Food Stylists Scream for Ice Cream…Scoops!

Every person should have a trusty ice cream scoop at the ready for life’s difficult moments that can only be rectified by a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Food stylists, however, may find further use for the utensil outside of a conduit for sweet treats.

Food styling with ice cream scoops may not seem like an intuitive solution in every situation. But a simple scoop on hand can be a surprisingly versatile ally.

Even those outside of the food industry know how notoriously difficult it can be to get a great photograph of ice cream. The heat of the lights make melting an inevitability and substitutions a must. However, even the the most talented stylists need to tread carefully. If the texture of an “ice cream” isn’t spot on, a viewer’s sugary fantasy can be shattered in an instant. This makes a scoop on set an absolute must. Food styling with ice cream scoops provides the spherical shape we associate with a perfect ice cream cone. Seeing a substitute product in a context that implies that it’s ice cream makes it much easier to imagine that it actually is a delicious frozen treat.


However, creative stylists won’t limit themselves to ice cream. Mashed potatoes, cookie dough, and other soft solids can benefit from the neat form this tool can provide. If you’re willing to get creative, styling with ice cream scoops can take you a long way.

To most, there isn’t much of a difference between one ice cream scoop and another. However, it’s important to keep in mind that scoops come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most people don’t pay much attention to the disher size number attached to their scoop, but they actually reveal some pretty pertinent information. The number assigned to a scoop refers to how many servings per quart the device yields. So, a #100 can get 100 scoops out of a single quart, while a #4 gets just 4 scoops. It’s possible to get sizes ranging from 2 teaspoons to 1 cup.  In addition, there are three common styles of scoop (each with their own advantages) to choose from; the disher, the dipper, and the spade. Dishers offer thumb presses and squeeze handles, making them perfect choices for perfect portion control. Dippers (the classic ice cream scoop most of us are most familiar with) are easy to clean and often have been finished with materials that prevent substances from freezing to the metal. Spades are ideal for scraping down bins and provide some extra leverage.

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Gather as many different types and sizes of ice cream scoops as you can

There’s no single best option when it comes to styling with ice cream scoops. Collect different styles and sizes and experiment. You may find that one particular option is easiest to work with. An even more likely scenario is that you’ll specialize techniques of your own as you discover what each product has to offer!

Inside the Food Stylist’s Tool Kit

Have you ever looked at a food editorial or advertisement and wondered how they’re able to get subjects as unruly as spaghetti sauce or ice cream looking absolutely pristine? As it turns out, the art food styling is a precise one that requires quite a bit of patience, precision, and improvisation. In the Inside the Food Stylist’s Tool Kit segment Phoode examines the unexpected tactics stylists employ by digging through the tools they use on set.