Binit Nalinkumar Shah
Frozen Assets: from The Vegetarian - Autumn 1994
'I scream, you scream, everybody loves ice cream...' as the old song has it. But for vegetarians, choosing ice cream isn't always a smooth process. Denise Rooke becomes glace conscious.
Nowadays the manufacture of ice cream is a healthy (!) business. And despite a number of mass-market producers, there are literally thousands of small farm producers who supply local shops, markets and hotels. Overall production is governed by the imaginatively named 1967 Ice Cream Regulations. These dictate that any product described as ice cream must contain a minimum of five per cent fat and seven per cent non-fat milk solids.
Fats vary according to the quality of the ice cream. There are two distinguishable categories of ice cream:
Dairy Ice Creams (including those entitled 'Luxury' or 'Premium'). Fats used in these recipes must be milk fat, butter, cream or anhydrous milk fat (butter with all the water removed). Other typical ingredients of dairy ice creams are fruit, sugar, whipped egg whites, flavourings and added ingredients such as chocolate or nuts.
Standard Ice Creams (including industrially produced ice creams made from mixes or powders). Fats used in standard varieties vary according to which are cheapest on the world market at a given time. The most commonly used fats are saturated ones such as hydrogenated palm and coconut oils.
Because the ingredients of standard ice creams are generally of a poorer quality, a whole host of additives may be used including:
E100 - Curcumin, see below
E160(b) Annatto (both vegetable based dyes which give a yellow or orange colouring.)
E110 FD and C Yellow 6, a synthetic dye which gives a yellow colour.
E122 Carmoisine, a synthetic dye which gives a red colour.
E162 beetroot juice- Pink/red colour, vegetable extract but its a root vegetable
E401 Sodium Alginate, see below
E407 Carrageenan, both seaweed extracts which act as stabilisers.
E410 Locust Bean Gum, see below
E412 Guar Gum, natural plant extracts which act as stabilisers.
E466 Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose, which is prepared by treating cellulose with alkali and monochloroacetic acid. Used as a stabiliser.
E471 Mono and di-glycerides of fatty acids, which may be derived from slaughterhouse by-products such as glycerine or tallow (although in some cases E471 may be derived from vegetable fats). This is an emulsifier which prevents the water separating out and forming droplets or ice crystals.
Gelatine derived from collagen from beef bones, calf or pork skin or animal tissue. Used as a gelling agent.
Whey a by-product of the cheese making process, often after animal rennet has been added to the coagulating milk.
Any ice cream, whether premium or standard quality may contain colours, stabilisers and emulsiliers. The following are suitable for vegetarians:
E160b annatto- Natural red/orange colour, plant extract
E410 Locus bean gum- Aids elasticity, plant extract
E412 guar gum Increases viscosity plant extract
E415 xantham gum- increases viscosity, plant extract
E401 sodium aginate-thickener, seaweed extract
E407 carrageen- stabiliser seaweed, extract
Although luxury or premium ice creams will be typically more expensive, the taste is far superior (but caveat calorie counters: the fat content is much higher!). The texture should be smooth, velvety, creamy or mousse-like. The less expensive varieties of ice cream tend to be slightly viscous, bland and excessively coloured or flavoured.
In addition to these is the increasingly popular Soya Ice Cream which is made from Soya fats and generally does not contain any animal-derived ingredients, making it suitable for vegans.
Ice cream is a good source of phosphorus, a moderate source of vitamin A and riboflavin, and if made with citrus fruit, can be high in vitamin C. It is also rich in calcium in a form that can be easily absorbed, and finally is a good energy source owing to its high fat content.
REAL DAIRY ICE CREAMS
All made with natural ingredients, free-range eggs, or totally egg free
For details of stockists, contact the manufacturers direct.
Criterion Ices Limited, 118 Sydenham Road London SE26 5JX
Tel: 0181 778 7945
Award-winning family business producing a mouth-watering range of egg-free ice creams, all made with double cream, as well as a range of real fruit sorbets.
Natural Dairy Ice Cream Limited, Thorne Farm, Holsworthy, Devon EX22 7JD
Tel: 01409 253342
Traditional ice cream made with double cream and full-fat milk; egg free.
Winters Dairy Ice Cream, White House Farm, Biddenden, Ashford, Kent TN27 8LN
Tel: 01580 291289
100 per cent natural ice cream made from fresh milk and cream produced by the farm's own herd of Jersey cows. Contains free-range eggs. Also available, a range of sorbets that are suitable for vegans.
