Taste Ice Cream again for the first time; on butterfat content and conscious use of naming

Aug
06
2012

“Taste Ice Cream again for the first time; on butterfat content and conscious use of naming”
Authored by Morris Levin

EU law and the laws of most countries reserve the term “Champagne” exclusively for wines that come from a geographic region located about 160 kilometers east of Paris. In 1927, viticultural boundaries of Champagne were legally defined and split into five wine producing districts: The Aube, Côte des Blancs, Côte de Sézanne, Montagne de Reims, and Vallée de la Marne. This area covers 76,000 acres of vineyards home to 5,000 growers who make their own wine, and 14,000 growers who only sell grapes.

Georgia’s state legislature passed the “Vidalia Onion Act of 1986″ which authorized a trademark for “Vidalia Onions”. All onions labeled Vidalia must be grown in one of thirteen different counties in Georgia or in specific portions of seven other counties.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration defines Ice Cream as containing “not less than 10 percent… …milkfat-to-nonfat milk solids levels.” We speak of milkfat as “butterfat”. The relative percentage of the milkfat – or butterfat – defines what companies may label their frozen aerated dairy confectionary.

Premium Ice Cream is ice cream that contains no less than 14% butterfat, and Superpremium Ice Cream contains no less than 16%.

Little Baby’s Ice Cream is 16% butterfat which is precisely rich, and denser than most every other ice cream available in the market.

But what is 16% and how does that relate to other dairy? By way of comparison, skim milk has less than 0.5% butterfat. Whole milk is around 3.5%. Half-and-half is 12%, light cream is 20%, and heavy whipping cream is 36%.

At the core – ice cream is frozen flavored and sweetened whipped cream.

Every movement comes in a context, and part of Little Baby’s narrative is Philadelphia’s ice cream tradition in the production of Philadelphia Style ice cream – ice cream made without eggs, characteristic of French Style Ice Cream. This is also per the FDA.

Breyer’s ice cream was founded in Philadelphia in 1866. It built a brand identity on a
reputation for rich Philadelphia style ice cream produced with minimal number of basic
ingredients. The vanilla was legit. The Breyer’s white mint chip was so good. Many little babies grew up on Breyer’s Ice Cream. It was made in Philadelphia and the neon company sign was visible from the highway.

In 1993, Unilever purchased the company from Kraft, and in 2006 began to cut costs on the Breyer’s line. It is cheaper to produce the product with additives and chemical stabilizers, and extends shelf life which improves bottom line sales. By this past spring, Breyer’s had diminished the content of its actual dairy that the butterfat level dropped below 10%. There is no more Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream; there is now “Vanilla Flavor with Cherry Pieces Frozen Dairy Dessert.”

Little Baby’s is Ice Cream: 16% butterfat Philadelphia Style Superpremium Ice Cream.

Because it matters. It really does.

Drawing of Ice Cream by Andy Warhol

Drawing of Ice Cream by Andy Warhol