Ice cream parlor
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Ice cream parlors (or parlours) are places that sell ice cream, gelato, sorbet and frozen yogurt to consumers. Ice cream is typically sold as regular ice cream (also called hard-packed ice cream), gelato and soft serve, which is typically dispensed by a machine with a limited number of flavors (e.g. chocolate, vanilla, and "twist", a mix of the two). It is customary for ice cream parlors to offer several ice cream flavors and items.
In the 1800s, an early form of an ice cream parlor was existent in Philadelphia, United States which sold "all kinds of refreshments, as Ice Cream, Syrups, French Cordials, Cakes, Clarets of the best kind, Jellies, etc."
Parlors vary in terms of environment, some only have an order window and outside seating, while others have complete indoor facilities. Additionally, some parlors have drive-through windows. Some parlors remain open all year round (typically in warmer weather locations) and others in colder climates stay open only during warmer months, particularly from March to November. Parlors in major metro areas, including those in colder climates, often remain throughout the year to satisfy high consumer demand for frozen ice creams, yogurts, and sorbets.
Some ice cream parlors in Moscow, Russia offer alcoholic beverages along with ice cream.
Gelato is Italian ice cream that typically has almost half the butterfat content of ice cream and a smoother texture. Gelato parlors often produce their own product and are less likely to serve American-style ice cream or soft serve. Sorbet is a frozen treat made from fruit, syrup and ice. No milk or cream is used. Frozen yogurt is a common low-fat ice cream alternative with a smooth texture that is similar to soft serve ice cream. All of these frozen products may be sold in ice cream cones, cups, sundaes, and milkshakes. Some parlors may also sell ice cream cakes, ice cream bars and other pre-packaged frozen sweets. In addition to frozen dessert products, many modern ice cream parlors also sell a variety of hot fast foods.
List of ice cream parlor chains
- Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops
- Bruster's Ice Cream
- Ciao Bella Gelato Company
- Cold Stone Creamery
- Fosters Freeze
- Häagen-Dazs Shops
- Sedutto's, a division of Big Apple Dairy Desserts
- Shake Shack
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