The Science of Ice Cream

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When tasting the smooth cream of this frozen treat do you ever wonder, “What makes ice cream so perfect?” The answer may not be “magic”. But, there is a science behind your best ice cream experience.

What is Ice Cream?

A unique combination of firm and soft mixed together to form this iconic treat. At its core ice cream is a successful emulsion of fat into water, sugar, and ice with air mixed into the batch. An emulsion is a mixture of two substances that typically separate (like oil and water). But, instead mix together to form the consistent creamy base used for ice cream. It’s Science!

What is Ice Cream Made From? And Why?

All ice cream have the same basic parts: ice crystals, air, fat, sweeteners, and other solids.

Ice Crystals

Size of the ice crystals determines how smooth the texture of the ice cream will be. Larger crystals make a grainy texture, while smaller ice crystals create a smooth texture.


Air makes up a varying sized chunk of ice cream and effects its texture, volume, and flavor. Anywhere between 30% to 50% of ice cream is air and called “overrun”. Lower quality ice creams contain high overrun and melt faster with more air. Air also prevents ice cream from tasting too sweet by slowing down flavor release in the mouth.


Fat provides the richness and taste that make ice cream so delicious. It is usually buttermilk fat and it also gives stability to the base mix and smooths the texture.


Sugars (such as sucrose or glucose) or other sweeteners (honey or syrups) are not just added for flavor. These sugars lower the freezing point of the ice cream which prevents it from turning into a block of ice.

Other Solids

There are several other ingredients that complete the formation of ice cream. These components are:

  • Emulsifiers: Milk products prevent fat in the base clumping together. Lecithin (found in egg yolk) replaces milk products to allows air to mix into the base.
  • Stabilizers: These prevent large crystals and absorb any liquid left in the ice cream. Usually, these are gelatin or egg whites but can be vegetable gums.
  • Flavorings: These are the extra chunks added such as cookie dough to add taste and change texture.

The Freeze

The final step in understanding about ice cream’s science is freezing it. The base mixture is being whipped to add in the air while freezing. After this process, the only thing left is eating! Here at Harmony Valley, we love the understanding the science that brings to life this delicious treat! To try out how yummy science is finding out where to pick up one of our amazing pints or find our Scoop Truck here.


Try Rosé Ice Cream for One Day Only



Are you a fan of Rosé? Are you a fan of ice cream? How about Rosé ice cream?! If you answered yes to those questions, you should definitely get tickets to La Fete Du Pink, a celebration of Rosé at the newly renovated La Lomita Ranch, located at the gateway to Edna Valley in San Luis Obispo. Grand oaks and green peaks circle the La Posada & Hacienda beside a cool blue pond while light and shadow dance against the arched exterior of the luxurious private suites and event venue.

The main event is on Saturday, April 13th from 1pm to 4pm. Limited Stay Rosé VIP event tickets and two nights lodging at this stunning property with VIP and overnight packages are available as well.

But, let’s revisit that Rosé ice cream for a minute shall we? This is a special blend available for ONE DAY ONLY! This delectable dessert is made by blending Rosé wine and then reducing it down into a luscious syrup. The finished product is an amazingly unique ice cream with notes of sweet raspberry and rose petals. Are you drooling yet? Now, don’t fret, after you have had your fill of the Rosé ice cream, you will also be able to have our staple flavors of Mayor Freddy Vanilla Bean, Harmony Chapel Chocolate, School’s Out Strawberry, Local Yodelers Cookies N’ Cream, Doo Dah Mint N’ Chip, and Blue Door Butter Pecan. And, don’t forget our Scoop Truck exclusive flavors Cowtown Coffee Bean and Shoreline Salted Caramel! For more information on our ice cream, visit

Now, back to the Rosé! Featured wineries include Two Moons Cellars, Onx, Biddle Ranch Vineyard, Tru Win Co, Chemical Vineyards, Malene, Liquid Farm, Jack Creek Cellars, Armas de Guerra, Margerum Wine Company, Scar of the Sea, and Baileyana, Tangent and True Myth. Grab your girlfriends, grab your special someone, grab your neighbors and join us for La Fete Du Pink on April 13th!

This event is for 21+ only. Visit for tickets and more information.



Ice Cream’s Biggest Fans (You May Have Heard of a Few)

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What’s one thing you have in common with past presidents, A-list actors, famous music stars and the royal family? No, it’s not that you put on your pants one leg at a time (although we’re fairly confident that’s accurate as well). What you and these influencers both share is a love of ice cream! Read on to discover which famous faces know what you have known all along–that ice cream is the best way to keep (and be) cool!