The Castle Dairy, Knepp Castle, West Grinstead, West Sussex RH13 8LJ
Tel: 0403 864846
14 imaginative flavours of egg-free ice cream from Raspberry and Rhubarb or Butterscotch and Banana, to Dundee Marmalade and Malt Whiskey. All produced on this family-run farm in the heart of rural Sussex.
Meadow Cottage Farm, Churt Road, Headley, Bordon, Hampshire GU35 8SS
Tel: 01428 712155
Farm dairy Ice cream made from fresh milk and cream from The Weydown herd of pedigree Jerseys. No eggs are used in the ice cream, although sorbets clarified with free-range egg whites are available.
The Coach House, Lea, near Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 5GJ
Tel: 01629 534346
Listed in the RAC Good Food Guide, and supplier to the National Trust, this converted farm produces a range of 17 luxury egg-free ice creams using fresh cream and milk from a local dairy herd.
Tattenhall Dairy Products Limited Drumlan Hall, Newton Lane, Tattenhall, Near Chester CH3 9NE
Tel: 01329 70995
Manufacturers of Cheshire Farm Real Dairy Ice Cream, available in a huge range of flavours. Made from real double cream, without eggs. A range of 8 sorbets is also available.
Rookbeare Farm, Cheriton Fitzpaine, Crediton, Devon EX17 42E
Tel: 01363 866424
Pure Jersey ice cream in 13 sumptous varieties containing exotic ingredients like Sri Lamkan passion fruit juice, Chinese Walnuts and alphonso mangoes.
Raines Dairy Foods Limited, Taine House, 9 Crown Road, Enfield, Middlesex EN1 1TX
Tel: 081 804 8151
Produce Reema non-dairy Vanilla Ice Cream, available from all branches of Waitrose.
Del Monte Foods (UK) Limited, Del Monte House, London Road, Staines, Middlesex TW18 4JD
A range of exotic fruit sorbets available in 6 flavours and containing only natural ingredients.
SOYA FROZEN DESSERTS
Soya Health Foods Limited, Unit 4, Guinness Road, Trafford Park, Manchester MI7 lAU
Tel: 0161 872 0549
Produce Sunrise Ice Dream in 6 flavours all of which are free from cholesterol and lactose, low in calories and suitable for vegans.
Tofutti Brands (Europe), 7 Russel Parade, Golders Green Road, London NW11 9NN
Tel: 0181 905 5747
Dairy-free frozen soya desserts available in a huge range of flavours. Cholesterol free 98 per cent fat free and preservatiue-free they actually taste just like luxury ice cream but are a much healthier alternative.
Winner Swedish Glace, Winner UK, Waterside Point, Anhald Road, London, SW11 4PD
Tel: 0171 924 6928
A delicious dairy-free alternative to premium ice cream, made from Swedish soya milk, Lactose and cholesterol free, it is totally vegan and comes in a choice of 3 flavours. Stocked by several large supermarkets and most health food stores.
BIRDS EYE WALLS ICE CREAMS
Egg-free, containing no animal by-products.
Cream of Cornish - Vanilla
Gino Ginelli Choc and Nut Slice
Gino Ginelli Neapolitan
Gino Ginelli Raspberry Ripple Slice
Gino Ginelli Toffee Fudge
Gino Ginelli Tutti Frutti
1 Litre Packs
Gino Ginelli Choc and Nut
Gino Ginelli Mint Choc
Gino Ginelli Rum and Raisin
Gino Ginelli Tutti Frutti
4 Litre Packs
Soft Scoop-Golden Vanilla
Wall's Real Dairy Chocolate
Wall's Real Dairy Mint Choc Chip
Wall's Real Dairy Rum and Raisin
Wall's Real Dairy Strawberry
Wall's Real Dairy Tutti Frutti
Wall's Real Dairy Vanilla
Viennetta - Cappuccino
Viennetta - Milk Chocolate
Viennetta - White Chocolate
Viennetta - Individual
Feast - Big
Feast - Mint
2 Litre Packs
Cream of Cornish
Soft Scoop Blue Ribbon Vanilla
Soft Scoop Chocolate
Soft Scoop Raspberry Ripple
Soft Scoop Rum and Raisin
Soft Scoop Strawberry
Twin pack-Strawberry and Chocolate
Twinpack-Strawberry and Vanilla
5 Litres Wall's Real Dairy Premium
Rockey Toffee Almond Crunch
Vermont Apple and Cinnamon Pie
The Vegetarian is published by The Vegetarian Society and is sent free of charge to all members.