11 Reasons Soft Serve Is the Best Ice Cream Ever

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Soft serve has found that sweet spot between ice cream and frozen yogurt

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11 Reasons Soft Serve Is the Best Ice Cream Ever

Soft serve seems to have found that sweet spot between ice cream and fro-yo that makes it a perennial favorite. So why is soft serve so beloved by Americans? We have an idea. Sometimes the success of a food is determined by the sum of its parts. So here is our ode to soft serve, along with some lesser-known facts that explain why soft serve is the best.

1. Flavors

Unlike a trip to Baskin Robbins, at your favorite soft serve haunt, the classics are revered. Chocolate and vanilla are all you need to create your custom cone. We see this as an asset, not a hindrance. It keeps customers thinking creatively about how to dress up their cone.

2. Magic Shell

The magic shell is a thing of wonder. Whether you are a pure chocolate fan, a cherry-dipped fan, or better yet a double-dipped chocolate and cherry lover, one thing is certain: You can’t beat that chocolate shell wrapped around smooth, sweet soft serve.

3. No Waste

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Unlike frozen custard, which is often mistaken for soft serve, soft serve does not need to be made fresh daily, which reduces waste. The soft serve base can last for up to a week.

4. Nutrition

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Soft serve is better for you than ice cream. Yes, part of the secret to the fluffy texture is soft serve’s lower fat content. So if you are trying to watch your waistline, you don’t have to feel too bad about that pit stop at the ice cream truck after happy hour.

5. Royal Origins

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Believe it or not, this heavenly treat was not created out of thin air. In fact, two of the best-known ice cream franchises lay claim to having invented this wonder: none other than the Dairy Queen herself and the gold standard of ice cream cake confectioners, Carvel.

6. Sprinkle Coating

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Part of what makes this ice cream treat so fantastic are the toppings. Roll your favorite flavors in sprinkles for the perfect ice cream-to-sprinkle ratio that can only be achieved through soft serve.

7. Temperature

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If you have sensitive teeth, soft serve may be your ice cream of choice. While normal scoop-able ice cream is produced at around five degrees F, soft serve comes in at around 25 degrees F.

8. Texture

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The soft, airy texture of soft serve is due to a combination of its lower fat content and stabilizers that keep your cone from melting at lightning speed. While these stabilizers do have complicated names like “xanthan gum,” they’re naturally derived stabilizers produced from fermented sugars. 

9. The “Swirl”

If you can’t choose between those two classic base flavors, then swirl them. No other ice cream offers that option — not frozen custard, and certainly not scoop-able ice cream — so enjoy the chance to have it all.

10. Trendy Soft Serve

The nostalgia for this old-timey classic has led to revitalization and a bit of a soft serve craze. Even some big names got in on the action, like Momofuku’s own Christina Tosi, who deviated from the standard vanilla chocolate — creating flavors like cereal milk and Cracker Jack — which fit in with her growing wacky-flavored dessert empire. 

11. Worldwide Phenomenon

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We aren’t alone in our love. Soft serve has made its mark around the world. The most recognizable ice cream truck, Mister Softee, opened its first location in China in 2007. Trucks, kiosks, and standalone stores cater to local tastes there, serving green tea- and red bean-flavored soft serve.