The Forefathers of Our Country

While we’ve all seen candidates on the campaign trail enjoying local ice cream for a photo op, what’s less known is that the connection between the Commander-in-Chief and ice cream go back hundreds of years! A merchant in New York recorded that George Washington spent $200 on ice cream during the summer of 1790. That’s nearly $5,300 in today’s money! Because ice cream was so pricey to make and store prior to refrigeration, most Americans still hadn’t tried this delectable treat. Third President Thomas Jefferson, however, is responsible for bringing ice cream to the American masses, serving it often at the President’s House and even leaving behind a copy of his recipe.  Another presidential lover of ice cream was none other than Abraham Lincoln, who was such a fan that ice cream was served at his second inauguration.

Every Celebrity in 2018

Since it’s debut in Manhattan in 2016, the Museum of Ice Cream has been inspiring scores of celebrities to publicly profess their love for the creamy treat. Featured in four cities (including two in our own California!), famous faces from Steph Curry and David Beckham to Gwen Stefani and Beyonce have all made the pilgrimage to pay homage to the undisputed King of Desserts.

And Speaking of Royalty…

Marie Antoinette may be credited for saying “let them eat cake”, but other royals held ice cream in much higher esteem. From King Charles I’s love of “cream ice” to Catherine de Medici’s introduction of frozen desserts to the French, royalty has long had a love-affair with ice cream. Need more proof? Ice cream trucks were featured at the latest royal wedding!

The Sweet “Truth”

Hundreds of years and a veritable boatload of famous names can’t be wrong. Ice cream reigns supreme! Who are some of your favorite famous ice cream lovers? We’d love to hear your thoughts!



Cake + Ice Cream, A Match Made in Heaven

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Is there anything better than dessert at the end of a romantic date? We don’t think so. So, surprise that special someone and pair a great homemade ice cream with a moist and fluffy cake, and you are in lover’s heaven. With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, we have compiled a few of our favorite combinations for you to try!

A Twist on Strawberry Shortcake

The first is combining our School’s Out Strawberry with a light and fluffy Angel Food Cake. Add our delicious strawberry ice cream and blueberries to your fluffy, delicate cake. School’s Out Strawberry is made with California strawberries and adds the perfect pop of “love-ly” color, so it is a perfect addition to your celebrations.

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake

Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love and relationships, now if your sweety loves those chocolate sandwich cookies with cream in the middle, there is nothing better than a cookie’s and cream ice cream cake. Use our Local Yodeler’s Cookies n’ Cream ice cream for your next homemade ice cream cake. The base is our velvety vanilla ice cream and is filled with chunks of cookies.

Tart and Sweet

Sometimes, opposites attract, so that’s why we suggest a sweet and sour pairing. Put Mayor Freddy’s Vanilla Bean with a lemon or coconut cake. Our vanilla flavor comes from Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans, so it would go perfect with any cake, but why not give it a fruity twist.

Feelin’ Adventurous

If you are looking to impress your “main squeeze” with a delicious cake and amazing ice cream, we have a few suggestions for you, the adventurous date. You could pair a German chocolate cake with our Blue Door Butter Pecan. Our sweet and salty pecan filled craft ice cream makes a decadent and unique pair with the coconut, chocolate, and pecans of the German chocolate. Another fun pairing is a white chocolate mint cake with our Doo Dah Mint ‘N Chip. The rich white chocolate with the decadent dark chocolate and fresh mint is a unique combo that will make everyone happy. The best part of our Doo Dah Mint ‘N Chip is there is no added green food coloring, and we use real mint leaves. In fact, you can see those little mint pieces if you look closely at your ice cream!

So, this Valentine’s Day, surprise your loved one with something delicious. We hope you try one of our ice cream and cake combinations. Let us know how it goes when you do! If you’re interested in any of our other craft ice cream flavors, you can check them out here!


Locally-Made Ice Cream Economy

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“Locally-Made” and “Buy local” are big buzz phrases these days. But, why is this important?

Simple: If a dollar leaves the community, it can take a long time for it to work its way back—if it manages to do so at all. And if there are fewer dollars in the community, that’s fewer ice cream cones for everyone.

Not the way we want to live.

When you shop for locally-made products, the dollar you spend goes to a fellow community member, who may turn around and spend it on a product or service you provide. It’s a really lovely cycle of support and abundance within the community.

That makes it our mission not only to spend where we are, but to create where we are. To offer a local option for the community.

So that’s what we do.

