Everybody loves ice cream, but how much do you actually know about it?
Yes, we all know that it tastes heavenly, and for some, that’s all they need to know, right? Well just in case the taste isn't enough here are some fun facts that I bet you probably didn’t know before.
A BRIEF HISTORY
Love waffle cones? You might find it interesting that it was first used in 1904 at the St. Louis World's Fair, when an ice cream vendor ran out of cardboard dishes. A traveling salesman suggested that they use rolled waffles made by another nearby vendor, which they did, and their customers loved it. However, the edible ice cream cone was mentioned even before that, in the 1888 Mrs. Marshall’s Cookbook. The recipe stated that “the cornets were made with almonds and baked in the oven, not pressed between irons”.
Ice pops, on the other hand, came to be in 1923, but the inventor said that he created them even earlier, in 1905, when he accidentally left a glass of soda with a mixing stick in it on his porch during a very cold night.
No one really knows for sure who invented ice cream itself. Some say Emperor Nero is said to have enjoyed mixing fruit and honey with snow. Then, there is Marco Polo who is believed to had brought ice cream to Europe from China. And of course, the Chinese used to mix flavored snow with rice and milk in order to create this delicious dessert. Regardless of who came up with it, the one thing we can all agree on is that we are glad they did.
This might not come as a surprise but back in the day, ice cream used to be a rare and exotic treat only the rich could enjoy due to the price of the imported ingredients and the way of storing it. It stayed that way until the late 19th century when cheap refrigeration became more available.
When it comes to the sundaes, the name actually does have something to do with Sunday. Ice cream sodas used to be a very popular drink that could be bought at any soda shop. However, religious leaders forbid the stores to sell it on Sundays because drinking sodas on that day was considered immoral. So, naturally, the stores retaliated by using syrup instead of soda and changed the name to “sundae” to avoid upsetting the religious leaders even more.
In terms of the flavors, the most popular ice cream flavor is...not chocolate. Believe it or not, it's vanilla that seems to be most people’s favorite flavor. Not a fan of either? Well there are plenty of unusual ones like raw horse flesh, salt, octopus, lobster, and even ghost pepper, which actually requires you to sign a waiver in order to try it, that might spark your interest.
Also, if you're allergic to some of ice cream's common ingredients but still want to enjoy this cold treat, there is a great ice cream store that offers many dairy-free, egg-free, and gluten-free options.
Fun fact, it might be expected that most people enjoy ice cream during summer, but in Canada, people actually buy more ice cream in winter! Yep, in Canada there’s no such thing as too cold for ice cream. Canada is also famous for making the biggest ice cream sundae ever, which weighed almost 25 tons and had 63 different flavors.
If you’re looking for something “less icy”, consider frying your ice cream. Yes, there is such a thing as a fried ice cream; it is made from a scoop of ice cream that is first rolled in cornflakes or cookie crumbs and then quickly deep-fried. This creates a warm, crispy shell while the ice cream in the middle stays nicely cold. There are many other ways of serving ice cream as well. Germany, for instance, has “spaghettieis” – an ice cream dish that looks like spaghetti.
Ice cream is much more than a delicious cold treat – it has a history, tradition, varieties of flavor, and many different ways of serving it. And now after learning all of these fun facts, you will surely enjoy it even more.