Creamery is incredible. Anyone who says otherwise works at another ice-cream stand in town. The milk comes from the campus cows, there’s nothing chemical about it.
See Discover magazine, “The Scoop on Ice Cream, It’s really a complex chemical cocktail, each lick of which sets off a physical and sensual explosion.” by Lawrence E. Joseph, August 1992:
“Ice cream is virtually the only food we eat frozen, which means that its flavor, which we define as a composite of taste and smell, is only fully released upon melting, explains Arun Kilara, a 43-year-old professor of food science at Penn State and one of the world s acknowledged authorities on ice cream. Kilara is the leader and principal lecturer of an annual two-week industry seminar on ice cream run by Penn State s Department of Food Science. The seminar was started a century ago as a winter course on milk processing for local dairy farmers. Today it is widely regarded as the foremost forum on the science of ice cream, and it has been presented to thousands of dairy professionals on four continents and to tens of thousands more in the form of a correspondence course.
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“Along with milk, cream, flavorings, and sugar, the typical ice cream mix also includes stabilizers–compounds that bind water molecules and keep them from freezing–and emulsifiers, which facilitate the dispersion of the milk fat. Curiously, the same industry purists who demand strict federal standards of identity for frozen dairy desserts also insist on the right to include all sorts of exotic chemicals in the products they deem pure. Not so much in the case of sweeteners, which, except in specific dietetic formulations, are usually simple mixtures of cane or beet sucrose and dextrose corn sweetener. But what about all that other gunk? Are such stabilizing gels and gums as those made from locust beans, guar gum, carrageenan (Irish moss extract), crystallized methylcellulose, gelatin, and alginates (obtained from ocean kelp) truly needed in such a basic food as ice cream? Why make chemical cocktails out of what should really just be snowy white vanilla?
“The answer is to prevent heat shock, the trauma that ice cream suffers when it is allowed to melt and refreeze. There s nothing to beat fresh ice cream, Kilara says with a smile. We used to make it at home in New Delhi. But few people make homemade ice cream these days, and not all that many buy it fresh-dipped. With the rise of the suburbs the market has shifted to packaged products, which are shipped, stored, and subjected to all kinds of temperature stress. That s where food science comes in, to make a product that can survive distribution and still be as good, or almost, as if it were made in the kitchen.
“When ice cream suffers heat shock during transport or storage, its ice crystals grow larger, making the refrozen product grainier. The threshold of perception is 20 microns, or about one-thousandth of an inch, at which point the offending particles can be sensed in the mouth. Stabilizing gels and gums minimize the traumatic effects. Although rarely accounting for more than half a percent of the mix by weight, these hydrocolloids–a group of molecules that can bind many times their weight in water–employ complex branch structures that work like gummy tentacles to trap water molecules and prevent them from clumping together. The more stabilizer added, the smaller the ice crystals and the smoother the ice cream.”