Our craft ice cream is made right here on the beautiful California Central Coast. When you buy a scoop or a pint of that Harmony Chapel Chocolate, for example, you might be thinking only of taste bud indulgence. But beyond your tastebuds,  you have set off a lovely butterfly effect: enjoying a local ice cream promotes the local economy, which comes back to benefit members of the community.

And while you might have to make a short drive to a local grocer or to find the Scoop Truck, you might have prevented a giant truck from traveling all the way across the country to deliver a cold treat.

So that means, eat more local, craft ice cream to save the planet and help the community thrive! Seems reasonable. It’s an idea whose time has come.

When you’re ready to do your part, visit a local store, or the Scoop Truck in Harmony, currently open weekends from 12-4pm! You can also find our truck at the San Luis Obispo Farmer’s Markets every Thursday in downtown SLO. “Shop local” now extends beyond meats and vegetables and into everyone’s favorite food group: ice cream. Contact us if you’re wondering where to find the Scoop Truck or a local pint carrying retail store, or if you have any questions about our local ice cream flavors.


Why I Stopped Buying Low-Calorie Ice Cream

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You may have some New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier or lose weight, but, before you buy that low-calorie ice cream… read this article from The Daily Meal:

(via The Daily Meal)

Now, though, there are a myriad of other factors interfering in your choices. How many calories does this pint have? Should I stop eating dairy? What about sugar? This one has protein!

No longer are simple thoughts like “Ooh! Chocolate chip cookie dough!” followed by a quick toss into your cart. The aisle has smacked you in the face with another, more complicated form of marketing: guilt.

I used to buy into this tactic — I’d opt for the diet-friendly pints and expect satisfaction when I ate each spoonful of watered-down dessert. I was promised salvation in the form of guilt-free indulgence. Sweets without consequences. Indulgence without the risk. Diet ice cream almost sounded too good to be true! But it was a real product!

But when I actually ate the ice cream, my experience was wholly different. At first, I felt righteous in my choice. I sat down in front of the TV, opened the pint, and dug in without hesitation. I didn’t get nervous about fats and sugars I was putting into my body. I didn’t anxiously review the nutrition facts and serving sizes like I’d been taught to by all the health and diet information I’d read online. What a relief — right? But in real time, it didn’t feel that way.

Each bite was seriously unsatisfying compared to a bite of the full-fat, sugary stuff I was used to eating. I finished half the pint and put it away, realizing that I didn’t want any more. Also strange was that my craving for dense, milky ice cream hadn’t gone away.

Instead of eating a small bowl of sugar, cream, and chocolate (always my choice for a mix-in), I’d consumed a much more voluminous portion of zero-calorie sweeteners, diluted cream, and protein powder. Blech. My stomach wasn’t happy with me. And I still craved more sugar.

But I kept on with the trend. I figured I’d adapt — that my taste buds were just “addicted” and conned into thinking they needed sugar and cream to feel satisfied.

More of my grocery budget was going toward dessert than ever before. I found myself thinking about portions and limits on how much of my low-cal ice cream I “could” eat that day; when I bought the normal stuff, I’d just scoop a bit into a bowl whenever I wanted it. I didn’t fly through containers of ice cream very quickly at all; it was rarely even on my mind.

Instead of the guilt-free experience I’d been promised, I felt more guilt, became more obsessed, and felt more crazed by my cravings than ever.

As a health writer and fitness instructor, I’ve spent a lot of time understanding and learning about dieting and psychology. After some contemplation, I think I know what was going on.

First of all, I wasn’t actually satisfying my sugar craving with the low-calorie pint. You just can’t replace the real stuff. That’s why many so-called healthy swaps don’t actually work. That’s the problem with zoodles. I mean, who has ever felt the same sense of satisfaction after eating zucchini as they have after pasta? It’s the same with ice cream.

I was just adding additional foods to my diet that weren’t what I really wanted. As a result, I was stuffing my body with additives and fake sugar that were messing with my digestion, making me super thirsty, and left me with an odd aftertaste when I could have just eaten a reasonable amount of sugar and felt fantastic.

But more importantly, every time I “treated myself” to dessert, the fact that I was dieting was on my mind. I was making decisions about food based on fears I had — about putting on weight, about fueling an addiction to sugar, about the weight I could be losing — instead of what my body was telling me it wanted. I was making my appearance more important than my happiness. As a result, I found myself actually feeling more insecure.

That’s right: I felt better about my body eating full-fat dessert than I did eating something diet-friendly.

Of course, this is just my experience — but from what I know about nutrition and health, a pint of low-calorie ice cream isn’t much better for you than a single serving of the good stuff.

