An ice cream shop is an ice cream shop is an ice cream shop? Exactly not. Not everyone keeps what they promise. Instead of the finest craftsmanship, only industrial ice cream ends up in the cone. You should pay attention to these points when buying ice cream.

Summer is when your fingers stick. Greasy and salty from the pool fries, sugary and sweet from the melting ice cream. While licking ice cream, we dream away for a few minutes on vacation, dive into the Dolce Vita before we go back to work or the next toddler crisis has to be dealt with. In the last normal summer, 2019, every single person in Germany dreamed up more than 119 scoops of ice cream on average. That’s what the Federal Association of the German Confectionery Industry (BDSI) calculated. 119 balls correspond to about 8.3 liters. In the meantime, consumption has dropped to “only” an average of eight liters, which should still be a whopping 100 balls. 100 balls that need to be well thought out.

Not every ice cream parlor keeps what it promises. It starts with the supposed quality guarantors “homemade” and “from our own production”. Because these terms are not binding for ice cream at all, explains the consumer center. Ice cream parlors can therefore advertise with these words, but in reality they can mix ready-made powder or enrich a delivered basic ice cream. Visually, this is not necessarily recognizable for consumers. After all, you can even have the varieties delivered decorated with suitable food. A look at the range can help. According to Ökotest, genuine artisan ice cream parlors usually only offer a few carefully selected flavors. However, if in doubt, it is still advisable to ask the owner directly about the production method. You should pay attention to these factors the next time you buy ice cream so that you are not disappointed by inferior quality:

Artfully prepared ice cream

Is the ice cream piled up in the display in a particularly appetizing way? Then that can be an indication of emulsifiers, says Ökotest. But not always. There are also cooling systems that cool from above. And it is precisely these that keep the mountains in shape, even without the appropriate additives.

Vibrant colours

Often, when the color of the ice cream offered is too bright, this is due to coloring agents. Pistachio ice cream is more brownish than rich green, and ice cream with bourbon vanilla isn’t bright yellow either. The natural color is more of a light yellow.

crystals in the ice

Fresh ice cream is not only creamy, it also leaves a light greasy film on the palate. However, if it tastes “crystal”, then that can’t just be a sign that it’s older. The crystals in the ice indicate a break in the cold chain.

Ice melts (too) slowly

As soon as you hold the ice cream in your hand, it runs down your fingers. This is annoying, but actually a good sign. If it’s not frozen hard, but still melts slowly, this can be an indication of emulsifiers and stabilizers.

All clean?

If the hygiene is not right, this is a significant quality deficit. One indication of how seriously the owners take it when it comes to cleanliness is how they use the ice cream scoop. If it’s just carelessly dipped into the same murky water over and over again, that’s not a good sign. According to the Ökotest, dirty aprons or ice cream containers can also increase the number of germs in the ice cream. In addition, salespeople should never touch food, biscuits or money with the same hand.

Source: consumer center, Ökotest, Statista