Aug. 18 is National Soft Ice Cream Day; therefore, it is a good time to learn the difference between soft ice cream and regular ice cream. Soft ice cream, also known as “soft serve” is a swirled delight served using a special machine. Ice cream vendors also use a special technique to double the amount of air in soft ice cream, which creates its light, smooth texture.
Soft serve is a type of ice cream that is softer than regular ice cream as its name indicates. Air is introduced into the recipe during freezing. Soft serve ice cream has been sold commercially since the late 1930s. At that time, only a few types existed. Now, most ice cream shops serve a variety of delicious flavors.
Soft ice cream began by accident. Over Memorial Day weekend of 1934, Tom Carvel, the founder of the Carvel brand and franchise, suffered a flat tire in his ice cream truck in Hartsdale, New York. He pulled into a parking lot and began selling his melting ice cream to vacationers driving by. Within two days he had sold his entire supply of ice cream and concluded that both a fixed location and soft frozen desserts were potentially good business ideas. In 1936, Carvel opened his first store on the original broken down truck site and developed a secret soft serve ice cream formula as well as patented super low temperature ice cream machines. Dairy Queen also claims to have invented soft serve and still sells it today.
Soft serve is generally lower in milk-fat than ice cream and is produced at a lower temperature than hard ice cream. The amount of air alters the taste of the finished product. Product with low quantities of air has a heavy, icy taste and appears more yellow. Product with higher air content tastes creamier, smoother and lighter and appears whiter.
A summer day is the perfect time to enjoy soft serve ice cream snack as a delicious snack. Grab a big cone full of soft ice cream today to celebrate National Soft Ice Cream Day. Remember because it is soft, it will melt faster.