See also: Ice Milk,    Ben & Jerry's,    Dairy Queen,
Eskimo Pie,    Hot Fudge Sundae, etc.


19% of Americans say they eat ice cream in bed.  3% eat ice cream in the bathtub. (2008)

In the early days of television mashed potatoes were used to simulate ice cream on cooking shows. Real ice cream melted too fast under the heat from the lighting.

Missouri designated the Ice Cream Cone as the Official State Dessert in 2008.

French Ice Cream is enriched with egg yolks.

More ice cream is sold on Sunday than any other day of the week.

U.S. standards call for ice cream to contain a minimum of 10% milk fat and 20% total milk solids. There is a maximum of 100% overrun allowed. Overrun refers to whipping air into the mixture, and a 100% overrun doubles the original volume of the mixture. A gallon of ice cream must weigh a minimum of 4 1/2 pounds.

Per capita ice cream consumption in the U.S. is about 5 1/2 gallons. (2005)

It takes about 12 pounds of whole milk to make 1 gallon of ice cream.

Vanilla is the top Ice Cream flavor in the U.S., followed by chocolate, vanilla/chocolate, fruit and cookies & cream.

'Neapolitan Ice Cream,' refers to a block of ice cream composed of layers of different flavors, usually chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. (The term Neapolitan is also used to refer to any molded dessert that is made with 3 layers.)
   The ice cream makers of Naples were famous in the early 19th century, especially Tortoni, who created many layered ice cream cakes.
   Natives of Naples are known as Neapolitans.
   The term Neapolitan Ice Cream originated in the U.S. in the late 19th century, and is presumably a reference to the 3 layered ice cream cakes of Tortoni, a Neapolitan.

Abe Lincoln's mother supposedly died when the family dairy cow ate poisonous mushrooms and Mrs. Lincoln drank the milk.
     It has been reported that George Washington liked ice cream so much that he had a bill for $200 for ice cream one summer.

Agricultural Council of America

25% of Baskin Robbins ('31 flavors') ice cream sales are for plain vanilla.

Waste from Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream company was supposedly given to local farmers in Vermont to feed to their hogs. It is said the hogs don't particularly care for the Mint Oreo.

At one time it was against the law to serve ice cream on cherry pie in Kansas.

The world's first soft-serve ice cream machine was in an Olympia, Washington Dairy Queen.

Haagen Dazs ice cream was created in 1959 by Polish born New York businessman Reuben Mattus.  The Danish sounding name was also invented by Mattus, and the premium ice cream had a map of Scandinavia on the carton.

Here is the most popular story on the origin of the ice cream cone:  The ice cream cone was invented at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. An ice cream vendor ran out of paper cups and asked a nearby waffle booth to make some thin waffles he could roll up to hold the ice cream.
   However, it is also reported that a patent had been taken out in the late 1890's for an ice cream cone by Italo Marchiony. So, the ice cream cone was probably popularized at the St. Louis Fair, but not invented there.

The origins of ice cream go way back to about 60 A.D. when the Roman emperor Nero ordered ice to be brought from the mountains and combined it with fruit toppings. In the 13th century, Marco Polo learned of the Chinese method of creating ice and milk mixtures and brought it back to Europe. Over time, people created recipes for ices, sherbets, and milk ices. It became a fashionable treat in Italy and France, and once imported to the United States, ice cream was served by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Dolley Madison. Jefferson's favorite flavor was vanilla.

     Whatever flavor ice cream you like best, you can make it by mixing cream, sugar, and flavorings (like chocolate or strawberry) and then carefully lowering the mixture's temperature until it sets. The discovery of using salt to control the temperature of the ingredients, along with the invention of the wooden bucket freezer with rotary paddles, were major breakthroughs in the creation of ice cream as we know it. A Baltimore company was the first to sell it to stores in 1851. Finally, with the introduction of refrigerator-freezers came the ice cream shop, which has become a symbol of American culture.

Library of Congress Local Legacies Project


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