The Undesirable Cream of Milk Soup

What could possibly make someone take a three our final in 45 minutes? For a friend of mine, it was the thought of hundreds of dollars of ice cream melting into colorful puddles. In charge of her parents shop for the week, she got a phone call from an employee who told her that the storefront freezers had shorted out, meaning they had less than three hours to move all the ice cream to the backup freezers, before the ice cream turned into unwholesome pools. What’s so unwholesome about these pools? Technically all the ingredients are still there; milk, cream, sugar, whey – nothing has changed…except the temperature and the temperature, and the technology to create that temperature, makes all the difference. We don’t pay $3.89 for a soupy concoction of milk and cream. We pay $3.89 for milk and cream that’s hard enough to require a special spoon.

Melted Ice Cream Cone

But to get milk and cream to the temperature necessary to produce ice cream with efficiency and to make the amount of availability to the product that we have today, freezers are a necessity. As Jack Goody would put it, ice cream is very much an “industrial cuisine”. As he noted, multiple attempts were made at perfecting the preservation of food through freezing and this desire to preserve combined with advances in technology have affected ideas of food preparation and diet (Jack Goody, pg 76); like delicious frozen ice cream, instead of undesirable cream of milk soup.


Goody, J. 2013. Industrial Food: Towards the Development of a World Cuisine; Food and Culture: A Reader, ed. Counihan, C. and Van Esterik, P. Taylor and Francis: Oxford.