Butting Heads: Ice Cream

Two authors go head to head to determine which is better: Soft serve or hard ice cream. Graphic by: Maddie Bataille | Photo Editor

Juliana Lepore

Hard Ice-Cream:

Ok, I love soft ice cream as much as the next guy, but when it comes to soft vs. hard ice cream, hard is always my go-to.  

For background, both my uncle and my grandfather used to own Mister Softee Ice Cream trucks in the Bronx, New York, so I am no stranger to the soft ice cream cone. There are many pictures of me as a kid with the classic vanilla cone with rainbow sprinkles all over my face.

However, as I got older, I realized that the lack of variety of flavors of soft ice cream is what always made me choose hard ice cream whenever I went to the ice cream shop. Yes, you can put toppings on soft serve ice cream, but the difference between a soft serve vanilla cone with Oreos on top vs. cookies and cream hard ice cream is a very big one.

My favorite hard ice cream flavor has varied over time. There is an ice cream shop called Il Bacio Ice Cream in Danbury, Connecticut that has a “cookie monster” flavor of ice cream, which is hard vanilla ice cream dyed blue with cookie dough, oreo cookies and chocolate chips in it. That flavor, from that specific store, will always be my #1 ice cream flavor. Non-negotiable. Without debate. 

When I’m on vacation or something and not close to my favorite flavor, I always go for some kind of peanut butter chocolate-flavored hard ice cream. I could write a stan column about how much I love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but that’s an entirely different story, and we’re focusing on ice cream here.

With soft serve, you’re usually only limited to the classics: vanilla, chocolate or strawberry. With hard ice cream, there are practically an unlimited amount of flavors to choose from. An honorable mention goes to chocolate brownie ice cream, which is something that I have been choosing a lot more recently.

I digress. Hard ice cream will always be superior in my books. The toppings mixed in with the hard ice cream will beat soft serve with toppings on top.

David Broccoli

Soft-Serve Ice Cream:

Now, I love ice cream. It’s one of my favorite desserts and I love getting it after dinner with family and friends, or even just to get it for a snack! 

I love anything chocolate and my favorite ice cream flavor is chocolate brownie. This is a hard ice cream, however, and I love it.

When it comes to going to an ice cream parlor, I always go for the chocolate soft-serve with rainbow sprinkles. I like to mix it up sometimes and get it in a waffle cone instead of a cup.

I know, wild.

I should mention that I am a huge fan of frozen yogurt, and I might be getting controversial here, but soft-serve ice cream and frozen yogurt to me taste the same. 

But, I digress.

I love the look of the swirl and I love the multiple options of toppings you can add to your yogurt or ice cream. It’s so smooth and rich and doesn’t chuck up when you try to scoop a bite in your plastic spoon.

Hard ice cream takes forever to eat when you get it in a cone, and when you get it in a cup you’re literally digging at the ice cream to get a piece. Sometimes, you dig too hard and the ice cream flies out of your cup and spoon and lands on the floor. This has happened to me many times.

Soft-serve ice cream is so easy to eat in a cone, and the slight crunch of the sprinkles stuck to it makes it even more delicious. Even in a cup, it’s so much easier to scoop out a bite with the spoon and not have to bend your spoon in half. Toppings also stick to it a lot easier than hard ice cream.

Yes, soft-serve does melt a lot quicker than hard ice cream, but a lot of hard ice cream flavors melt really fast. Also, in Rhode Island, there are multiple ice cream shops with various flavors of soft-serve ice cream. People say there are only two or three flavors, but as long as you have the right ingredients, you can have so many different options for soft-serve ice cream.

So, soft-serve ice cream is so much more aesthetically pleasing to look at and eat, and hard ice cream is good, but it’s too tough to eat.