Now that I’ve switched back to regular ice cream, I’ll never go back. Not only do I feel physically better, but I’m also far less preoccupied with cravings, nutrition numbers, and serving sizes. Now, I’m actually guilt-free when I eat dessert. So instead of fretting over the consequences of carbs and calories, you might want to consider the consequences of eating a diet-friendly dessert that promises to satisfy.

Holly Van Hare is the Healthy Eating Editor at The Daily Meal with a passion for podcasting and peanut butter. You can listen to her podcast Nut Butter Radio on iTunes and follower her health food Instagram @eating_peanut_better.



New Year’s Eve Ice Cream Cocktail Recipes

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What’s more decadent than a New Year’s cocktail? One made with a scoop of delicious, creamy Harmony Valley Ice Cream! Combine two favorites in the following boozy New Year’s Eve ice cream dessert cocktails:

Strawberry Prosecco Float

Make your next toast a little sweeter! In 4 glasses, divide up 1 pint of mixed berries. Scoop School’s Out Strawberry ice cream into each glass. Fill the remainder with dry Prosecco. If you’re feeling extra sweet, garnish the rim of each glass with sugar and edible glitter.

Chocolate Mudslide Shake

Kick dessert up a notch with a bit of booze! In a blender, add 2 tablespoons of chocolate milk, 1 pint Harmony Chapel Chocolate ice cream, 1 oz. of vodka, 1 oz. of Irish Cream, and 2 oz. coffee liqueur. Pour the mixture into a milkshake glass with a straw. Garnish with chocolate sprinkles, hot fudge, whipped cream, and a cherry on top – and don’t forget to share!

White Russian Float

Take two classic flavors and give them a delicious twist. Add 1 shot of vodka and 1 shot of coffee liqueur to a low-ball tumbler. Top with a scoop of Mayor Freddy’s Vanilla ice cream – if you’re looking for another twist, top with cinnamon or some orange zest!

Dirty Banana Shake

Everything about this boozy shake is “a-peel-ing!” Add 1 shot of rum, Blue Door Butter Pecan ice cream and banana liqueur to a blender and pulse until creamy. Pour into a milkshake glass and garnish with crushed pecans and flambeed bananas, if you’re feeling fancy.

Cookies and Cream-tini

Want a sweeter version of a martini? Blend a scoop of Local Yodelers Cookies and Cream, whipped cream vodka, and chocolate liqueur together. Garnish the rim of a martini glass with crushed Oreo crumbs, and pour in your concoction.

The Modern Grasshopper

A Grasshopper is a minty drink originating from New Orleans – made all the better with Harmony Valley Ice Cream! Blend 1 scoop of Doo Dah Mint N’ Chip,1 shot cognac, 1 shot rum, 1/2 ounce creme de cacao, 2 dashes mint bitters and 2 dashes chocolate bitters. Pour into a martini glass and add mint sprigs for garnish.

Wishing you a safe and happy New Year’s Eve from all of us here at Harmony Valley Creamery! For more information on our signature flavors, and where to find them, click here. And, please, drink responsibly!


Fascinating Facts About Ice Cream

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Need a break from holiday shopping, fa-la-la-la-la-ing and too much tinsel!? Well, maybe “veg out” on these fascinating facts about ice cream while you procrastinate on whether to buy the red sweater or the blue sweater for Aunt Janice…

Special thanks to for sharing this sweet ice cream knowledge with us:

  • Only one country consumes more ice cream per capita than the United States: New Zealand. (It’s time to grab a scoop and do your part to put us over the cherry on top!)
  • The Ancient Greeks were enjoying an ice-cream like dessert way back in the fifth century B.C. We wish we could time travel so they could taste today’s local ice cream flavors. Advanced ice cream technology has surely improved upon their primitive treat.
  • In the 1700s, ice cream came to this country and was enjoyed by members of high society. We understand why they wouldn’t want to share, but still, that was lame of them not to spread the ice cream joy to everyone.
  • It took almost 200 years for someone to wise up and invent the ice cream sundae. (Pretty sure that’s the first thing we would have thought of.)
  • 20 percent of people share their ice cream with their pets. Nothing says unconditional love like giving up a few spoonfuls of your favorite craft ice cream flavor.
  • For perfect scooping, the ice cream should be between 6 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The most popular flavor in the United States is vanilla! We understand: our Mayor Freddy’s Vanilla Bean is rich and creamy, and it provides the perfect clean slate for any number of topping combinations.
  • The world’s tallest ice cream cone was built in Italy; it towered above nine feet. The only excuse we have for not beating this record is because we’re eating our scoops before they get a chance to pile up.
  • California produces the most ice cream in this country, and Harmony Valley Creamery is proud to be a part of that great contribution!

