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Real ice milk

  • m

Last year at this time I threw out a line about this 1970s product. I'm not sure that I can ever find it again, but I thought I'd ask the observant SF hounds.

Remember ice milk? An ice cream like substance made with milk instead of cream. This used to be available from places like Wahlgreens in paper-wrapped quarts in flavors like strawberry and vanilla. It was not fat-free ice cream, or light ice cream, but specifically ice milk. It has a different texture than reduced-fat ice cream, and a simpler, more milk-like flavor than those lecithin rich products.

It also came in soft serve in a couple of independent outlets, but I never found a pattern or a brand name.

I really enjoy ice milk for it's simplicity and straightforwardness. It's not trying to be anything other than it is -- it's not trying to taste like full-fat ice cream -- it's just trying to taste like a sweetened frozen milk product. It's that milk, not cream, flavor that I'm after.

Anybody got a source?

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  1. Got an ice cream maker at home? Nothing beats homemade.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nja

      Yes, I make ice milk at home. I have the cheapo Krups version, which is just the frozen ice cream bowl with that gets attached to the dasher assembly which spins around while the mix is freezing. It makes decent ice milk -- I have an old recipe that makes a fine ice milk flavor, but the consistency, with this rudimentary ice cream maker and a home freezer, just doesn't make the same kind of product. I make it occasionally to go with another oldfashioned dessert, a "fudge wonder" pudding cake. The lean simple flavor goes well with the rich pudding-y cake.

      However, these home methods don't make the kind of texture that a good commercially frozen ice milk had (as I remember it!) Perhaps, if I got one of those massive, self-contained-freezing unit ice cream makers that cost like 800$ and are bigger than my microwave oven I could replicate it. I admit I drool over those (and chocolate tempering machines) in cooking catalogs, but I can't justify the expense and behemoth size.

      So I get good Strauss organic homemade ice milk a couple times a year. Doesn't stop the jones-ing, though! Guess this product is gone with the wide ties and leisure suits.

    2. Ahhh, Mrs. Smith, you've really hit a nerve. To avoid the rec that this get moved PRONTO to the general food board, I'll keep my posting brief. I know of no sources in SF.

      But God do I miss that stuff. It was, just as you said, not trying to be something it wasn't, it wasn't shot up with weird chemicals to make it be more like ice cream. It was ice milk, good in its own right. I have long wondered what happened to this wonderful creation.

      1. a
        Ann Vuletich

        Yes, you have hit a nerve. My very fond recollection of ice milk was having it served to me by my grandmother. She loved the stuff. I remember the little ice crystals on it. I think she used to buy it at Safeway and the brand was Lucerne (Safeway's house brand). Just did a quick yahoo search and came up with some hits involving Canada -- my grandmother was Canadian, maybe it originated there? And no, unfortunately, I don't know if you can get it any more. Haven't had or seen it for years.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ann Vuletich

          Ah, Canadian. I grew up in Minnesota not far from the border. Perhaps that's the link I'm looking for. Thanks for the tip!

          I loved the ice crystals too!

        2. s
          Stanley Stephan

          Well, according to the site below, California produces 33 million gallons of ice milk a year. Where did it go? I think they mean low fat or non fat ice cream. I agree with you that these don't taste the same as ice milk. Last time I bought it was at Safeway.

          I'll keep an eye out for it. I'm thinking if there is some around it would be at places like drug store chains or even 7-11. I just haven't seen it in many years.

          It's funny how you notice things when they get mentioned. Someone wanted to know about halal butchers which I had never heard of before. Then I Saturday I passed by two of them on my way home from Berkeley.

          Link: http://www.dairyforum.org/cdf.html

          1 Reply
          1. re: Stanley Stephan

            Thanks for the help searching, Stanley. I, too, prowl around the freezers at places like Rite Aid and Wahlgreens, hoping someday I'll find it!

          2. I was shopping for my 90-yr.old aunt and she had requested ice milk squares dipped in chocolate. We located one brand at the grocery store in San Jose but I don't remember the brand or the store. It was either the Eskimo Pie or Isley's at either SaveMart or Albertson's. But, I do recall that it was ice milk! It's out there somewhere.