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Ice Cream or Frozen Custard? How to Tell the Difference

Is frozen custard the same thing as frozen yogurt? Does anyone even understand gelato? This is hard.

Don't let overwhelming options leave your order too vanilla. The world of frozen treats has a creamy creation for every craving, and that can be a lot to take in. If you’re looking for the right creamy creation to satisfy your craving, it’s important to know the differences between the desserts. 

Ice Cream

Ice Cream

Traditional American ice cream is a snack that most of us have indulged in. Maybe you’ve taken a trip down rocky road, or maybe you’re pretty vanilla when it comes to desserts, but either way, ice cream is well- known and well-loved. It’s made with 20 percent cream and 10 percent milk, as dictated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards. Ice cream also has at least 10 percent fat, though premium flavors are likely to be higher in fat content, usually ranging from 14 to 18 percent. Ice cream is made with more air whipped into the cream (this is called overrun.) With up to 50 percent overrun, Ice cream is less dense than other frozen treats.


Frozen Custard

Frozen custard is a delicacy that’s been popularized largely by Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, a Wichita, Kansas based restaurant chain named for the cold treat.

Frozen custard is similar to ice cream, with one major difference: egg yolk. A minimum requirement of 1.4 percent egg yolk distinguishes frozen custard from regular ice cream, and creates a thicker product.

The presence of egg yolk in the mixture naturally distributes fat evenly between the liquid and the overrun, offering a richer and creamier result.

“Frozen custard is denser, richer, and creamier than ice cream, due to a churning process that minimizes ice crystals and excess air,” said Scott Redler, COO of Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers.  “You can truly taste the difference, and many of our guests frequently mention that they prefer frozen custard over traditional ice cream products.”


Frozen Yogurt or "Fro-Yo"

Frozen Yogurt; Fro-Yo

SPOILER ALERT: yogurt is used in the making of frozen yogurt. Who knew, right?

Blending yogurt with an ice cream base of cream, milk and sweetener, frozen yogurt has a tangier taste than that of traditional ice cream.

A common dessert choice for the health-conscious fans of frozen treats, this product can contain probiotics that promote digestive health, a benefit not found in traditional ice cream. Frozen yogurt is also commonly referred to as "fro-yo."


Gelato

Gelato

Gelato may sound exotic, and that's because it is. Originating in Italy, Gelato is named simply with the Italian word for “frozen.”

Typically, this Italian dessert is made using mostly (if not entirely) milk, rather than the milk/cream mixture found in other frozen desserts. The use of little to no cream offers stronger flavors and lower fat content.

This product has very little overrun, giving it a density that’s melt-in-your-mouth creamy.

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