My Dad used to tease us, as children, with the famous line, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” Well, now is the time to enjoy! What’s YOUR favorite flavor?
I often wondered, where did that phrase come from, anyway? According to Stanford University, “Ice Cream” or “I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream” is a popular song, first published in 1927, with words and music by Howard Johnson, Billy Moll, and Robert King. After initial success as a late 1920s novelty song, the tune became a traditional jazz standard, while the lyrics refrain “I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream” has remained a part of popular culture even without the rest of the song.
I love making ice cream at home! It is delicious and I sometimes feel it is becoming a lost art and a lost pleasure. But, every year homemade ice cream causes several outbreaks of Salmonella infection with up to several hundred victims at church picnics, family reunions, and other large gatherings. From 1996 to 2000 (the latest year for which surveillance was completed), 17 outbreaks resulting in more than 500 illnesses in the United States were traced to Salmonella bacteria in homemade ice cream, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The ingredient responsible for the outbreaks is raw or undercooked eggs.
FoodSafety.gov offers this advice:
Start with a cooked egg base for ice cream. This is especially important if you’re serving people at high risk for foodborne infections: infants, older adults, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems.
To make a cooked egg base (also known as a custard base):
- Combine eggs and milk as indicated in the recipe. (Other ingredients, such as sugar, may be added at this step.)
- Cook the mixture gently to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, stirring constantly. The cooking will destroy Salmonella, if present. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of the mixture. At this temperature, the mixture will firmly coat a metal spoon (but please don’t lick the spoon if the custard is not fully cooked!).
- After cooking, chill the mixture before adding other ingredients and freezing.
You can also use egg substitute products or pasteurized eggs in your ice cream, or you can find a recipe without eggs.
- With the egg substitute products, you might have to experiment a bit with the recipe to figure out the right amount to add for the best flavor.
- Pasteurized eggs can be substituted in recipes that call for uncooked eggs. Commercial pasteurization of eggs is a heat process at low temperatures that destroys any Salmonella that might be present, without having a noticeable effect on flavor or nutritional content. These are available at some supermarkets for a slightly higher cost per dozen. Even if you’re using pasteurized eggs for your ice cream, both the FDA and the USDA recommend starting with a cooked egg base for optimal safety.
So, by following these safe handling and proper cooking practices, you can enjoy refreshing, tasty homemade ice cream without worrying about making anyone sick!
Another option for a fun day with the family with children is to make Ice Cream in a Bag! The recipe and instructions are at: http://engineering.oregonstate.edu/momentum/k12/jul04/
Fun facts: Ice cream innovations from Ohio State University!
1921 – When chocolate sticks to ice cream…Melvin De Groote, an Ohio State chemical engineering alum, held 925 patents at the time of his death—second to only Thomas Edison. Among his many achievements is the invention of the chemical recipe that allows chocolate to stick to ice cream, leading to the Eskimo Pie.
1978 – The drumstick was perfected – Food science professors John Lindamood and Poul Hansen wanted to keep the ice cream in the frozen treat from making the cone soggy. So they developed a way to coat the inside of the cone with chocolate.
Celebrate National Ice Cream Month with your favorite flavor!
Written by: Kathryn K Dodrill, Extension Educator, The Ohio State University Extension, Washington County.
Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, The Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.