Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Defining Ice Milk

In my quest to take a baby step or two away from heavy whipping cream, I started wondering - whatever happened to "ice milk?" I seem to recall the term but hadn't heard of it in years. I Googled ice milk recipes and didn't yield much. Further checking revealed that "ice milk" disappeared from the scene in the mid 1990's. Man, I wish the goatee would do the same but I'll save that for another day.

Then it hit me like a ton of Webster's, I need an ice cream dictionary!

Ice milk or iced milk is a frozen dessert with less than 10% milkfat but with the same sweetener content as ice cream. In the United States, the term is now virtually unknown. A 1994 change in the Food and Drug Administration rules allowed ice milk to be labeled "low-fat ice cream."

Ice milk of the '60's, '70's, and '80's, however, was a fairly different product from low fat ice creams of today. In the past, ice milk was simply a low butterfat version of ice cream. With less fat, it retained an icier, almost sherbet-like texture. Manufacturers of today's low fat ice creams attmept to duplicate the texture of ice cream by using gums and stabilizers (boo!).

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