Ever since its invention in the early 1900s or so, ice cream has proven to be a popular frozen dessert for many Americans then and now. These frozen treats are made with sugar, eggs, and more, and ice cream is joined by similar treats such as gelato, frozen custard and frozen yogurt, and more. Often, this treat is associated with summer, when cold desserts are popular. Gelato is usually served in gelato cups with specialized gelato spoons, while ice cream comes in a variety of dessert cups, as do frozen custard and yogurt. These dessert cups may come in different sizes at an ice cream parlor for guests, and a good ice cream parlor will be fully stocked with not just a variety of dessert cups but also waffle cones. It will also have the right ice cream mixers, spoons and straws, and more. Just how popular is ice cream and its related desserts today, and how might they be served?
Ice Cream Today
Many surveys and studies are done to track how Americans eat and what their food-based spending preferences are, and this includes popular desserts such as ice cream and gelato. Overall, the numbers show that such frozen desserts are as popular as ever among many age groups. For example, the NDP Group has determined that in any two-week period, some 40% of all Americans, tens of millions of people, will eat ice cream. This may not be surprising, seeing how around 90% of households indulge regularly in sweet frozen desserts. The average American eats ice cream 28.5 times per year, and that could mean almost daily ice cream eating in a month. Most often, Americans eat ice cream during summer, and to match this, June is the month with the most ice cream production.
This supports many jobs and represents a lot of revenue in the food industry. For example, around 9% of all the milk produced in American dairies goes straight toward ice cream, and today, around 2,582 frozen yogurt shops can be found across the nation. Most likely, there are even more regular ice cream parlors to be found, and they may have a variety of dessert types to serve. Many fast food restaurants and buffets feature ice cream machines in them, too.
Ways to Eat
There’s no “wrong” way to eat ice cream, but Americans may have some preferences on this. The classic way to eat ice cream is the waffle cone, one of the oldest ways to eat this treat. Rather than using paper dessert cups, some ice cream parlor guests opt for a crunchy, edible, mildly sweet waffle cone that look stylish and makes for a snack after the ice cream itself. Many ice cream patrons show off images of their fancy ice cream cones on social media. Some ice cream patrons, though, might not like how messy ice cream cones can be, as they can’t contain drips or spills at all. And if someone has leftovers, the waffle cone doesn’t make for a good leftovers container.
Other guests at an ice cream parlor may ask for their ice cream in dessert cups, usually made out of laminated paper that resists moisture and weight of the ice cream. In this case, there’s no edible cone, but the ice cream is much tidier and won’t spill or drip nearly as much. Patrons may like this tidier way to eat, and the paper cup comes with a plastic spoon in most cases, allowing the patron to mix around flavors and condiments as they like. These dessert cups also make for convenient, ready-made leftovers container in a fridge or freezer at home. Meanwhile, related desserts such as gelato or frozen yogurt nearly always come in dessert cups of varying sizes, and may be either paper or plastic. They may also come with straws.
Any ice cream parlor will have a variety of paper cups, plastic cups, and waffle cones in different sizes to fit any order that patrons make. A child may appreciate a small waffle cone with a vanilla ice cream scoop, and their parents might prefer gelato in plastic cups with spoons for tidy eating. The parlor will also have the right mixing machines for a variety of ice cream flavors.