You might not think that a food that’s been around for a few centuries would still be making headlines every year. But, the fact is that ice cream continues to fascinate and innovate, which means that the sweet treat often finds itself in the limelight.
Although there were many interesting ice cream stories that were widely read and shared in the last year, there were a few that stood out because they amused, delighted or even shocked us…
1. Slow-Melting Ice Cream
Ice cream is one of the few things in our everyday lives that comes just about as close to perfection as you can get. But it’s one inherent downfall is that it’s vulnerable to warm air. But back in September, we received the happy news that a few European scientists may had cracked the case.
University of Edinburgh physicist Cait MacPhee says that the key is a protein called BslA. She substituted more commonly used emulsifiers (egg yolk, condensed milk, food chemicals) with the protein, which binds the other ingredients together more tightly, causing the concoction to melt more slowly than traditional ice cream. So far, this development is still at the lab and scientist level but it may someday become an option for commercial ice cream makers.
2. Safety Issues
On several occasions this year, popular ice cream brands experienced outbreaks of listeria, which resulted in major product recalls and even plant shutdowns. What’s unusual about these outbreaks is that the Listeria bacteria cannot grow at freezing temperatures, so it’s very rarely found in ice cream. The good news is that the issue has been dealt with and has given all food manufacturers additional motivation to be even more attentive to food safety issues.
3. Weird & Wonderful Ice Cream Sandwiches
2015 was the year of the ice cream sandwich – in the past year, we witnessed the birth of everything from the churro ice cream sandwich to the funnel cake ice cream sandwich (among many others). Here at BoDeans, where we make a wide variety of delicious ice cream sandwich wafers, we couldn’t be more pleased to see this delicious treat getting its moment in the spotlight.
4. Wine Ice Cream
When two wonderful things that we love are fused together to create something deliciously new, it’s always a cause for celebration. That’s just what the world did when it got wind of the fact that an independent, New York ice cream maker, Mercer’s, makes wine ice cream flavors like raspberry chardonnay and cherry merlot. And yes, there is actual alcohol in each pint, 5% by volume.
5. No Churn DIY Recipes
As a country, we love ice cream so much that we not only frequently buy it from ice cream shops and grocery stores, but many people also enjoy making it at home. That’s why the internet went bonkers this year when it discovered easy ways to make it at home without an ice cream maker. The most shared recipes involve just a few ingredients, which often include frozen bananas and condensed milk, but no churning, salt or fancy equipment needed.
6. Star Wars Ice Cream
2015 was also the year of Star Wars. With the release of The Force Awakens, there was a huge resurgence of interest in everything Jedi, Stormtrooper and Wookie. And one of the biggest ice cream stories of the year was the release of a couple of intergalactic flavors: The Dark Side (dark chocolate ice cream with fudge brownies, cocoa crispies and white chocolate pearls) and The Light Side (marshmallow ice cream with crispie clusters and cocoa crispies).