What makes Zesty’s Frozen Custard so good?
- Each and every day all our stores make fresh frozen custard in small batches. By making fresh custard all day, this ensures a creamy and delicious product each time you take a lick of our custard. To ensure fresh product, we feature only three flavors each and every day which are: Vanilla, Chocolate, and a special Flavor of each day. We have the FOD (flavor of the day) posted on our web page, facebook, twitter, and we have printed cards we hand out at our stores.
- The machines we use are over 40 years old allowing us to make frozen custard the “old fashioned way” and put only 20-25% air into the product, ensuring a true frozen custard product. These machines require a little more work to run than the newer operated ones but we think it is worth it because our product is so delicious and creamy.
- Frozen Custard is served warmer and softer than most frozen treats, which allows our customer to better savor its dense velvety smoothness and intense release of flavors.
- We have used the same mix for over 20 years which contains hi-quality heavy cream, eggs (cooked), and 10% butterfat coming from Wisconsin dairies. Our mix is perfectly blended to create the best flavor when run thru our machines.
At Zesty's we serve our fresh frozen custard at a temperature of approximately 20 degrees. To customers who purchase prepackaged frozen custard, we recommend that you let it sit out for 10-15 minutes prior to serving. This way, the temperature of the product is closer to the fresh product we serve in the stores.
What is Frozen Custard?
An unknown food critic once said a frozen custard stand is 'where God gets His ice cream.' For thousands of frozen custard fans, this is probably not an exaggeration. Frozen custard is to regular ice cream what cream is to milk. Frozen custard is richer and creamier than standard ice cream because of a higher butterfat content, slower production time and less air blended into the mix. The result is almost like a frozen buttercream frosting, if such a thing were possible.
There is a lot of conflicting information concerning the history of frozen custard. Recipes for the custard mix can be traced back to the 1900s, but the commercial machines used to create frozen custard weren't invented until 1920 or so. The custard mix recipes also varied widely, although the basic ingredients of cream, sugar and egg yolks remained consistent. Some frozen custard recipes called for a boiled mixture, while others suggested using chilled ingredients and raw egg yolks.
With the advent of commercial freezer units designed specifically for frozen custard, a number of families in the eastern and midwestern United States started their own ice cream stands during the 1930s and 1940s. Many of these early frozen custard stands have become local legends, still bearing the original family names. Much like its ice cream counterpart, frozen custard is served on cones or used as a base for milkshakes, floats, sundaes and blends.
Frozen custard gets its creaminess from a higher percentage of butterfat compared to standard grade ice creams. In order to be considered a true custard, the mix must contain at least 10% butterfat, but it's not unusual to see butterfat percentages as high as 18% or more. Our custard mix also contains cooked egg yokes to add to the creaminess. The frozen custard mixture is also stored in a refrigerated hopper before entering the freezing chamber, which keeps the temperature well below the recommended minimum.
One reason frozen custard is noticeably thicker than standard soft-serve ice cream is the churning process inside the freezer unit. The beaters inside the chamber of a frozen custard machine turn much more slowly than those in a soft-serve ice cream or frozen yogurt machine. This slow churning prevents excessive air from being mixed into the custard as it freezes. Standard ice cream beaters are designed to incorporate air into the product, a process called overrun. As the frozen custard solidifies, it falls into a waiting chest freezer for serving.
Frozen custard can be packed in dry ice for shipping, but is rarely offered on store shelves. The process of making frozen custard can be labor intensive and time-consuming, which works well for individual stands maintaining a limited supply, but not for a commercial production line. A typical frozen custard stand often limits its offerings to a few flavors - vanilla, chocolate and a featured flavor of the day. This practice allows each frozen custard machine to be dedicated to one flavor run, and the quality of the products can be maintained. Consumer demand for a variety of flavors would also make commercial frozen custard difficult to market.
Frozen custards stands are primarily found in the Midwest or Eastern Seaboard regions of the United States, but interest in this frozen treat has been growing in recent years. Other areas of the world may have a few entrepreneurs who have started their own frozen custard businesses or offer the treat through other outlets.