Chick-Fil-A's Icedream Can't Be Called Ice Cream On A Technicality

What does Chick-fil-A sell? That answer should be obvious: The chain sells chicken, considering it's in the name after all. While it's true that there are many who believe that Chick-fil-A's chicken, pressure cooked rather than deep-fried, is top of the line when it comes to fast food, Chick-fil-A doesn't just sell chicken. It also sells salads, macaroni and cheese, and, of course, "Icedream."

What is Icedream? Chick-fil-A describes an average Icedream cone as a "delicious, frozen dairy treat with an old-fashioned vanilla taste" — very similar to everyday vanilla soft serve. This soft-serve dessert is one of the chain's most famous menu items, being used in a wide variety of its other desserts such as milkshakes and frosted lemonade. While you can order your Icedream to have different toppings, vanilla is the most widely available flavor on the menu. 

It's not hard to see why people like Chick-fil-A's Icedream. After eating a salty chicken sandwich and some waffle fries, there's nothing that compliments it better than digging into a towering white swirl of Icedream on a crispy cone. It's one of those little things that Chick-fil-A likes to market as being simple, yet delicious.

But you may notice that we keep calling it "Icedream" instead of ice cream. That's because, technically speaking, Chick-fil-A's soft serve isn't exactly soft serve — or ice cream, if we're going off the definition of what constitutes ice cream. If this is the case, just what's in that cone of Icedream, and what makes it so different from regular ice cream?

Icedream cones don't have as much butterfat

If Chick-fil-A's Icedream cones aren't exactly ice cream, then what are they? How can something that's not ice cream look and taste almost exactly like vanilla ice cream? Is it thanks to some kind of synthetic blend of fake ingredients and sweeteners made up to look and taste similar to fast-food vanilla soft serve

Not exactly. You see, regular ice cream and Icedream are both made up of cream, sugar, and milk — the most basic ingredients behind any ice cream product. The only difference is that Icedream lacks the butterfat that can be found in other ice cream varieties. This is because a regular Icedream cone has more air in it than a regular serving of vanilla soft serve. With all of this air, or "overrun," there's not as much room for butterfat as there is in regular ice cream. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, ice cream must have at least 10% butterfat, and Chick-fil-A's Icedream is said to have only 3% butterfat. 

It's like a chocolate bar that has 75% cocoa, compared to a chocolate bar that has only 10% cocoa. Both are still "candy bars," but only one of them can be considered chocolate by way of definition. This doesn't imply, however, that Chick-fil-A's Icedream isn't good — it's just not "real" ice cream in terms of ingredients. One net positive, however, is that Icedream can technically be considered a low-fat version of ice cream.

How does Chick-fil-A make its Icedream then?

Icedream isn't ice cream; we know that much. But how exactly does Chick-fil-A make its pseudo-ice cream, to begin with? While Chick-fil-A hasn't released an official recipe regarding how it's made, there are those who have worked at Chick-fil-A before and managed to share what they know about the chain's famous "ice cream."

"I think Ice Dream has eggs in it," stated one Reddit user in a discussion on a copycat recipe for the dessert. "I used to work at a CFA back in the 80s and all their non-chicken recipes were posted in the kitchen to be made fresh every day." The user stated that, although they tried to make the recipe at home, they couldn't get enough air into the base so the end result wasn't exactly the same. This would make sense since we stated earlier that the Icedream lacks butterfat because of the large amount of air in it.

Another Chick-fil-A employee reportedly claims that any changes to the Icedream recipe are very uncommon; although, depending on where you go, some locations may serve Icedream that's creamier, thicker, or "soupier" because of who's running the machine.

While Chick-fil-A's Icedream recipe is a secret, it's still a very popular menu item no matter where you go. It may not be ice cream, sure, but so long as it brings in profits and keeps customers happy, maybe they don't need to change a good thing.