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Ice cream is extremely versatile, with a huge variety of flavours and styles available worldwide. Some are so different that they seem like a completely different product. So what types are there and what do you need to know about ice cream as a whole?

Types of ice cream

Most of us will be familiar with “soft serve” ice cream, which is also known as “Mr Whippy”. This is the ice cream you get with a “99” ice cream, but even this differs depending on where you get it from, in both colour and flavour. The other main type of ice cream is “hard” ice cream, or “scoop” ice cream, which is scooped from a container. It’s also made differently, but this allows it to include more flavours, and food items such as fruit pieces, chocolate and more, which can be blended into the ice cream itself.

What makes Artisan ice cream special?

Artisan ice cream is, by definition, made by a “skilled craftsperson”. This is a hands-on approach that often results in smaller batches of ice cream, of the highest quality. Artisan ice cream is made using techniques to make it especially smooth, but often employing more manual methods than larger ice cream production.

Artisan ice cream production

Ingredients in artisan ice cream include milk, butter, cream and eggs, selected by the Artisan to take care that the flavours and textures are of the best quality possible. These ingredients are mixed to a specially designed recipe, then pasteurised. This kills any harmful bacteria, before the mix is cooled to 0 to -4 degrees C for 4 hours or more. Flavours are added, and the mixture is churned to increase air content, whilst being cooled and final pieces such as fruit, chocolate, nuts etc. being added. This is then put into a container and frozen to -28C. Artisan ice cream can be found all across the world, including over 1,000 artisan ice cream makers in the UK and Ireland alone.

Fun ice cream facts

Something you may not know is that the Ice Cream Sundae was created in Evanston, USA, after it was made illegal to sell ice cream with flavoured soda on a Sunday in the 19th Century. Traders cleverly served the treat with syrup, naming it an “Ice Cream Sunday”, with the spelling later changing.

Did you know that the average person in the UK eats around 9 litres of ice cream each year, and Americans eat 20 litres? Men are also statistically more likely to select ice cream for dessert than women.

Ice cream typically contains higher volumes of milk protein than milk has in its usual form, and many ice creams contain minerals, vitamins and calcium. Vanilla is the overall favourite ice cream flavour enjoyed by people worldwide, despite some unusual flavours being on offer – including Bacon and Egg, Chilli, Green Tea and more!

Gelatin is sometimes used as a stabiliser in ice cream, but not as often as in the past. Most ice cream does not contain eggs, although some recipes do, so it’s always worth checking if you have any allergies. There are also now many dairy-free varieties of ice cream available for those who are unable to eat dairy!

Find out more ice cream facts or discover how we have helped some of these well-known brands to create their own unique ice creams here.