With summer almost upon us, many people’s minds are turning towards summer treats, like ice cream, gelato, and sorbets (though a surprising amount of ice cream is bought and consumed during the winter months). It’s one of the most popular desserts in the United States. In fact, during any given two-week period, 40% of Americans will be eating ice cream, per research by the NPD Group. Ice cream parties are a great idea for child’s summer birthday and ice cream party supplies (like ice cream cups with lids, colored spoons, and disposable ice cream cups) are easy to find. There are also now more options available if people are vegan or lactose-intolerant, meaning that everyone can enjoy frozen treats. So let’s discuss what you should have on hand for an ice cream party, what some of the key differences between popular frozen desserts are, and other fun ice cream facts!
Ice Cream Vs. Gelato Vs. Sorbet?
Ice cream has more butterfat than gelato and has about 50% more air than gelato after it’s been churned. Gelato has between three and 8% milkfat, whereas ice cream has about 10%. Both start from a similar custard base, made from cream, milk and sugar, however, whereas sorbet is not milk-based. Instead, sorbet is derived from frozen fruit juice or water that’s been flavored in some way. Keep in mind that sherbet is different from sorbet and does contain some dairy to give it a creamier flavor.
Ice cream is also served at a much colder temperature than gelato and sorbet. This might be one of the reasons why gelato comes across as so much creamier — the warmer temperature allows those flavors and texture to really come through because your mouth is warmer.
What Do I Need for an Ice Cream Party?
Depending on the size of the party, you’ll likely need several gallons or more of ice cream — the International Ice Cream Association reports that vanilla still holds the top spot for consumers, per a recent survey. Chocolate and strawberry are other popular flavors that hold wide appeal (especially among kids). Ice cream scoops are a must (pro tip: run scoops under hot water before serving to make scooping easier). Getting ice cream cups with lids are a good idea if you have smaller children or you want to make it easier to take ice cream to go for people dropping in.
Spoons and plenty of napkins are also a necessity! To make things more fun, consider getting toppings, like chocolate syrup, sprinkles, nuts, fruit, and more, for an ice cream buffet. (Ice cream cups with lids can also be a great way to contain toppings and pack them up neatly at the end!)
Did You Know This About Ice Cream?
One fun thing to have at an ice cream party would be to print fun ice cream factoids on napkins or banners that are hung around the party. If you need some inspiration, check this out:
- The average person in the United States eats ice cream almost 29 times a year.
- Around 90% of households in the United States regularly will have some kind of sweet, frozen treat, whether it’s ice cream, gelato, or sherbet.
- The United States makes 1.5 billion gallons of ice cream and other frozen desserts annually.
- Almost 10% of all milk that United States dairy farmers produce goes towards the production of ice cream.
- The most ice cream is made during the month of June, though National Ice Cream Month is July.
- One gallon of ice cream requires 12 gallons of milk.
- Purportedly, the waffle cone first came into existence in 1904 at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri.
- Americans also ate an average of almost 50 pints of ice cream a year.
Throw an ice cream party this summer with all the gear you need (ice cream cups with lids, tasting spoons, and napkins) for a celebration that’s assured to be a smash hit with the kids!