If you’re have any questions about craft ice cream in California, contact us any time. We’re always happy to chat about our favorite food. Oh, and Happy Holidays from all of us here at Harmony Valley Creamery!


Pie and Ice Cream Pairings for Thanksgiving!

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It’s that time of year again – Thanksgiving! And no Thanksgiving meal would be complete without dessert! Pie is a quintessential American tradition, and a must on Thanksgiving. But, in order to step it up a notch, what is better than pie a la mode, especially when that ice cream is made by Harmony Valley Creamery? Now, we know Mayor Freddy’s Vanilla Bean goes with any pie, so below we have some more adventurous ideas. Continue reading for some great pie and ice cream pairings for Thanksgiving!

  1. Pecan Pie and Harmony Chapel Chocolate. This is heavenly. The flavor of the nuts and cinnamon with chocolate are out of this world.
  2. Peanut Butter Pie and Local Yodelers Cookies N’ Cream. Have you ever had peanut butter pie? No? Do me a favor and google it right now! You won’t regret putting these two amazing tastes together!
  3. Cheesecake and Blue Door Butter Pecan. We all know cheesecake has a misleading name – why it is the most pie-y cake there is! So, try these two classics together and you won’t be disappointed.
  4. Lemon Meringue Pie and School’s Out Strawberry. Any lemon meringue pie fans out there? This is a fruity delicious pairing that can stand up to the best of them!
  5. Brownie Pie and Doo Dah Mint N’ Chip. Chocolate and mint? Yes. Brownie as a pie? Double yes.
  6. Apple Pie and Shoreline Salted Swirl Caramel. Its like a caramel apple. Need we say more? Shoreline Salted Swirl Caramel is a Scoop Truck exclusive so you may want to bring your own apple pie to Harmony. The Scoop Truck is open Saturday and Sunday in Harmony from 12pm – 4pm.
  7. Pumpkin Pie and Cowtown Coffee Bean. We have all heard of pumpkin pie and vanilla ice cream, but what about pumpkin pie and coffee? Trust us, it is delicious. Think PSL, but better! Now, since Cowtown Coffee Bean is a Scoop Truck exclusive, this will take a little planning ahead, but we know you can do it! The Scoop Truck is open Saturday and Sunday in Harmony from 12pm – 4pm.

No matter how you like to celebrate this holiday, make sure you have pie AND ice cream! For more information on where to get our ice cream, click here.


History of Ice Cream


historyWhere in the world did Ice Cream come from? Who invented it? How long has it been around? You could probably ask everybody in your neighborhood and nobody would know the real answer! In fact, you might get a zillion different answers! How far does ice cream go back? The 1900s? The 1800s? The 1700s? Well read on for a little history of ice cream….

Some say that ice cream may go back as far as 200BC! Imagine that! There are stories that say the ancient Chinese would make a frozen ice cream type dessert by mixing snow with milk and rice. As you can probably imagine, more than likely this concoction tasted nothing like modern ice cream does today, but that was possibly a beginning for ice cream.

And in the 50AD, and as the story goes, Nero Claudius Caesar became obsessed with a version of ice cream and would literally send runners up into the mountains to bring back piles of snow. They were known to flavor this snow with honey, juices and fruit.

Then fast forward to the 13th Century when Marco Polo returned to Italy from the Far East with a recipe for a special frozen milk dessert. This new frozen delight was actually the beginning of modern sherbet ice cream.

Some time in the 1560’s there is evidence that suggests that the people of that time were eating a frozen dessert that was made from milk sweetened with sugar. So this is about as close as you can get to the origin of real ice cream as we know it today. Well, there you have it, the history of ice cream!

Now the Udderly Awesome Craft Ice Cream at the Harmony Valley Creamery would probably blow the socks off of the Ancient Chinese or Marco Polo’s ice cream! Ice Cream has really come a long way since 200BC. Now that you know the history of ice cream, consider yourself a little bit smarter. And the next time you’re enjoying a nice big bowl of Harmony Valley Creamery’s signature flavors, such as Local Yodelers Cookies ‘N Cream or School’s Out Strawberry just think about how lucky you are that you’re not having to eat a bowl of snow!

And feel free to contact the friendly staff at Harmony Valley Creamery, should you have any questions, but make sure you’re brushed up on your ice cream history, you never know when they may give you a pop quiz!