can become bored with the usual routine.
If you like BUTTER PECAN, you are orderly, perfectionistic, careful, detail-oriented, conscientious,ethical, and fiscally conservative. You are also competitive, aggressive in sports, and the take-charge type of personality.
If you like BANANA, you are easy going, well adjusted, generous, honest, and empathetic.
If you like STRAWBERRY, you are shy, yet emotionally robust, skeptical, detail-oriented, opinionated, introverted, and self critical.
If you like CHOCOLATE CHIP, you are generous,competitive, and accomplished. You are charming in social situations, ambitious, and competent.

The flavorology research also compiled a compatibility chart for ice cream lovers.
If your favorite flavor is:
*Vanilla - you are most likely to be compatible with someone whose favorite flavor is vanilla.

*Chocolate - compatible with butter pecan or chocolate chip.
*Butter Pecan - compatible with butter pecan, chocolate and chocolate chip.
*Banana - compatible with all flavors.
*Strawberry - compatible with chocolate chip.
*Chocolate Chip - compatible with butter pecan or chocolate.

So what is MY favourite flavour of ice cream? Well, I actually have several fav's, including strawberrry, PB, vanilla and lemon. But, if I could only have ONE flavour?Come on! If you have to ask me a silly question like that, then you obviously don't know me and haven't been reading this blog!!


Tomorrow: Cheesecake Ice Cream Recipe

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