July 25, 2014

There is a fundamental problem with eating ice cream at home. Your freezer at home should be at least 0F. Ideally colder, like -6F to make sure that your food preserves longer. But the ideal serving temperature for ice cream is around +6F. 

At 0F and below, it’s too hard. Not only that it’s hard to scoop with a spoon, but it cannot melt and spread in your mouth quickly enough when you eat. It’s like eating a frozen candy.

You cannot evenly raise the temperature of your ice cream to the ideal by leaving it out of the freezer. The outer part would start melting while the inner part remain rock solid. The only way to set the temperature of whole ice cream to +6F evenly is to keep it in a freezer set to +6F. You cannot do this at home unless you can dedicate a whole freezer to ice cream.

A solution, or compromise, for this problem is to buy highly aerated ice cream. It allows you to scoop easily with a spoon, and it melts in your mouth quickly as it should. Aerated ice cream is considered inferior to “premium” ice cream, but if the latter cannot be served properly at home, “premium” does not mean anything. 

Some would argue that it’s silly to pay for air, but would they say the same thing about bread? Would they buy only dense breads with as little air as possible? And, if the only way to serve a Kobe steak at home was over-cooked and tough, would you bother?

It’s “premium” only conceptually. In blind tests, I would bet that most people would find aerated ice cream to be superior, provided that the quality of ingredients is the same.

Most brands indeed make aerated ice cream from lower quality ingredients (corn syrup and chemicals), but there are some that use all natural ingredients and sugar. In my view, they are superior for home consumption.