We are so used to ice cream as a Sunday desert, the go to comfort food, the I scream we all scream for ice cream, that we do not really consider what ice cream is supposed to be. The word ice cream implies that it is frozen cream. Well it started out that way, but the truth is ice cream has also changed over the centuries.
Ice cream started out as simply frozen cream, only available to the “rich and famous” that had access to ice and salt. Due to the texture of frozen cream, sugar was added to move the freezing point of the ice cream and later the standard became to make a French custard as an ice cream base. Today we seldom find real ice cream anymore. Industrialization, consumerism and the drive for higher profits has given birth to the modern ice cream*. Ice cream (with a sterretjie) is neither legally (depending where in the world you live) nor technically an ice cream. Although the ice cream industry does recognize it under the economical leg of ice creams, the ice cream is made using water, milk solids and vegetable fats.
You see, the quality of ice cream is determined by the percentage of milk fat (typically from the cream used), so if the manufacturers uses vegetable fat, the ice cream* really is not ice cream. So the next time you buy a frozen dessert, have a look if you are buying ice cream or ice cream*.