The Real Scoop

0712_icecreamThink you know your cool treats? Do you know what separates a water ice from an Italian Ice? Think again. To help you keep your cool, we’re giving you...

It’s summer, which theoretically means that it’s hot as all get out right now. Logically, it stands to reason that you’re now on the hunt for something that will not only cool you down, but will also give you the rare opportunity to coat something in sprinkles.
But wait, sweet tooth-enabled readers. Don’t just jump right into the nearest parlor unprepared. There are options to weigh. And those options offer up such an array of completely unique experiences that (surprise surprise) no less an authority than the federal government has stepped in to differentiate them.
And so, since Hilton Head Monthly is not a publication that lets its readers make such a crucial snack-related decision without the proper education, we present the final word on the summer’s most famous frozen treats.


Old reliable. The oldest player in the frozen treat game is still the strongest. Spin it in any flavor imaginable, mix it up with some gummi bears, some candy bar chunks. Whatever you want. Since William G. Young first cranked out some treats from his patented “Johnson Patent Ice-Cream Freezer,” ice cream has dominated dessert talk for more than a century.

The official word:
(1) Ice cream is a food produced by freezing, while stirring, a pasteurized mix consisting of one or more of the optional dairy ingredients specified in paragraph (b) of this section, and may contain one or more of the optional caseinates specified in paragraph (c) of this section subject to the conditions hereinafter set forth, one or more of the optional hydrolyzed milk proteins as provided for in paragraph (d) of this section subject to the conditions hereinafter set forth…
Seriously, we didn’t make up a word of that. That’s from Code of Federal Regulations 135.110. It goes on for another 2,500 words.
The word on the street:
Creegen Edmonds, who makes his own at Hilton Head Ice Cream, said, “Ice cream’s about 50 percent air. That salt air, and a lot of love, is the secret ingredient.”
Or, as Lisa Bryan at Munchies put it, “The greatest thing is that ice cream puts a big smile on everyone, young and old.”
Most popular flavor:
At Hilton Head Ice Cream, it’s a toss-up between Oreo and Superman, while at Munchie’s it’s the sumptious-sounding white chocolate raspberry truffle. But at Marley’s, which also makes their own ice cream, the most popular flavor is creativity. “For example, we recently came up with some new flavors, such as a mojito sorbet,” said Marleys’ Jason Hinzman. “It’s always fun to experiment and taste all the new flavors.”
Håagen-Dazs is Danish for “I don’t speak Danish.” That’s because it’s a made-up word created in 1960 to sound sort of Danish (would that be Danishish?)


And if FroYo is the athletic cousin, gelato is the sophisticated European one. That’s due to both its Italian ancestry and its lower fat content. Gelato and ice cream share the same ancestry, but the key difference between the two stems from gelato’s higher amount of whole milk to cream, which lowers the fat content and also brings out the flavors. And, in European tradition, it’s churned slower than ice cream, which keeps air out and makes a smoother treat.
The official word:
This product is characterized by an intense flavor and is served in a semi-frozen state. Gelato contains sweeteners, milk, cream, egg yolks and flavoring. That’s remarkably succinct of you, federal government.
The word on the street:
“Gelato is made essentially with milk, as opposed to heavy cream, so it’s naturally 93 percent fat free,” said Claire Tulas of Pino Gelato. “Our sorbetto is dairy free and 100 percent fat free! Pino Gelato authentic recipe uses fresh ingredients and the original whipping process to make dense, smooth and tasteful gelato.”
According to Tulas, the most popular flavors of gelato she serves are chocolate and blood orange.
Gelato was invented in 1565 by Bernardo Buontalenti. It contained fruit and zabaglione, which apart from
being a variation of custard is also very fun to say.


The smooth alternative to ice cream, custard gets its signature thick, creamy appeal from the way it does away with the air and brings on the eggs. Take your basic ice cream, add some egg yolks, and whip until it’s ready, and you’ve got the dessert treat that even Barry White would say was smooth. And the man knew smooth.
The official word:
According to the federal government: Frozen custard shall contain 1.4 percent egg yolk solids by weight of the finished food: Provided, however, that when bulky flavors are added the egg yolk solids content of frozen custard may be reduced in proportion to the amount by weight of the bulky flavors added, but in no case is the content of egg yolk solids in the finished food less than 1.12 percent.
Congratulations, federal government. You’ve sucked the joy out of yet another of life’s wonders.
The word on the street:
“Custard is like a very creamy soft-serve,” said Dave Tremarelli of Rita’s Italian Ice. “You can hold it upside down, it doesn’t move.” In addition to serving it on its own, Rita’s layers frozen custard on Italian ice to make a gelati. Stop drooling.
The city of Milwaukee holds an annual long-standing three-way competition between Kopp’s Frozen Custard, Gilles Frozen Custard, and Leon’s Frozen Custard. According to Wikipedia, this makes the city the unofficial frozen-custard capital of the world.


