Ice Cream Facts
Ice Cream Facts

55 Delicious Facts about Ice Cream

James Israelsen
By James Israelsen, Associate Writer
Published August 2, 2018
  • Ice cream was first invented in seventh-century China, where King Tang of Shang had a group of “ice men” create a cold dessert made from buffalo milk, flour, and camphor.[8][17]
  • “Edible inventor” Charlie Harry Francis has created a champagne-flavored ice cream that is laced with 25 mg of Viagra.[12]
  • The Romans sent slaves up into the mountains to collect snow that they flavored with fruits and juices to create their version of ice cream.[8]
  • Charles the First of England paid his chef £500 a year to keep his ice cream recipe a secret.[8]
  • When town leaders in Evanston, WY, made it illegal to sell ice cream sodas on Sundays, shop owners invented the ice cream sundae. They replaced the soda with syrup to get around the law, and they replaced the ‘y’ in Sunday with an ‘e’ in order to avoid offending religious leaders.[8][17]
  • Around 50% of the volume in ice cream is air, which gives the dessert its light texture.[8]
  • The ice cream cone was invented at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904, when a Syrian named Ernest E. Hamwi used batter at his waffle booth to make cones to help out his neighbor, an ice cream vendor who had run out of bowls.[8]
  • Alcoholic Ice Cream
    Split the difference between a cocktail and a sundae
  • Wavering between ice cream and a cocktail? You can have both; chefs have concocted alcoholic ice creams with tequila, whiskey, and bourbon, among others.[3]
  • In 1984, President Ronald Reagan declared July to be National Ice Cream Month.[10]
  • In Britain, ice cream trucks can only play music from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. In the morning and evening they are only allowed to ring a hand bell in order to avoid disturbing people.[8]
  • The first ice cream truck vendor in the United States was Harry Burt, who started his business in 1920.[10]
  • A shop in Ireland serves a caramelized-brown-bread flavored ice cream. It was invented during hard times when Irish folk were hesitant to waste old bread and found ways to transform it into desserts.[3]
  • The United States alone produces an average of 1.6 billion gallons of frozen dairy products a year.[16]
  • In 1945, the US military built the first floating ice cream parlor for the sailors serving in the Pacific during WWII.[16]
  • Weird Ice Cream
    Feeling adventurous?
  • In Tokyo, Japan, you can find ice cream flavored with octopus, shrimp, horseflesh, and cow tongue.[8]
  • People in the Persian Empire saved snow in underground keeps called “yakhchal,” and then on warm days they would serve the snow with grape juice concentrate poured over it.[10]
  • In 1843, Nancy Johnson received the first American patent for a hand-held ice cream maker.[10]
  • Although early versions of the dessert appeared in ancient China and Rome, ice cream as we know it today was created in Italy.[17]
  • A chocolate emporium in Maine serves a butter-flavored ice cream with chunks of lobstermeat in it.[14]
  • Sunni Sky’s Homemade Ice Cream has a “cold sweat” ice cream with peppers so hot that you have to sign a waiver before they will sell it to you.[14]
  • Philadelphia’s Little Baby’s Ice Cream serves a pizza-flavored ice cream.[14]
  • Ice cream maker Sebastian Joe’s invented a garlic-flavored ice cream that has yet to catch on among ice cream lovers.[14]
  • In 2017, Miki Sudo broke the world record for ice cream eating. She downed 16.5 pints of ice cream in 6 minutes.[18]
  • Italian ice cream, called gelato, is hugely popular. In 2017, Italy produced 19% of all ice cream made in Europe, totaling 157 million gallons, or about 6.8 billion scoops.[2]
  • Italian Gelato Facts
    Gelato is creamier and denser than ice cream and usually contains less fat and sugar

