What makes ice cream so good sometimes is more than your chosen guilty-pleasure flavor, but rather the texture it gets just as it starts to melt. You quicken your pace to race against the cup or cone in your hand, not wanting to waste a single drop. Chaos broke out when it was said that Breyers Ice Cream did not follow one of the 10 commandments of ice cream, being that it should in fact melt. After hearing this I took to my local Acme and decided to find out if it is true that Breyers ice cream doesn’t melt.

My Research 

cereal, sweet
Casey Irwin

Approaching this with an open mind, whether Breyers ice cream doesn't melt or it does, I quickly realized there was one defining factor that set some of Breyers products apart. While some of their containers, like Homemade Vanilla, proudly say "ice cream" on the box, others are marked with "Frozen Dairy Dessert" instead

Being labeled a frozen dairy dessert means that their products do not meet the FDA's standards to be considered ice cream. Their criteria includes "not less than 10% milk fat" and "a percentage of overrun that results in a finished product weighing more than 4.5 pounds per gallon". The FDA doesn't care if Breyers ice cream doesn't melt, it cares what it's made of. 

goody, dairy, chocolate, ice, sweet, cream, dairy product, milk
Casey Irwin

Breyers justifies this label by saying they are giving the customers what they want without sacrificing any of their original, high-quality ingredients. This change in ingredients may have made the ice cream smoother while also possibly taking away what makes ice cream melt. They've made it hard to tell the difference by making the differentiating label very small. 

My Experiment

sweet, ice, cream, milk, dairy product
Casey Irwin

After my ice cream world had been turned upside down, I bought both Breyers ice cream and frozen dairy dessert products to see if the FDA label and ingredients changed the classic melting that is a characteristic of ice cream. 

Homemade vanilla was my ice cream of choice, considering you can't get more basic ingredient-wise than that. My frozen dairy dessert was cookies & cream. It was time to see if Breyers ice cream doesn't melt. 

I simply set both whole containers out, wanting to keep the competition equal that way, and returned to them an hour later. I had expected to have to return every few hours, but my first dessert check up told me all that I needed to know. 

The Results

coffee, sweet, dairy product, cream, milk
Casey Irwin

Saying Breyers ice cream doesn't melt would be a lie. It does. My quarts of ice cream, whether they're both considered ice cream or not, were on their road to soup after sitting in my 73 degree apartment for just an hour. 

People who say that Breyers ice cream doesn't melt must keep their houses freezing because there was no difference in melty consistency between either of my options.

sweet, dairy product, coffee, chocolate, milk, cream
Casey Irwin

The results of my experiment were both surprising and reassuring. It restored my faith in ice cream and what it is meant to do. It also brought to my attention all of the ingredients in any frozen dessert that should be taken into consideration. 

While the idea that Breyers ice cream doesn't melt is false, ice cream should be such a simple dessert that this identity crisis is just telling us to eat more natural ice cream because some of the ingredients in ice creams are a little terrifying.

Here is a new song for you; You scream. I scream. We all scream for real ice cream.