We may have been compensated through an experience or products from the links and companies mentioned in this post. Thank you for supporting my small business. Please see my disclaimer for more info.
75 of the Most Interesting Facts About Ice Cream Every Woman Should Know
Everyone loves ice cream! And now that I’m in the middle years of my life, it doesn’t have to be National Ice Cream Month to enjoy a cup, a bowl, or a cone full of my favorite ice cream flavor! Just for fun, enjoy these 75 interesting facts about ice cream!
International Ice Cream History
The Earliest Reports of Frozen Delectables
- One of the earliest records of an ice-cream-like product is of Alexander the Great (356-323 BC). Historians report that he may have enjoyed eating snow flavored with nectar and honey.
- Another early report of ice cream dates back to China’s T’ang period (618-907 AD), when the country’s rulers were probably served flavored ice.
- Yet another tale is that Roman Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar sent his slaves into the mountains to bring snow back and mix it with nectar, fruit pulp, and honey. He also built cold houses under the imperial palace to store the ice.
- Before milk-based ice creams were introduced in the 10th century, “ice cream” was made from ice.
The Birth of Ice Cream as We Know It
- Some historians believe that Marco Polo introduced the early form of ice cream to Europe in the 1300s after returning to Italy from his travels in the Far East. He brought a recipe for making flavored ice resembling what we know today as sorbet.
- France was next! The people of France began eating ice cream openly in 1660.
- In the 1700s, approximately 250 years after Christopher Columbus discovered America, America realized the joy of ice cream! At this time in America’s history, ice cream was a delicacy that only the elite members of society enjoyed.
- Finally, the invention of ice cream that we enjoy today happened in 1775 in France when freezing custard resulted in a delicious and smooth dessert treat.
American Ice Cream History
- In the late 1700s, the earliest known mechanical ice cream maker was created. Then George Washington purchased it.
- President George Washington loved ice cream so much that he made sure to bring a selection of ice cream accessories into his presidency.
- When guests would visit President Washington, he would often have his staff serve a bowl of ice cream.
- The first ice cream parlor opened in New York City in 1776.
- In 1843, Nancy Johnson received the first US patent for the hand-cranked ice cream freezer.
- Eight years after the ice cream freezer was invented, industrial ice cream production began in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1851.
- Robert McCay Green invented ice cream sodas in Philadelphia in 1874. Mr. Green operated a soda fountain and wanted to create a product that would lure customers away from the competition. I’m sure this fact makes a list of clever marketing ploys somewhere in history!
- The ice cream sundae was invented in the 1880s.
- Picture it, St. Louis World Fair, 1904. High demand for ice cream prompted an ice cream vendor to partner with a local waffle vendor. Their partnership ended with the waffle cone and a way for people to enjoy ice cream while walking around.
- Historians believe that Thomas Jefferson was the first American to write the ice cream recipe for vanilla-flavored ice cream.
- America fell in love with ice cream in the era of World War II when military troops were treated with ice cream.
- At the end of World War II, America celebrated the war’s end with celebratory ice cream!
- William Dreyer, an American of German descent, created a new ice cream flavor in 1929. Mr. Dreyer used his wife’s scissors to cut up marshmallows and walnuts. Then he mixed the pieces into his chocolate ice cream and eventually replaced the walnuts with almonds. Voila! Rocky Road was born! Click HERE for all the details on how Rocky Road was created.
Dairy Products Around the World
- The top ice cream-loving countries around the world include New Zealand, the United States, Germany, Italy, China, and Brazil
- The US produces the most ice cream in the world.
- World-famous ice cream makers Ben & Jerry’s have production facilities in three states in the US and additional facilities in the Netherlands and Israel.
- Ice cream sales are one of the numbers to rise during a recession or war. It seems that ice cream becomes even more important during hard times.
- Sunday ice cream sales in the US almost always rank higher than any other day of the week.
World Records for Ice Cream Achievements H2
- According to Guinness, Norway scored the world record for the most oversized ice cream cone ever made in 2015, with a cone of over 10 feet! Click HERE to see a photo of this modern marvel!
- Guinness recorded the world’s most giant ice cream sundae in 1988 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Can you believe the sundae weighed in at almost 55,000 pounds of ice cream? Now that’s a sundae I can get behind!
- The world’s most enormous ice cream cake was recorded at the Dairy Queen in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 2011. The ice cream cake weighed over 22,000 pounds. Happy birthday to someone!
- An Italian citizen named Dimitri Panciera created the world’s largest ice cream scoop in 2015. The scoop is fully functioning and measures over six feet long! Anyone for a super-sized scoop of ice cream? I’m in!
- Of course, we must talk about the ice cream sandwich. In 2021, Hy-Vee Company in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, created an ice cream sandwich of chocolate chip cookies filled with vanilla ice cream that measured almost 3,000 pounds!
Ice Cream by the Numbers
- The top-ranked brand of ice cream in the US in 2021 was Ben & Jerry’s, with sales of $936 million.
- Total ice cream sales in the US reached approximately 6.76 billion US dollars in 2021.
- Fans send famous ice cream makers Ben & Jerry over 13,000 flavor suggestions fans every year. Click HERE to submit your idea!
- Ben & Jerry’s employees can take 3 pints of ice cream home with them every day! Need a job, anyone? Talk about fringe benefits!
- The average price of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream pint in 2019 was $7. It takes 8 pints to equal one gallon. That means Ben & Jerry’s ice cream costs approximately $56 per gallon!!!
