10 Fun Ice Cream Facts That Will Blow Your Mind
Who doesn’t love some fun ice cream facts to kick of the summer?
It turns out that ice cream is more than just a dessert. This cool treat has a bit of a history, and we’re going to explore it with you.
Whether you’re winning your next trivia game or impressing your loved one over a shared pint of ice cream, you can now blow them away with your knowledge.
You might already know some of these cool facts. But some are definitely going to surprise you.
Now, we’re counting down even more of the best fun ice cream facts and tidbits we can find.
The Introduction of Ice Cream is Unclear
No one really knows who invented ice cream. We have bits and pieces of information. It’s enough to put together a basic story, but we don’t have all of the answers.
In Ancient Rome, Emperor Nero enjoyed mixing snow with fruit and honey. He frequently sent messengers out to gather snow from the mountains.
Some historians credit Marco Polo with being the first one to bring some type of ice cream to Europe. He had learned it from the Chinese, who had flavored snow with rice and milk to make a creamy dessert.
From there, it progressed. Eventually, ice cream recipes reached the United States a few centuries after Christopher Columbus landed on American soil.
Ice Cream Sundaes Were Actually Made For Sundays
There are two competing stories about the invention of the ice cream sundae. Here is the most popular one.
Ice cream sodas were a popular drink you could buy at the local soda shop. However, religious laws forbade shop owners from selling them on Sundays because people were not allowed to indulge in the sugary treats on the Sabbath.
The owner of Ed Berners’ Ice Cream Parlor, Edward Berners, decided to get around this law. One day, he served a customer ice cream soda without the actual soda part, so it was just ice cream and syrup.
Soon, the concoction was sold on Sundays as an alternative to ice cream sodas. However, it became so popular it was sold every day. Berners changed the spelling to “sundae” to avoid associating it with the holy Sabbath.
The Waffle Cone Was Invented by Accident
In 1904, an ice cream vendor ran out of cones. He was at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, and he was facing high demand from guests.
Desperate for a solution, he turned to a waffle vendor nearby. Together, they came up with the idea to mold the waffles into cones and serve the ice cream in there.
Customers loved the idea, and the waffle cone was officially born.
The Ingredients of the First Handwritten Ice Cream Recipe Will Disgust You
Sometime around 1668, English noblewoman Lady Anne Fanshawe wrote down the first official ice cream recipe. She originally called it “icy cream,” and it called for some pretty strange things.
To prepare the ice cream, the recipe states to boil cream with mace. If that doesn’t throw you off, wait till you see what comes next.
For flavor, Fanshawe wrote to use orange flower or ambergris with some sugar. If you don’t know what ambergris is, it is essentially whale vomit.
Occasionally, sperm whales suffer from a buildup in their intestines, which ends up coming up in the form of a vomit-like substance. This is known as ambergris, and in the past it was commonly used to make things like candles or perfumes.
Which Came First: Chocolate or Vanilla?
If you thought the answer was vanilla, you’re wrong. Chocolate was actually invented first.
We generally assume that vanilla ice cream came first because it’s the common base that creates many other flavors. However, it wasn’t always that way.
Ice Cream Used to be a Luxury
Back in the day, ice cream was seen as a luxurious dessert that only the elite could enjoy. It was considered rare and exotic, and remained this way until the late 1800s.
The elite and rich upper-class society members were the only ones who could afford the imported ingredients and the cold storage.
These were also the days before the commercialization and manufacturing of ice cream. Therefore, it wasn’t as easy to get for everyone, which led to the exclusivity.
There is an Ice Cream Fruit in Hawaii
That’s right. There’s a Hawaiian fruit that tastes exactly like vanilla ice cream. It’s called the inga feuillei, but locals call it the ice cream bean.
It grows on perennial trees in hot climates, and it is enjoyed in many different ways by locals.
Astronaut Ice Cream Has Never Actually Been to Space
You’ve probably seen astronaut ice cream in a handful of gift shops and candy stores. It’s essentially freeze-dried ice cream.
But astronaut ice cream is actually not used on space missions. In fact, astronaut ice cream has never been to space at all. Some reports have said it did once, on the Apollo 7 mission in 1968.
However, those reports have been dismissed by Walter Cunningham, the only living astronaut on that mission, who claims that there was never such a thing.
NASA scientists are now coming up with new inventions to help astronauts enjoy ice cream in space. However, this form of ice cream isn’t exactly the freeze-dried Neapolitan you might have tasted as a kid.
There’s a Simple Trick to Help Brain Freeze
The real word for brain freeze is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. But you can keep calling it brain freeze or frozen headache.
What is brain freeze? In simple terms, you have temperature sensors on the roof of your mouth. When cold objects hit it before your body has time to process, your nerves send a message to your brain that signal heat loss.
This is what brings on that massive headache halfway through eating your ice cream.
To combat brain freeze, hold your tongue against the roof of your mouth. This will help warm your sensors and get your brain out of panic mode.
We Know How Many Licks it Takes to Get Through a Scoop
The magic number is 50.
We’re just jealous we weren’t the person who got to do the taste test to get that data!