Ice cream is the collective name for food eaten when frozen, such as granité, ice cream, water ice, sorbet and fruit ice cream. The preparation of frozen dishes originated in seventeenth-century Italy. Originally, these were all based on fruit, but soon herbs, spices, coffee and tea were also added to flavour the ice. The flavours were often enhanced with additional sugar and/or an acidic element.
The texture of the ice cream - from grainy to creamy - depends on the ratio of the ingredients, the preparation method and the temperature at which it is served. During the freezing process, the water changes into numerous little ice crystals that are enveloped by the other ingredients. The more sugar and/or fat, the less ‘pointy’ the crystals will be, and the softer the ice cream. Getting your percentages right is the key to making ice cream. Fruit sorbets are best with a sugar content between 28% and 32%, and ice creams are best with a milk fat content of 8%.