- How many licks does it take to finish an average ice cream cone? Fifty licks!
- One cup of plain vanilla ice cream has about 273 calories.
- 10% of the people enjoy every calorie by licking the bowl clean.
- 20% of the people will admit to sharing their ice cream with a pet. I wonder how many won’t confess to sharing?
- According to ZipRecruiter, drivers of ice cream trucks earn an average of $34,579 per year, though salaries can range from $16,000 to $65,500.
How We Eat Ice Cream and Who Eats the Most?
- The people of New Zealand eat the most ice cream at 7.5 gallons per person per year.
- America comes in second place for ice cream consumption. The average American citizen eats about 5.5 gallons per year.
- 5.5 gallons of ice cream is equal to 44 pints! That’s almost one pint per week for the average person.
- Today, 87% of all Americans claim to have ice cream in their freezer at any given time.
- 36% of Americans typically order their ice cream in a cup, and 36% usually order it in a bowl. Another 26% of Americans order it in either a cup or a cone, depending on their mood.
- The ice cream industry in the US sells over $21 billion every year.
The Making of Ice Cream
- For every gallon of ice cream produced, ice cream makers need 3 gallons of milk.
- One single cow can produce enough milk for 9,000 gallons of ice cream in her lifetime.
- Almost 9% of all the milk produced in America is used for making ice cream.
- Ice cream machines are everywhere! A standard ice cream machine for soft-serve holds two flavors of ice cream and has three levers. One lever works for each flavor, and the third level dispenses both flavors in a classic twist.
- Making ice cream at home is Super Easy with a few ingredients and some elbow grease! You can find a super fun recipe with instructions HERE.
So many Ice Cream Flavors, So Little Time
- According to YouGovAmerica, 17% of Americans say that their favorite ice cream flavor is chocolate.
- After chocolate, the popular flavor of vanilla follows as a close second, with 15% of Americans reporting it as their favorite flavor.
- Many people like their ice cream filled with chunks. Pecans are the most popular nut chunk in the US.
- Strawberries are the most popular fruit chunk in the US.
- In 2019, Oscar Mayer created a hot-dog flavored ice cream treat. The Ice Dog Sandwich has cookie bars on the outside and Spicy Dijon gelato and hot-dog flavored sweet cream ice cream stuffed with candied hot dog bits between them. Yum?
- Many sweet and creamy treats fall under the category of “ice cream.” Some of these treats are frozen custard, frozen yogurt, reduced-fat ice cream, sherbet, oat-milk-based frozen treats, and gelato, among others. In general, all of these treats are referred to as ice cream.
- A man named John Harrison (born in 1942) was employed by Dreyer, an American ice cream company, as the “Official Taste Tester.”
The Most Popular Ice Cream Topping?
- YouGovAmerica reports that hot fudge is the most popular topping for American ice cream eaters. 31% of Americans polled choose hot fudge!
- Favorite ice cream toppings as ranked by RestaurantClicks.com are 1. Hot fudge · 2. Sprinkles · 3. Caramel · 4. Oreos · 5. Peanut butter cups · 6. Cookie dough · 7. Whipped cream · 8. Hard chocolate coating 9. Melted Marshmallow/Marshmallow Fluff 10. Cereal 11. Nuts 12. Fruit
- The most popular (but weird) toppings for ice cream include (but are not limited to): Stale Donuts, Popcorn & Pretzels, Ground Espresso, Candied Bacon, and French Fries.
- The secret ingredients in Magic Shell that cause it to harden on ice cream are Coconut oil and Sunflower oil because they are very high in saturated fat. Saturated fats solidify at higher temperatures than standard oils, causing them to harden up when poured over cold ice cream.
The Science of Ice Cream
- One of my favorite fun facts about ice cream is this one: Ice cream has tiny, tiny air bubbles in it. These bubbles keep the ice cream soft and create a soothing smooth texture. When your ice cream melts, those bubbles break down, and your ice cream changes in texture when re-frozen.
- The ideal temperature for scooping and serving ice cream is 8° to 10°F.
- Ah – the ice cream headache. What is going on here? When a super cold treat touches the roof of your mouth, your blood vessels tighten up, causing the pain we know of as brain freeze.
- When you experience brain freeze, try pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth to relieve the discomfort.
- Ice cream combines dairy and sugar in a ratio as close to mother’s milk as any food.
Ice Cream Geography
- California produces the largest amount of ice cream in the US. In 2020, California produced over 71,000 gallons of ice cream. The remaining US States produced just over 467,000 gallons.
- NASA reports that ice cream ranks as one of the top three food items that astronauts miss the most when in space. The other two items are pizza and soda. I am genuinely an astronaut at heart.
- Astronaut ice cream has never actually been in outer space! Freeze-dried ice cream was scheduled to be on the Apollo mission in 1968. Subsequently one of the astronauts on the mission dismissed it.
- In 1984, US President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month and July 15 as National Ice Cream Day!
- Need a healthy dose of ice cream? Head for Hawaii, home of the “ice cream bean,” a fruit that tastes like vanilla ice cream.
- After cookies, ice cream products are the bestselling desserts in the United States.
Wrapping it Up
Next time you get a hankering for a good, old-fashioned scoop of ice cream, head to one of your local ice cream parlors and order one of your favorite flavors covered in chocolate syrup or whatever other toppings float your boat! Heck! Have all the flavors and all the toppings! You have my permission!