Popular Science

10 sweet tricks for making better ice cream

That's some good-looking ice cream. But hey, uh, maybe put it in a bowl next time?
That's some good-looking ice cream. But hey, uh, maybe put it in a bowl next time? (Heami Lee/)

This article was originally featured on Saveur.


Ice cream is a miracle. You start with milk, one of the most chemically complex foods we eat. Add sugars to reduce its freezing point, and egg proteins and emulsifiers to obstruct ice crystals. Then you stick this gloppy stuff in a portable freezer and pump it full of air until spinning butterfat globules coalesce to give it form. That’s bananas, but somehow it works. Weirdest of all: Making it yourself is actually very easy.

Frozen dessert technology has come a long way since the days when Emperor Nero would send Roman slaves into the mountains to harvest blocks of ice, shave it down, and sweeten it with honey. In 1843, Nancy Johnson of Philadelphia patented the first ice cream freezer, but it required relentless hand-cranking and relied on rock salt to lower

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