Legend has it that Italian ice was invented in Italy. You... you probably already could have guessed that part on your own.
Well OK, smarty pants. Did you know that it was allegedly invented by Emperor Nero when he had runners bring him buckets of snow which he then mixed with honey and wine? While the history is unclear, what is clear is that mixing snow, honey, and wine sounds gross. Fortunately, those more gifted in the culinary arts soon introduced better flavors, and a revolution was created.
The official word:
We’re not about to say. For one thing, when you have something that people can’t even agree on the name of (in Philly it’s a water ice, in New York it’s a lemon ice regardless of flavor), it’s best to not get involved.
The word on the street:
“The thing is, it’s very refreshing, as opposed to ice cream which makes you thirsty,” said Don Rufrano of Frosty’s Italian Ice. “The classic flavor is lemon, from the mountain coasts of Amalfi, Italy, that’s where they get the lemon.”
Frosty’s and Rita’s stated that, surprisingly, mango was the most popular flavor at both their respective shops.
In New York, you ask for a lemon ice, then they ask, “what flavor?”


Not quite a shake, not quite a slushie, the smoothie has skyrocketed in popularity over the last few decades for those looking to inject a dose of healthiness into their cool treat. The beauty of a smoothie lies in its versatility. You start by blending up fruit. Where you go from there is up to you.
The official word:
It’s a free-for-all when it comes to smoothies. In the absence of a strict definition, folks have added chocolate, peanut butter, milk, yogurt, vitamin supplements, and even alcohol.
The word on the street:
“A smoothie is the healthy fast food alternative,” said Alison Yurco of Smoothie Company of Hilton Head. “It’s a complete meal in a cup!” Yurco says their top seller is “The Outlaw,” formerly known as the “Chocolate Elvis,” made with banana, chocolate, fat free frozen yogurt and peanut butter.
“We now have the freedom to substitute 100 percent natural cocoa powder and make what is known as a ‘Skinny Outlaw,’” she said.
Smoothies trace their roots back to South America, becoming popular here in the 1960s.


Picture frozen yogurt as ice cream’s athletic, gym-rat cousin. Offering up all the flavor with a fraction of the fat, frozen yogurt, aka FroYo aka Frogurt has been letting us indulge without as much of the guilt since the 1970s. The popularity of this high-culture treat (see what we did there?) exploded in the ’80s and ’90s, and today make up a significant amount of the market.
The official word:
The California Department of Food and Agriculture maintains a legal definition that frozen yogurt cannot be mixed on-site and must contain 10 million cultures per gram, two legal caveats that made popular chain Pinkberry have to stop calling their product frozen yogurt. Jeez, California. Lighten up.
The word on the street:
FroYo is both an art and a science, and the purveyors of this tasty treat take great pride in their own process.
“Nutrition is an important part of developing a great frozen yogurt,” said Cheryl Klipple of Watusi. “Watusi focuses on producing several categories of frozen yogurt: Low Fat, Non-Fat, No Sugar Added Non-Fat, and Non-Fat Non-Dairy (Sorbets). Our frozen yogurt contains viable counts of live active cultures — four cultures (one is a probiotic) that are not only certified at the time of manufacturing, but also in the finished product. We use real dairy, fresh milk, real fruit purees, and high counts of beneficial live yogurt cultures including probiotic. We are proud to serve Honey Hill Farms Premium frozen yogurt that blend their secret flavor recipes to ensure a smooth and creamy taste in every spoonful.”
Down the street at DeelishYo, the pride is as strong as the emphasis on health.
“We have one vintage soft serve machine and offer plain original tart- it’s similar to Greek style yogurt, with a nice crisp tang and clean finish,” said Cathryn E. Matthes, certified executive chef and owner of DelisheeYo. “It’s gluten free, low cal, fat free and pro-biotic with no coloring or flavoring, and it’s the best I’ve tried. It’s soft serve but not self serve, we do all the work. ... It’s our toppings that make the treat, we offer 30 gourmet choices including 10 hand cut fresh fruits,imported chocolate and caramel, local honey, seven varieties of nuts, and some organic and ‘super food’ toppings.
TCBY was originally called “This Can’t Be Yogurt!” but had to change their name following a lawsuit by rival chain “I Can’t Believe it’s Yogurt!”