The Reason Ben And Jerry's Ice Cream Tastes So Good

Ice cream enthusiasts usually have a preferred Ben and Jerry's ice cream flavor, and if you don't, you're lying to yourself. There's something about the creamery that makes their ice cream taste so incredibly good, and you know it's more than just whimsical packaging and creative flavor names. Yes, Ben and Jerry's is known for its quality ice cream, thanks to its premium ingredients, but there's one added ingredient that really sets this brand's creamy treats into the premium category: air. As it turns out, how much air is in your ice cream is the real reason why it tastes so good — or bad (via Reader's Digest).

If you've ever tried Halo Top, this might already make sense. The widely popular brand allows customers to eat the whole pint for roughly the same calories as one serving of other pints of ice cream, like Ben and Jerry's. While it sounds too good to be true, it kind of is. As soon as you dip a spoon into the carton, the light texture of the ice cream reveals itself. As Slate reported, Halo Top is really just ice cream doctored up with stevia, fiber, and cut with a lot of air.

Air content makes ice cream taste good

Ben and Jerry's sticks to the same basic ingredients as most ice creams — milk, sugar, and cream — but the "overrun," or the amount of air that is pumped into the ice cream is what sets their ice cream into the premium category. There are actually four categories of ice cream: economy, regular, premium, and super-premium, and there are actual requirements set by the FDA as to what constitutes ice cream.

Economy ice cream, which is the cheapest, includes the bare minimum of what is required — generally, about 10 percent butterfat and 100 percent overrun. Regular ice cream, which is what you'll typically find on most grocery store shelves, includes a bit more butterfat and less air overrun. Premium ice cream like Ben and Jerry's includes up to 15 percent butterfat and less than 50 percent overrun. Ice cream that is made in high-end restaurants is what most consider super-premium, and it includes even more butterfat and even less air. It's usually made with a custard that is boiled and includes egg yolks to make it richer before churning it into ice cream.

If you're still curious how it's really done at Ben and Jerry's, you can always head over to their website where they layout the process step by step (via Ben and Jerry's). Next time you go to buy your favorite pint, consider picking up a celebrity flavor too to help support charity (via TripSavvy).