Is It Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream, Ice Milk, Custard, Sorbet, Gelato or Sherbet?

Dripping Ice Cream

Its summertime and the heat has you seeking a frozen treat.  When you walk into a restaurant, ice cream shop, frozen yogurt shop or other frozen concoction shop do you really understand what you’re ordering? Here are some terms and descriptions to help.

Frozen Yogurt vs. Ice Cream

Both use dairy and sugar, although ice cream is made with cream, and frozen yogurt uses cultured milk (yogurt). Ice cream tends to be fluffier, while frozen yogurt is tangier. The healthiest frozen yogurt will contain live and active cultures, which are beneficial to your gut.

Ice Cream vs. Ice Milk

Under the rules that define product labels, ice cream has to contain at least 10 percent butterfat. Some premium ice creams have even more fat, as high as 13 to 17 percent. If the frozen dessert had less than 10 percent fat and the same amount of sweetener, it had to be called ice milk.  Ice milk is sometimes priced lower than ice cream. A 1994 change in United States Food and Drug Administration rules allowed ice milk to be labeled as low-fat ice cream in the United States.

Ice Cream vs. Frozen Custard

The difference between ice cream and frozen custard comes down to one ingredient: egg yolks. Ice cream is made with milk, cream, and sweetener. Frozen custard contains the same ingredients, plus egg yolks. This extra ingredient means frozen custard usually has a richer, thicker, and creamier texture than ice cream.

Sorbet, Gelato or Sherbet?

A definitive  set of definitions from Darryl David follows:

Butterfat:   Or milkfat is the fatty portion of milk. Milk and cream are often sold according to the amount of butterfat they contain.

Over Run:  The amount of air that is whipped into the ice cream mixture. For example, an overrun of 100 percent would mean for every gallon of ice cream mix, you get two gallons of finished ice cream. Without this air, the frozen ice cream mix would resemble an ice cube, the same as if you were to freeze milk or any other liquid. This would make the ice cream pretty difficult to scoop and very icy to eat.

Ice Cream:

Super Premium = Contains about 14-16% butterfat and typically 30 – 50% over run.

Premium = Contains about 12-14% butterfat and typically 40 – 70% over run.

Economy = In the U.S. is the minimum standard and has to contain at least 10% butterfat and less than 1.4% egg yolks and typically 90 – 100% over run.

Home Made Ice Cream:  Often contain around 18 – 20+% butterfat with little to no air over run.

Ice Milk:  Is about 3.5% butterfat, the same as whole milk and typically 70 – 100% over run.

Frozen Custard:  Is similar to ice cream, and is defined by the same FDA regulation as ice cream. It also must contain at least 10% butterfat, but must also have at least 1.4% egg yolks. It’s made with a machine that adds less air (20 – 30% over run), so it tastes more dense, and served fresh at a higher temperature so usually softer than ice cream.

Sorbet:  Contains no dairy at all, and is usually just frozen fruit juice, sugar, and water with little to no over run.

Sherbet:  Is defined by the same regulation as ice cream in the U.S., and must contain 1-2% butterfat and 20 – 30% over run.  Typically consisting of cream, water and sugar.

Frozen Yogurt:  Is a frozen dessert made with yogurt and sometimes other dairy products. It varies from slightly to much more tart than ice cream, as well as being lower in fat (due to the use of milk instead of cream). It is different from ice milk (more recently termed low-fat or light ice cream) and conventional soft serve. Unlike yogurt, frozen yogurt is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)but is regulated by some states. Frozen yogurt may or may not contain live and active bacteria cultures.  May contain  20 – 30% over run.

Gelato:   Is not regulated in the U.S., usually about 3-8% butterfat and often contains more stabilizers to compensate for a lack of cream and eggs. And like frozen custard, it’s also made with less air (20 – 30% over run) and served warmer, than ice cream.

Soft Serve:  Typically 3 – 6% butterfat with 10 – 20% over run.  Dairy Queen is 5% as example.

Obviously, dievca loves iced treats.  Master? Not so much. His dievca cannot wrap her head around that issue.