The ice cream scoop first made an appearance in the 1890s and is still in daily use over a hundred years later. The simplicity of the idea has made it popular worldwide, with caterers and cafe owners as well as domestic cooks. The perfectly shaped domes of ice cream created by a good-quality ice cream scoop are instantly recognisable, whether topping a cone or nestling in a dish or sundae glass, and these desserts and treats can easily be made in the home if the kitchen is equipped with one of these little gadgets. Not to be underestimated in its possible uses, the humble ice cream scoop also lends itself to artistically serving other foods, too, such as mashed potato and other vegetable or fruit compotes.
Types of Ice Cream Scoop
The basic design of a mechanical ice cream scoop has altered very little since its first appearance, but new twists have been added as technology has advanced. Extra features on some scoops can be a bonus, but are largely embellishments to the original design. To be exact, the regular scoop used for ice cream is distinguished from the main scoop family in that it is termed a disher. This term encompasses not only the ice cream scoop's uses as the utensil for dishing out ice cream and other foods, but also separates it from the general scoop family of utensils, which cannot be used for measuring out ingredients.
Simple Ice Cream Scoop
An ice cream scoop is simply a spoon with a distinctively shaped bowl, usually a hemisphere, attached to a handle that can be made from any number of materials. Some scoops are completely constructed of metal, normally aluminium or stainless steel, while others have plastic, acrylic or other types of handles; generally, these types of scoops are made from a non-stick material to help with the removal of the ice cream. These scoops are used manually; the ice cream is scraped into the bowl, and is then turned out into the desired receptacle by flicking or shaking the scoop sharply in a downward direction. One tip is to immerse the scoop in hot water for a few seconds before using it to serve the ice cream, as this will make the removal of the ice cream from the bowl significantly easier.
Mechanical Ice Cream Scoop
The innovative invention of Alfred Calle in the 1890s, the mechanical scoop has a lever attached to a curved scraper that sits inside the scoop. When the lever is squeezed, the scraper moves across the bowl's inner side, effectively slicing the ice cream away from the bowl. This innovation reduces the difficulty of removing the sticky ice cream from the wall of the scoop, and results in the perfectly formed domes of ice cream so familiar today. These scoops are often made from stainless steel, which is easy to clean and hygienic; metal scoops can be fixed to handles made from alternate materials, though, and this allows for the production of novelty scoops, with handles in fun or bright colours and shapes.
In spite of being such a seemingly simple product, the ice cream scoop can come complete with a number of special features designed to really make ice cream scooping a real art.
Heat Conductive Feature
One development in the design of simple ice cream scoops is the inclusion of heat conductive fluid, which is sealed into the hollow body of the scoop and prevents sticking. These scoops work in the same way as a simple scoop, but potentially make serving the ice cream easier, as ice cream is more easily freed out of the scoop's bowl when it is warm. One advantage to this type of scoop is the absence of moving parts, making for a utensil with clean lines and an uncluttered look, and the elegance of the original design is undiminished in these scoops.
The Resting Ledge
Anyone who has had to continually wipe clean the sticky ice cream traces on a kitchen surface on a hot sunny day will appreciate the ice cram scoop's resting ledge. Available on select models, it is possible to search for ice cream scoops which come complete with handles that are sufficiently thick, thus preventing the scoop part from resting on any kitchen surface when the scoop is put down. This reduces the number of sticker surfaces left in a kitchen, and by doing so, also leaves the kitchen in a more hygienic state.
The Left Handed Scoop
The life of a left handed ice cream conoisseur would be incomplete without a tool for articstically serving ice cream. Being left handed may pose a number of challenges, many of which would never occur to the right hander, though serving ice cream does not have to be one of them. Readily and easily available, left handed mechanical ice cream scoops can be found, opening up the art of serving ice cream to everybody.
The Art of Serving Ice Cream
The majority of the population will be familiar with the disappointment felt at the ice cream stand when the ice cream cone seems to be much more cone than ice cream. In appearance it appears a deceptively simple task, but in actuality the art and, indeed, skill of serving ice cream is one which has to be learned before it can be mastered.
Points to Consider
While serving ice cream may seem straightforward, there are a few points to consider, especially when wanting to impress guests with perfectly rounded scoops.
Choosing the Scoop
Do not forget that scoops with sharp edges will make serving ice cream so much easier. When coupling a sharp edged scoop with a quick dip in hot water before scooping, then a smooth process is pretty much guaranteed.
To avoid guest's disappointment, remember to scoop from the edge of the ice cream tub. Do not point the scoop down, rather draw gently across the surface of the ice cream. This ensures that the surface area of the ice cream is greater. Additionally, digging down when scooping compacts the ice cream. Whilst this does not seem a point worth considering, it is important to remember. Compacted ice cream has a different texture and as a direct result of this, a different flavour.
When serving ice cream, do not forget to stock up beforehand on ice cream cones. There is something very special about ice cream served in a cone, and once the art of scooping has been perfected, serving into a cone should come naturally.
Find Ice Cream Scoops on eBay
Using the dynamic menu on the homepage, hover over the Home & Garden tab; this will open another dynamic menu from which to select Home & Garden again. This will take them to a page of links and clicking on kitchen will open another menu that includes a Food Preparation and Tools option. Clicking on this option will take the buyer to a page that has a category panel on the left hand side – scoops will be listed in this panel, and the search can be refined further by using this to select the correct category for the requirements. Typing ice cream scoop into the search box on the homepage is another way of reaching the listings for these items and the category list on the left can be used in the same way, to refine the search further.
For casual use on hot summer days, or for the regular serving of ice cream or other foods, an ice cream scoop is one utensil that is unparalleled in design. Functional and clever, the mechanical type will make short work of creating delicious desserts, and the cheerful economy of a simple scoop means it will earn its place in any kitchen. Cool, sophisticated stainless steel or funky coloured plastic, retro-chic or ultra-modern – eBay has the ideal tool for the gelato connoisseur