A utensil used to remove ice cream from a carton or other container while forming the ice cream into a ball or oval shape. Ice-cream scoops come in several styles and sizes. The simplest is a plain metal scoop- or spade-shaped utensil. Next comes one shaped like a half-globe or oval with a spring-action lever in the handle. When squeezed, the lever moves an arc-shaped blade across the scoop's interior and ejects the ice-cream ball. The nonstick-style scoop has antifreeze sealed inside. This model is especially helpful for extremely hard ice cream. Scoops come in many sizes, from tiny to large (about 1 to almost 3 inches in diameter).
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.