"A" is for A La Mode Part I

Monday, July 20, 2009

In the alphabet of ice cream, "A" is for a la mode. In honor of National Ice Cream Month, I have created an A to Z guide for the abounding number of different types of iced and frozen desserts that can be enjoyed.

"T" is for toppings of hot fudge, sprinkles and a cherry on top.
Photo Source: Photo Bucket

A la mode: French for "with ice cream on top."

Astronaut Ice Cream: the popularity of ice cream has literally taken it out of this world! Freeze-dried ice cream, also known as "astronaut ice cream" was first tasted in space in the 1960s during the Apollo missions. Typically this unique take on ice cream comes as a dry, chalky neopolitan-style block of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavors.

Blizzard: a Dairy Queen ice cream treat that's been an American favorite since the 80s, the Blizzard has the consistency of a very thick milkshake and is made with a variety of mix-ins including Oreos, Reese's, Snickers and Heath bars to name a few. Newest flavors include Cheesequake, Brownie Batter and Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, which were introduced in 2004.

Freeze Pop: also known as an ice pop, freeze pops are frozen ice with artificial fruit flavoring packaged in long plastic tubes as a cheap summer treat popular among children.

Frozen Custard: similar to ice cream, frozen custard is made with eggs, but is made using a different process from ice cream making it thicker, creamier, and more prone to melting. Frozen custard typically comes in simple flavor offerings such as chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.

Frozen Yogurt: also known as "fro yo", frozen yogurt is a healthy frozen alternative to ice cream typically containing less fat and calories than the traditional scoop. While ice cream must have at least 10 percent milk fat to be considered authentic, frozen yogurt has a maximum of six percent milkfat and some varieties can have less than one percent.
Gelato: an Italian frozen dessert made with more milk than cream, making it a less fattening than traditional ice cream. This frozen treat is made via a process that causes it to have less air than ice cream, giving it a denser, smoother texture. Another key difference between ice cream and gelato is that the ingredients of the latter do not undergo homogenization, which causes it to melt more quickly.
You may get a sugar high just from looking at this overflowing glass
of homemade pistachio and chocolate gelato.
Photo Source: Saveur

Glace: French ice cream, which typically is made with eggs and cream to give it a fuller, custard-like taste.

Ice Cream: the treat that started it all! Well, almost. Historians dispute the exact origins of ice cream, but references trace back to at least 4th century B.C., and many believe that the Chinese invented ice cream before bringing it to Europe. Ice cream began as a treat for royalty and well-known historical figures such as Nero, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Catherine de Medici who were among the early adorers of then called "iced cream."

With the invention of hand-cranked freezer in the 1800s followed by advances in modern refrigeration in the 1900s, many more people could enjoy or make the treat, which became less expensive and more readily available. Next came ice cream concoctions such as the ice cream sandwich, ice cream cake, ice cream floats, the ice cream sundae, milkshakes along with an explosion of flavors from Fried Ice Cream to Cherry Garcia.
Follow Cooking Light's 7 easy steps for homemade ice cream.
Photo Source: Cooking Light

Ice Cream Cones: Waffle, sugar, cake or dipped -- take your pick! Ice cream cones have taken on a new shape since their invention at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, and today they can come dipped in chocolate, covered in nuts, sprinkles and more! In recent years the advent of the Waffle cone bowl has been a happy marriage for lovers of Waffles cones and ice cream sundaes.

Check back soon for the rest of the ice cream alphabet along with more recipes for frozen treats!

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