If you don’t like ice cream, you probably have some sort of mental issue that needs to be checked out. The countless flavor possibilities can satisfy the sweet tooth of just about anyone. Gone are the days of vanilla or chocolate…from strawberry cream to bacon, there’s a flavor for any craving.

But nowadays, ice cream is no longer just “ice cream.” You have typical ice cream, soft serve, gelato, custard, and fro-yo. But what really is the difference between them all?

I’m pretty sure all of you have tried ice cream, soft serve, gelato, custard and fro-yo at some point in your lives. That being said, you can probably identify the slight differences in texture and flavor that make each one unique.

While some people claim “they’re all the same thing,” there’s evidence to support that there really are differences between these frozen delicacies.

1. Ice Cream

ice cream

Photo by Ashley Peek

According to USDA, the standards for ice cream consist of  20% cream and 10% milk. Also, ice cream will usually contain at least 10% fat (although some of the luxurious, sinful ice cream will contain 15-20%…so worth it). When compared to the other ice creams, this classic kind will be less dense and is often served very frozen.

With all the new trends, a lot of people neglect original ice cream when going out for a treat. Don’t do this. There’s always a time and place for classic ice cream. Check out Melt for incredibly unique flavors that will have you craving ice cream any day of the week.

Favorite Ice Cream in Fort Worth: Melt

2. Soft Serve

ice cream

Photo by Ashley Peek

This sounds super obvious, but only because it is. Soft serve ice cream is ice cream that is…well, soft. It contains the exact same ingredients as regular ice cream, but comes from a machine that results in a smoother texture. The machine incorporates more air and doesn’t allow the ice cream to harden as much.

Most often, soft serve ice cream is found at buffets since the machine makes it is easy to keep cool. As you may know, there’s a soft serve machine just steps away from your very own home (aka the good ole’ BLUU). Go ahead and get yourself some soft serve in your jammies.

Sweetest Soft Serve in Fort Worth: Market Square (TCU)

3. Gelato

ice cream

Photo by Ashley Peek

This Italian ice cream always seems more fun and luxurious than regular ice cream. The flavors are always fancier and unpronounceable (stracciatella, anyone? Hint: it’s just chocolate chip).

One of the main components of gelato production is that it is churned very slowly, making it much more dense than regular ice cream. However, it contains about 5-7% less fat, due to the higher ratio of milk to cream.

Another factor that makes it taste creamier is the fact that it is served at warmer temperatures. Instead of it being super icy, the creamy texture melts into a pool of happiness as soon as it hits your tongue.
Gelato places can be more difficult to hunt down compared to the other types of frozen treats (unless you’re in Italy, of course). But at the price of a 5 minute car ride (and a few bucks), you can get fabulous gelato to satisfy your taste buds.

Best Gelato in Fort Worth: Paciugo

4. Custard

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The key ingredient to this delicious dish is egg yolk. All other ingredients are the same as regular ice cream, but the yolk creates a thicker product.

Having lived in Milwaukee, I know and love my custard. If you’re feeling SUPER adventurous, take a trek up north just to try Kopp’s Frozen Custard. Nothing compares, trust me. Luckily, Fort Worth does have some frozen custard places that (almost) match up to my beloved custard capitol of the world.

Creamiest Custard in Fort Worth: Curly’s Frozen Custard

5. Frozen Yogurt (aka. “Fro-Yo”)

ice cream

Photo by David Whinery

The Fro-Yo frenzy has seemed to die down the last couple of months; but having worked at a fro-yo shoppe, this frozen treat holds a special place in my heart.

This “ice cream” is definitely the most unique out of all the different frozen treats. That is because in addition to the mixture of ice cream, yogurt is added (duh) that makes the taste more tangy.
Since yogurt is added, this dessert will contain probiotics that help aid digestion. Good news for you, there is a place right on campus that has self-serve fro-yo. And yes, they take Frog Bucks.

Closest Fro-Yo in Fort Worth: SweetFrog

Dying to know more about these tasty treats? Find out which brands really are the cherry on top of perfection: