am·bi·ent ice cream (noun): An environmentally-friendly version of ice cream that can save energy by being distributed and sold at room temperature (and then frozen at home).
The Times of London reported on August 24, 2009, that Unilever, the owner of Ben & Jerry’s and other ice cream brands, was developing a “low-carbon” product:
Unilever hopes that a product sold at room temperature will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ice cream is one of the company’s more energy-intensive products because of the need to keep it frozen during transport and storage. . . .
A spokesman for Unilever said that warm, or so-called ambient, ice cream was a “very interesting idea” but one that posed tough challenges that its scientists were trying to solve. “The key question which has yet to be fully answered is: how do you ensure that, when the ambient ice cream is frozen at home it will have the right microstructure to produce a fantastic consumer experience?”
However, Unilever denied it was developing any such product in an article published today on FoodNavigator.com: "A spokesperson for Unilever told FoodNavigator.com today that ambient ice cream is “something we are aware of, but we have no plans to develop this kind of product”. He declined to give details of any research or progress in the industry at large, but said the R&D ice cream specialists are “aware of all sorts of ideas."