  • The popular phrase, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream” comes from a song written by Howard Johnson, Billy Moll and Robert King in 1927.[17]
  • Catherine the Great of Russia was so infatuated with ice cream that she owned a special ice cream service set made of Sevres porcelain.[17]
  • Turkish chefs have been making ice cream for at least 300 years. “Dondurma” (literally, “freezing”) is made from flour milled from wild orchids.[17]
  • The first ice cream produced in Japan made use of ice and salt taken from the city streets of Yokohama.[17]
  • Artisan-made ice cream is a rising trend. In the United Kingdom and Ireland alone there are around 1,000 small producers of expensive and elite ice cream products.[17]
  • Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream operates under a business vision they call “linked prosperity,” which is the belief that a corporation should profit not only the company itself, but all of its employees, suppliers, customers, and communities in which it operates.[6]
  • Ice Cream History
    It's always been an American favorite
  • American President George Washington apparently loved ice cream so much that in the summer of 1790 alone he spent $200 on ice cream, around $5000 dollars by today’s standards.[13]
  • Ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s annually sells $500 million worth of ice cream, with customers on every continent except Antarctica.[6]
  • Kanazawa ice-cream pops stay frozen for an entire hour at room temperature. The process for making them was discovered accidentally, but they are now sold all over Japan.[5]
  • In 1565, architect Bernardo Buontalenti invented an advanced refrigeration technique that allowed ice cream to be commonly consumed by Italians throughout the Renaissance.[7]
  • Commonly known as “ice cream headaches” or "brain freeze," a cold-stimulus headache occurs when extremely cold food touches the roof of the mouth, causing the blood vessels there to rapidly constrict, affecting sensitive nerves in the area.[11]
  • In Italy, there are over 19,000 gelaterias (ice cream parlors) employing over 69,000 people. Most of them are small, family-owned businesses.[2]
  • The first ice cream dish in Italy was invented in 1600s Renaissance Florence, when Catherina de’ Medici held a competition for new and unique dishes to be presented at court.[2]
  • Gelato Facts
    It's best when shared
  • Americans ate a total of 2.7 billion liters of ice cream in 2016.[15]
  • New Zealanders love ice cream, averaging 22 litres of ice cream per person each year. Their favorites are vanilla and “hokey pokey," which is vanilla with toffee chunks.[17]
  • During WWI, the Hoover administration ordered American manufacturers to reduce their ice cream production due to the sugar shortage caused by the war.[13]
  • As of 2016, Norwegians eat the most ice cream per capita, with each person eating an average of 9.8 liters of ice cream a year.[15]
  • The largest ice cream sundae ever made was made in College Station Texas, where approximately 4,000 people both made and ate the entire dish in under 30 minutes.[9]
  • The average cow produces enough milk over its lifetime to make 7,500 gallons of ice cream.[4]
  • A Warner’s Bros. cartoon made during WWII features Bugs Bunny driving an ice cream truck amidst attacking Japanese troops, handing out chocolate-covered grenades.[13]
  • Delicious Ice Cream
    It doesn't matter where you're from; no one can resist
  • In 2016, China consumed the most ice cream: 4.3 billion liters.[15]
  • A 1918, an American editorial criticized European hospitals for not feeding ice cream to American soldiers injured in the war, claiming that in America “every medical hospital uses ice cream as a food.”[13]
  • Ice cream consumption increased dramatically during prohibition, as many breweries switched to making ice cream.[13]
  • Rocky Road was originally marketed during the Great Depression as a metaphor for coping with the economic crash.[13]
  • When the Japanese sank the WWII naval carrier USS Lexington, the crew didn't abandon ship until they had broken into the freezer and eaten all of the ice cream.[13]
  • American bombers during WWII made ice cream on their missions by strapping buckets of cream to their planes, which would then freeze in the high altitudes as they flew over enemy territory.[13]
  • In 1945, the US military built the first floating ice cream parlor for the sailors serving in the Pacific during WWII.[13]
  • When an American general attempted to restrict the amount of ice cream served to the overseas troops during the Korean War, the Pentagon made an official statement to reassure the troops that they would still be served ice cream at least three times a week.[13]
  • In the 1920s, newly arrived immigrants to Ellis Island were fed ice cream sandwiches in their first meal—in order to introduce them to the finer things of American culture.[13]
  • Researchers have shown that ice cream causes people to feel safer and more comfortable.[13]
  • Ice cream sales tend to increase during times of economic recession.[1]
  • Fun Ice Cream Facts INFOGRAPHIC
    Ice Cream Thumbnail

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