Rita’s Italian Ice Locations Stop Serving Frozen Custard Amid Egg Shortage

First it was a grocery store chain asking customers to limit themselves when buying cartons of eggs, and then it was shorter (temporary) breakfast hours. And now, consumers are feeling the repercussions of a national egg shortage in the category of icy treats: Rita’s Italian Ice notified customers that it won’t be serving frozen custard, and will instead be replacing that menu item as it runs out with soft-serve ice cream.

“Until we are able to acquire eggs we are substituting a premium Rita’s Soft-Serve Ice Cream which is also terrific in all our signature treats,” the company says in a FAQ section on its site.

Rita’s doesn’t have information on when frozen custard will return to its locations, but says it does intend to restock it when it’s able.

For those not in the know/not raised on frozen custard in Milwaukee — the frozen custard capital of the world — the dessert differs slightly in ingredients from its soft-serve and ice cream brethren. In addition to milk, cream and sugar, the recipe for frozen custard also calls for pasteurized egg yolks.

The way each treat is made and served also makes a difference — ice cream is made in a batch freezer with air pumped into it, resulting in a product that could be up to 50% air. Soft serve comes out of the machine with about 80% air, while what’s known as a continuous batch custard machine will produce the denser treat of frozen custard, containing about 15-20% air.

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