The law dates back to 1965 and created strict testing requirements designed to ensure food safety. It also has very specific definitions of what constitutes a frozen dessert.
Senate Bill 152 repeals the 1965 bill, which deems “frozen desserts” as “ice cream, frozen custard, French ice cream, French custard ice cream, artificially sweetened ice cream, artificially sweetened ice milk, ice milk, freezer made milkshakes, fruit sherbet, water ice, quiescently frozen confection, quiescently frozen dairy confection, whipped cream confection, bisque tortoni, mellorine frozen desserts as all such products are commonly known, together with any mix used in such frozen desserts and any products which are similar in appearance, odor, or taste to such products or are prepared or frozen as such products are customarily prepared or frozen, whether made with dairy or non-dairy products.”
For those of you confused by some of the terms above, here are some definitions:
French ice cream
Think of the flavor ‘French Vanilla’. The base for French ice cream has egg yolks, American-style ice cream does not. The egg gives a more creamy texture, according to The Kitchn.
Quiescently frozen confection
Think popsicles (but be aware ‘Popsicle’ is a registered trademark). ‘Quiescently frozen’ means the item is simply frozen without any stirring or agitating, as is done with ice cream, according to How Stuff Works. And while we’re at it, Fudgesicles fall into the category ‘quiescently frozen dairy confection’ because they have cream in them.
Also called ‘Biscuit tortoni’ this is one you’ve probably never heard of. Politico defines it as “a creamy custard flavored with crushed amaretti cookies (hence “biscuit”) or almond extract, frozen to the consistency of ice cream, and dusted with finely chopped almonds.” Meanwhile, The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “ice cream made of heavy cream often with minced almonds and chopped maraschino cherries and often flavored with rum.”
Mellorine frozen desserts
We’ll turn to Britannica.com for this one. “Imitation ice cream, known as mellorine, is made in some parts of the United States and other countries. It is made with less expensive vegetable oils instead of butterfat but utilizes dairy ingredients for the milk protein part. Mellorines are intended to compete with ice cream in places where butterfat prices are high.” If you look at your half-gallon of ice cream and see it’s labeled ‘frozen dairy dessert‘ instead of ice cream, now you know why.
Many in the Pennsylvania legislature say the 1965 law has become redundant because federal regulations now get the job done, and they believe the old law puts expensive burdens on business owners. On Tuesday the State Senate voted 198-4 to repeal the provision. The bill now heads to Governor Josh Shapiro’s desk.