Ice cream stands as a classic image of fun, carefree summer food for kid and adults alike, and the very idea of a traditional ice cream cone has been romanticized with summertime innocence and fun. Today, there are more options for how to eat ice cream and related products like gelato and frozen yogurt, although ice cream cones still endure despite their potential for messes, and are even popular subjects for image sharing like Pinterest or Snapchat. Businesses big and small that sell ice cream and frozen yogurt will also invest in the right utensils and supplies for these frozen treats, such as frozen yogurt cups and gelato spoons. Sometimes, a vendor may even ask customers if they would rather have an ice cream cone or a paper ice cream cup, or frozen yogurt cups with paper straws or plastic spoons. The options today are widely varied.
Types of Ice Cream
Traditional “hard serve” ice cream stands as the model of ice cream, but today, many more varieties exist with variance in flavor, texture, ingredients, and even serving temperature. All these treats are popular; on average, an American will eat ice cream about 28.5 times in any given year, and some 90% of American households will regularly try out frozen treats of one kind or another. Production is generous, too: it is estimated that 1.5 billion gallons of ice cream, and related products like sherbet and gelato, are made in the United States every year, showing the enduring popularity of these treats, and June is the busiest month of the year for production.
Hard serve ice cream contains more air than soft serve or gelato, and is stored at a slightly lower temperature, meaning that soft serve ice cream and gelato are softer and denser by comparison. In fact, gelato has only 3-8% milk fat in it and 25-30% air, making for a lower fat, creamier, denser treat than regular hard serve ice cream, and for this reason, gelato is served not on cones, but in to go cups with special spoons, and a similar setup is used for frozen sherbet. Frozen yogurt cups are the standard for frozen yogurt, along with the correct spoons and straws for eating it. Despite these paper and plastic features, sugar waffle cones endure for ice cream, since they are not only edible, which is a tasty bonus, but they have a classic look and it can be simply fun to pile a few scoops on one. Customers should be ready for drips and potential spills, however, so ice cream cones might not be the best idea while in a vehicle or while wearing nice clothes. And besides that, an ice cream cup or a frozen yogurt cup allows the consumer to mix flavors and condiments together without making a mess, something impossible on a waffle cone.
Any business selling ice cream will invest not only in the ice cream or gelato itself, but in products such as an ice cream mixer, waffle cones, paper cups, lids, spoons, and straws for all customers. Ice cream itself may be given either in cups or on cones, depending on each customer’s preference, and spoons and cups must be available for sherbet and gelato. The ice cream mixing machines will need regular maintenance every day. All ice cream should be emptied after the store closes, and first, water is run through the machine as a preliminary cleaning. Then, the machine is taken apart and all its pieces washed in warm, soapy water, dried in open air, then re-assembled for the next day’s use. Different models will have different parts or come apart in different ways, so owners are urged to follow the manual’s directions for a given model until the procedure is memorized. The number of ice cream mixers and serving supplies may also reflect on the amount of customers the store expects to get per day, and new machines can be bought if business is good. Frozen yogurt cups, spoons, and more can be bought for cheap, but an ice cream mixer is a bigger investment, and a business owner might wait a while until investing in another one.