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Dairy Cows & Ice Cream: Does The Breed Make A Difference?

“When I'm no longer rapping, I want to open up an ice cream parlor and call myself Scoop Dogg.” ~ Snoop Dogg

Jersey Dairy Cow


It all begins with milk. Making ice cream starts with high protein, rich in butterfat, ice cold milk. Growing up, we didn’t pick up dairy at the grocery store per se’. Animal health and welfare are significant factors in producing good milk and cream. As kids, we drove to Wilbur’s Dairy Farm and selected fresh milk directly from their processing plant. The Wilbur’s raised Brown Swiss, a breed of cattle suitable for making butter and ice cream. The Brown Swiss were imported from Switzerland, they are docile and sweet animals.

Brown Swiss have floppy ears built to climb steep terrain and forage off high protein grasses. Most other dairymen and dairywomen raise Jersey’s and Holstein cattle for ice cream because the higher the protein and fat content, the better taste and texture of the finished product. Jersey cows are brown-eyed with white markings, producing six gallons of milk daily. Their butterfat is one of the highest counts per pound of milk. Holsteins have black-and-white markings across their backs and faces, they have the most increased milk production out of all breeds of dairy cattle but lower fat. All three species of dairy cattle produce some of the best-tasting butterfat on the market.

How Milk Is Processed

Milk is either pasteurized or homogenized. Pasteurization is a warm-up and quick chill to 39 degrees, preserving the cream and allowing it to float to the top. It is an excellent way for processors to eliminate harmful microbes while preserving the flavor. Most chefs purchase organic dairy for their dessert menu.


Selecting The Right Ingredients

When creating a decadent ice cream base, a chef begins with high-quality organic products. Creating a good ice cream is an art and science in the test kitchen. Inverted liquid sugar (simple syrup) adds depth and smoothness; eggs help build a fat stabilizer and avoid ice crystallization. Madagascar Vanilla Bean can be found through most online specialty vendors, it offers a rich and creamy flavor. Cooking it all down in a saucepan for 15- 20 minutes and then running it in the cold churn brings a smooth, sweet, and rich taste.


Making The Ice Cream

Whether small batch or large producer of organic ice cream, starting with a rich base is essential, taking care to handcraft each batch and its ingredients. Installing a commercial ice cream machine will help keep supplies fresh and ready for tailoring. The chef then decides

where to source suitable organic fruits, Cocoa, and others. Then they build the recipe arsenal to bring seasonal chocolate chunks, organic fruit, and savory bites for the finishing touch.

Strawberry Ice Cream

Wrapping It Up

When walking into a creamery for a cone or cup, think about the cows and where the craftsperson bought their ingredients. How about where the dairy farm is located? Or how the ice cream is made? The chef will be happy to share the backstory of their creation. ⧫

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