Celebrating National Ice Cream Day 2023!

Great Kansas City Ice Cream Spots!

Differences Between Types of Ice Cream, History of Ice Cream, and More!

Prepare your tastebuds for something cool and delicious this weekend!  Sunday, July 16th marks National Ice Cream Day!

Nowadays, whenever you are craving a cool concoction, you don’t have to limit yourself to just ice cream. There are many creations in the ice cream family that you can choose to indulge in. Ice cream, gelato, frozen custard, frozen yogurt, soft serve, and even a yummy invention called “snow cream” – the list goes on.  Even people who are less lactose friendly, also have an opportunity to partake in some creamy flavorful goodness without sacrificing any flavor, since there are options made just for them too.  So you may wonder what exactly are your choices (and the differences between them)  when you are craving a flavorful frosty treat.  Though similar, the key differences between these desserts lie in their ingredients, fat content, air incorporation, and serving temperatures, resulting in variations in texture, creaminess, and taste.

Here is a brief look at what makes what, and why.

  • Ice cream, which most of us are probably the most familiar with, is made from a mixture of cream, milk, sugar, and flavorings. It typically contains a higher percentage of milk fat (between 10-18%) and air, resulting in a light and creamy texture. It is churned at a higher speed, which incorporates more air into the mixture, giving it a fluffier consistency.  The top five most popular flavors in the United States last year were vanilla, chocolate, mint chocolate chip, cookie dough, and buttered pecan. See below for some great locations to indulge in!
  • Gelato is an Italian-style ice cream that is known for its dense, creamy, and velvety texture. It is made with a base of milk, sugar, and flavorings, with a lower proportion of cream and a higher proportion of milk compared to ice cream. Gelato has a lower air content, typically around 20-30% less air than ice cream, which contributes to its denser consistency. It is served at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream, allowing it to have a softer texture and intensifying the flavors.  Try the new shop, YAYUH Specialty Drinks and Gelato, 314 SW Main Street Lees Summit, MO 64063, or Flying Cow Gelato, 5000 State Line Rd Westwood Hills, KS 66205
  • Frozen custard is a dessert similar to ice cream but made with a combination of cream, milk, sugar, and egg yolks. The addition of egg yolks gives the frozen custard a richer and smoother texture compared to traditional ice cream. It has a higher percentage of butterfat and egg yolks than ice cream, resulting in a creamier and denser consistency. Frozen custard is typically served at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream. Try the popular chain Andy’s, Culvers, or Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard, 6235 Brookside Plaza, Kansas City, MO 64113
  • Frozen yogurt, also known as "froyo," is a frozen dessert made from yogurt and sweeteners. It is often lower in fat than ice cream, as it is made with yogurt instead of cream. It usually contains active cultures of bacteria, similar to regular yogurt, which can provide certain health benefits. It has a tangy flavor and a lighter, softer texture compared to ice cream.  Try “Chill in the Village” 6966 Mission Rd. Prairie Village, KS 66208, though the popular and oh-so-yummy national chain of Menchie’s is said to be opening in a Lee’s Summit location, as well as a Kansas location in the near future.
  • Soft Serve is a type of frozen dessert that has a smoother and creamier texture compared to traditional ice cream. It is typically made from a mixture of milk, cream, sugar, and flavorings. The mixture is churned and simultaneously frozen in a special soft serve machine. Unlike regular ice cream, which is typically hardened in a freezer, soft serve is served directly from the machine, hence the name "soft serve." The continuous churning process aerates the ice cream mixture, giving it a light and fluffy texture. Try Frozen Gold, 4144 Pennsylvania Ave, Kansas City, MO 64111
  • Snow Cream also known as Korean shaved ice, or bingsu, is catching hold as a great alternative to ice cream. It is made by shaving frozen blocks of flavored milk or fruit into a fine, fluffy texture similar to snow. The shaved ice is then layered with various toppings and sweet condiments. The resulting texture is light and airy, similar to freshly fallen snow. Once the shaved ice is prepared, it is commonly topped with a variety of ingredients and flavors. Some popular toppings include sweetened red beans (known as pat), fruits such as strawberries or mangoes, condensed milk, mochi (rice cakes), sweet syrups, nuts, and cereal flakes. Our pick for Snow Cream: Bing Box Dessert Cafe, 4937 W 119th St, Leawood, KS 66209

Want to be close to your favorite dessert haven?  The Ask Cathy Team will find you that perfect spot, where you can go for a scoop or two anytime the craving arises! Set up your personalized home search here!  

Missouri's Contribution

Did you know that an incident in Missouri had a profound effect on the future of ice cream and led to its widespread popularity?  Did you know that it also could be one of the most highly debated discoveries in ice cream history?

This significant contribution to the popularity of ice cream harkens back to the World’s Fair in Saint Louis in 1904. Due to the fortuitous placement of an ice cream vendor situated next to Ernest A. Hamwi, a Syrian immigrant to the United States. Mr Hamwi was selling zalabis, which is a donut-like Syrian pastry.  As the story goes, when the ice vendor ran out of dishes, Mr. Hamwi quickly rolled one of his zalabis into a cone-shaped “cornucopia”, thus providing a delicious solution to the ice cream vendor's lack of dishes, and just like that the face and the portability of ice cream were changed forever.

The World’s Fair attracted the attention of over 20 million people, to the tune of 100,000 per day, which was a prime setting for an incredible ice cream cone debut. However, the patent for the ice cream cone itself was actually granted in 1904 to Italo Marchiony, in New York City, who created an edible cup. Though both creations were made independently of one another, Ernest Hamwi is often credited with the original creation. There actually is quite a bit of drama surrounding the “who invented what” in the complete history of the ice cream cone, but however or by whomever the cone itself was created, we all can delight in its invention!

No matter how the cone crumbled, and who actually was first, it is true that even though Italo Marchiony had the original patent, in the 1950s, Ernest Hamwi was named the official ice cream cone creator by the International Association of Ice Cream Manufacturers. After the World’s Fair, Ernest went on to open the Missouri Cone Company (later known as the Western Cone Company ) in 1910.

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So enough with all the history and science behind this flavorful feature, where can you partake in some of the original frozen concoctions for National Ice Cream Day? Last but not least, here are some hot (and cool!) ice cream spots in our area!

Betty Rae's Ice Cream

Waldo - 7140 WORNALL RD KCMO 64114

River Market - 412 DELAWARE ST KCMO 64105

Sylas & Maddy's Homemade Ice Cream

11925 S Strang Line Rd Olathe, KS 66062

Clinton's Soda Fountain

100 West Maple Avenue, Independence, MO 64050

Odessa Creamery

209 S 2nd St, Odessa, MO 64076

Fairway Creamery

5938 Mission Rd, Fairway, Kansas

Martin City Ice Cream Company

411 E. 135th St. Kansas City, MO 64145

Poppy's Ice Cream Shop and Coffee House

307 SE Douglas St., Lee's Summit, Missouri

The Golden Scoop

9540 Nall, Overland Park, Kansas 913.283.8044

The Golden Scoop is an ice cream and coffee shop that employs and pays individuals with developmental disabilities.

While ice cream may be one of the Ask Cathy's team favorite desserts, we love helping finding our clients their perfect home even more. Connect with us to talk about your timeline to move with a no-obligation consultation.  

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