Like many people, you might enjoy a cool ice cream treat during the hot summer months or even in other seasons from time to time.
However, if you've ever enjoyed smooth, creamy soft serve from Dairy Queen or McDonald's, you aren't actually eating ice cream.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) holds strict standards about what qualifies as ice cream. By the FDA's standards, frozen treats must contain a certain percentage of butterfat to be considered ice cream.
For the FDA to consider a frozen dessert "ice cream" one of the main requirements is at least 10 percent butterfat (the fatty part of milk) in the ice cream's composition. Anything between 10 and 16 percent butterfat meets the FDA requirement for ice cream.
Most premium ice creams contain closer to 16 percent butterfat, which gives it that extra smooth, creamy texture.
However, soft serve from both Dairy Queen and McDonald's do not meet the FDA's butterfat requirement for ice cream. They contain about 5 percent butterfat and are not considered "true" ice creams. The low butterfat content is what gives soft serve its smooth but airy texture.
While the FDA used to qualify frozen desserts with this level of butterfat as "ice milk," they are now considered low-fat ice cream, which is good news if you're watching your waistline but love a frozen treat!
Here's the scoop on the top five ice cream places offering discounts to seniors:
■ Friendly’s: Seniors get 10% off and a free coffee during breakfast hours, or a free sundae during non-breakfast hours.
■ Ben & Jerry’s: Receive a 10% discount if you’re 60 or older
■ Dairy Queen: Offers a 10% discount or a free drink to seniors over 55
■ Steak n’ Shake: Get a 10% discount every Monday and Tuesday if you’re older than 50
■ TCBY: Seniors over 55 get a 10% discount