The History of Frozen Custard
Perhaps Wisconsin's best kept and tastiest secret is the variety of ice cream known as Frozen Custard. Custard has become so popular that Milwaukee sells more Frozen Custard than anywhere else and has become known as the "Custard Capital of the World."

Custard ice cream originated on Coney Island in about 1919. It was sold as a carnival treat and quickly grew in popularity. In the coming years, custard could be found in Atlantic City and other East Coast resort communities. By 1932, the Kirkhoff family of Lafayette, Indiana, had discovered custard ice cream and opened their first stand. This store,  which is still in operation, is considered the oldest continuously operating custard stand.

As custard is an ice cream, it must be at least 10% butterfat. What makes frozen custard unique is that by law it must contain 1.4% by weight of egg yolk, have a low overrun (amount of air out into the product), and be frozen and served fresh daily.

The first Frozen Custard Machines, known as the iron lung, have seen some refinements through the years. Up through the mid-30s most custard was frozen in machines using rock salt as a refrigerant. Not until the late 1930s did efficient machines with mechanical refrigeration come into existence.

Ross's is the premier manufacturer of specialty Frozen Custard Machines. Ross's Frozen Custard Machines have become the standard of the industry for quality, efficiency, ease of use, low noise, and high production rates. The machines are designed to give the user maximum capacity in various sizes using environmentally friendly refrigerants.

What is Frozen Custard?
When asked the question, one will get many different answers. Some typical responses are, "Is that the stuff inside donuts?" or "Is it pudding?" But usually the response is, "I have no idea!"

Frozen Custard is a gourmet ice cream treat which first originated on Coney Island, New York, as a carnival treat at the turn-of-the-century. The popularity of Frozen Custard quickly grew and was the rage of the East Coast. Frozen Custard could be found at many East Coast resort areas. Many travelers had a chance to taste the new sensation and it quickly spread to the Midwest. Milwaukee is currently considered the "Custard Capital of the World." The enjoyment of Frozen Custard was taken by "Snowbirds" to winter resort havens. The result, shops had to satisfy these customers. The popularity of Frozen Custard is spreading into other regions of the country as well.

To understand the reason for the great taste of Frozen Custard, all one needs to do is read the label of ingredients. Frozen Custard must contain at least 10 percent butterfat and 1.4 percent egg yolk. Traditional ice cream must only contain 10 percent butterfat. Butterfat percentage can vary in mixes, typically between 10 and 16 percent. It is interesting to note that many frozen dairy treats are not really considered ice cream because of the ingredients. Mixes can be developed specifically for a shop so the owners can fine tune their own unique taste.

Typically, Frozen Custard is made daily and served at 18-19 degrees Fahrenheit. Traditional ice cream is made at 22-24 degrees Fahrenheit, flash frozen to -10 degrees Fahrenheit, and stored at -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Scooping and serving temperature for ice cream is 5 to 8 degrees Fahrenheit.

During the manufacturing of ice cream, the volume can double in size by beating air into the mixture. The expansion of the product by introducing air is call "overrun." The volume of air and the size of ice crystals can result in a coarse texture. Frozen Custard usually has about 20 percent overrun.

Ollie's in the Villages use a Ross's Frozen Custard Machines to make "old fashion" Frozen Custard. The Ross's machine continuously feeds custard mix into the freezing barrel. The mix is rapidly frozen, with low overrun and small ice crystals. The custard produced is velvety smooth with a rich flavor. Ollie's makes Frozen Custard several times a day. The taste is best when eaten fresh. Once a person has tried Frozen Custard, the excellent taste will bring them back for more!

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