Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: ice cream from Collins English Dictionary

n

1 a kind of sweetened frozen liquid, properly made from cream and egg yolks but often made from milk or a custard base, flavoured in various ways


Summary Article: ice cream from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide
125856
Image from: Ice Cream Seller in The Bridgeman History of Science

Rich, creamy, frozen confectionery, made commercially from the early 20th century from various milk products, sugar, and fruit and nut flavourings, usually with additives to improve keeping qualities and ease of serving. Sherbet is a frozen dessert of watered fruit juice, egg white, and sugar, like an ice, but with gelatin and milk added.

History Ice cream originated as a means of preserving milk, and was originally made by mixing ice with milk and sugar. Ideally made of cream, eggs, and sugar whipped together and frozen, ice cream was made in China before 1000 BC and probably introduced to Europe by Marco Polo; water ices were known in ancient Greece and Persia. One of the oldest types of ice cream is the Indian kulfi. The first synthetic ice cream was made in Australia in 1855, although it was only in the 20th century that the cost of ice cream fell sufficiently for it to become a mass-market food. Italy and Russia were renowned for ice cream even before it became a mechanized industry, first in the USA and in the 1920s in Britain. Technical developments from the 1950s made possible the mass distribution of a ‘soft’ ice cream resembling the original type in appearance. In the UK the sale of ice cream made with ‘non-milk’ animal or vegetable fat, and with chemical additives to give colour and flavour, is permitted. Water ices and sorbets are frozen fruit juices and do not contain milk or cream.

The science of ice cream Ice cream is a foam, a mixture of small crystals of ice surrounding pockets of air, trapped and held in place by globular clusters of fat proteins (cream and eggs). The long protein molecules begin to unwind as the ingredients are heated to form a custard. The air gives ice cream its light taste, and reduces the sensation of cold when eating. Ice cream has to be stirred while cooling to ensure that the ice crystals that form are small.

weblinks

Molecular Expressions: Ice Cream Collection

images

ice cream factory

© RM, 2016. All rights reserved.

Related Credo Articles

ice cream
Dictionary of Food: International Food and Cooking Terms from A to Z

A flavoured, sweetened and coloured mixture of (egg) custard and cream (substitute) rapidly frozen to a stiff paste to avoid the formation of...

See more from Credo