Photo Friday: A Complex Food Colloid

From Ice Cream Sixth Edition by Robert T. Marshall, H. Douglas Goff, and Richard W. Hartel:

“Ice cream is a complex food colloid embodied in a product the consumer associates with pure enjoyment. It is paradoxical that what can seem so simple is indeed so complex.”

And that about sums up Ice Cream 101, y’all. In a word…overwhelming. Leave it to me to select a food to sell that is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations. I was trying to get away from working for the man.

If I wait any longer to write about Ice Cream 101, I won’t, so here are my thoughts: 

  • “Ice cream” has a standard of identity defined by the federal government (so recipe development is not as simple as you might think, unless you are willing to sell something you have to call “frozen dairy product.”).
  • The mix must be pasteurized (even if your dairy ingredients are pasteurized). Before the professor hammered this point home, he said, “now is when I shatter your dreams.” We were told 98% of ice cream shop owners purchase their mix and most of us sighed dejectedly.

Who knew ice cream could be such a pain in the ass?

This was hour one of a two-day course. Quite frankly, I tuned out a little the rest of that morning. I want to MAKE ice cream, not flavor and freeze somebody else’s mix.

  • During the tasting lab, I ended up being quite attracted to the version of vanilla made with artificial sweetener instead of sugar. Oops. My taste buds must have been exhausted by then…
  • A presentation on the business side of opening an ice cream shop likened the process to having a baby. Unfortunately, conception is the only part of pregnancy that sounds like any fun, and I worry the ice cream business might feel the same. The part of his talk that stuck with me most was the following off the cuff remark:  “if I could get rid of all my staff and I could get rid of all my customers I would have the best business in the world. Just go down and make ice cream.” Uh-oh.

On the afternoon of day two, several batch freezer (basically a huge expensive ice cream maker) representatives hawked their wares. They demonstrated their machines and let us taste the ice cream. The moment I saw fresh ice cream extruding from the first machine, I was back on board. I wanted to remove the bucket from under the spout and replace it with my open mouth.

  • I’m a very risk-averse person. I learned there is a lot I didn’t know about making ice cream. And I know even less about starting and running a business.

In the short term, I plan to make a lot of ice cream. We’ll see if it’s as much fun as I thought and whether my friends and family think it’s any good. My lovely husband ordered me a snazzy new ice cream maker for Valentine’s Day. Last weekend, I made my first batch of my signature flavor idea, basically ice cream that is supposed to taste like chocolate chip cookie dough (I threw in actual cookie dough for good measure). I couldn’t decide if I should share the full view or close-up, so you get both.

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20 Responses to “Photo Friday: A Complex Food Colloid”

  1. Susi
    Friday, February 24, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    My goodness, the ice-cream business sounds like a complicated one:) Looks very yummy!

    • logyexpress
      Friday, February 24, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

      Thanks Susi! I have a lot of ice cream making in my future!

  2. Kathy
    Friday, February 24, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    Hi, I’m visiting during the Not A Mommy blog hop!

    If your ice cream tastes as good as it looks, I’d say it will be a hit! Looks yummy!

    • logyexpress
      Friday, February 24, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

      Thanks Kathy, good to “meet” you.

  3. drimdzius
    Friday, February 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    Well did you like it?

    • logyexpress
      Friday, February 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm #


      I had a moment of panic that the whole batch was ruined but it was only the last bit out of the machine that froze badly once in the freezer. I made about 3 pints and the first bit (that the machine had frozen more) fit into an old yogurt container and then I poured the rest (which was pretty liquid-y) into a smaller tupperware container. We tried some from the smaller container first and the texture was awful–icy.

      I was beside myself.

      But the stuff in the larger container was really good. I think I didn’t let the mix freeze enough so the smaller container froze quiescently, whereas ice cream is supposed to freeze under agitation. So the small container was basically brown sugar creamsicle.

      More than you wanted to know, I’m sure.

  4. L.M. (Chaotically Yours)
    Friday, February 24, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    All these posts about food! The blogosphere is making me hungry.

    That ice cream looks both pretty and delicious. Kudos.

    • logyexpress
      Friday, February 24, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

      Thanks! I really want to perfect several flavor ideas but I’m starting to worry about eating so much ice cream!

  5. Catherine
    Friday, February 24, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    I was all set to leave a witty cogent reply to this post and then saw the photos. All thought flew out of my head and I. MUST. HAVE. ICE. CREAM. NOW.

    Well done!

    • logyexpress
      Friday, February 24, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

      Well, if you were here, of course I’d share, but the question is…would you buy it?!?!

  6. Rebecca Latson Photography
    Friday, February 24, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    I really like the close up image. Now I want some ice cream (but it’s cold and getting dark outside so I will not be going to the store today). One question – if this has added cookie dough in it, I hope your eggs are pasteurized (or whatever they have to be to keep you from getting sick), because you do have to add eggs to cookie dough, don’t you? Or does the freezing process kill all the cooties in raw eggs? Anyway, I laughed at that “off the cuff remark”. How true. If it weren’t (wasn’t?) for people, I think alot of things would be more fun/interesting/less stressful.

    • logyexpress
      Friday, February 24, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

      Thanks, Becky, I love getting right up in my subject’s grill with my macro lens.

      I didn’t put any eggs in the cookie dough, I used melted butter and a little milk to make it mixable.

  7. Katie
    Friday, February 24, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

    Wow. Ice cream IS a complicated business. When you see such a technical side of a dream, it becomes a lot less dreamy, doesn’t it? But then you go and make such a beautiful batch of ice cream and things become dreamy again. Funny how that works. A lot like freelance writing, it seems. The biodiesel article I’m currently working on is boring as hell, but the fantasy short story that I’m also writing reminds me why I love this.

    Great pictures. You definitely have me craving ice cream now.

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

      Sometimes I worry I’m capable of making any career into a “job.” That’s part of why I have stuck around in my current job so long, the fear that anything I do for pay I’d resent eventually.

      I guess the biodiesel is what we do for the fantasy, eh?

  8. kirbycarespodiKirby
    Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 7:05 am #

    Thank you so much for taking all that time to attempt to comment, and then e-mail! And now I find that you are opening an ice crem shop? Oh lawd…you maay need to be my BFF. I can give up every other sweet, but I will NEVER give up my ice cream! (I feel like William Wallace sans kilt.)
    Let me know when and where you open–I am all over NoVA in the summer and fall on my way to and from the family.

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

      This is exciting, I’d have a customer! I’d definitely keep you posted. Thanks for visiting!

  9. jenhasapen
    Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    What in the world? I had no idea! Crazy. Your ice cream looks good, though! But, I attribute that in part to your macro photog chops. :-) I’ve been so in love with macro since I got my newest lens. I never knew the world had such detail. :-)

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

      I want to crawl inside my ice cream. Wait, that sounds really weird.

  10. Jill W
    Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    I meant to say your post is a great high-low-high of the course.

    It is good to follow your dreams and desires. Maybe you’ll open an ice cream store, and maybe you’ll find a different niche along the way that suits you even better.

    In the meantime, I wish I were close enough to stop by for taste-testing!

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

      Hey Jill, I deleted your first aborted attempt to comment!!!

      Yeah, I’m not sure if the ice cream business is for me, but at least I’ll have fun making ice cream while I decide.

      If you’re ever in the area, I’ll hook you up with some ice cream.

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