In its simplest form, ice cream (or ice-cream, icecream) is a frozen dessert made from dairy products (milk, cream or custard) combined with flavourings and sweeteners. This mixture is super-cooled by stirring while reducing its temperature to prevent large ice crystals from forming. Traditionally, the temperature has been reduced by placing the ice cream mixture into a container that is immersed in a mixture of crushed ice and salt. The salt causes a change of state from frozen to liquid water, removing a large amount of heat from the ice cream in the process.
The term ice cream is sometimes used to mean frozen deserts and snacks in general although ice cream is usually reserved for frozen deserts and snacks made with a high percentage of milk fat.
Typical definitions for frozen deserts and snacks:
* Ice cream Any frozen desert product with 10% or more milk fat.
Many countries, e.g. the United States, regulate the use of these terms based on specific percent quantities of ingredients.
Ice creams come in a wide variety of flavours, often with additives such as chocolate flakes or chips, nuts, fruit, and small candies/sweets. Some of the most popular ice cream flavours in supermarkets are vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and Neapolitan (a combination of the three).