Ice cream is a mixture of milk, cream, sugar and sometimes other ingredients, that’s been frozen into a soft, creamy delight using special techniques. While ice cream’s origins are known to go back to at least the 4th century B.C., it’s not known where it exactly comes from or who the inventor is. Take a look below for 28 more fun and fascinating facts about ice cream.
1. The world’s tallest ice cream cone was over 9 feet tall. It was scooped in Italy.
2. Most of the vanilla used to make ice cream comes from Madagascar and Indonesia.
3. Chocolate syrup is the world’s most popular ice cream topping.
4. 87% of Americans have ice cream in their freezer at any given time.
5. 48 is the average number of ice cream pints that an average American enjoys each year.
6. California produces the most about of ice cream in America.
7. A cow gives enough milk to make 2 gallons of ice cream per day. That’s around 730 gallons of ice cream per year.
8. It takes 3 gallons of milk to make 1 gallon of ice cream.
9. About 9% of all milk produced in the United States is used to make ice cream.
10. It takes about 50 licks to finish a single scoop of an ice cream cone.
11. The perfect temperature for scooping ice cream is between 6 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
12. Brain freeze occurs when ice cream touches the roof of your mouth.
13. 1 in 10 people admit to licking the bowl clean after eating ice cream. 1 in 5 people share their ice cream with their pet.
14. 1.53 billion gallons of ice cream were produced in the United States in 2011.
15. $10 billion was generated by the United States ice cream industry in 2010. Their main export markets were Mexico, the Caribbean and Canada.
16. Early references to ice cream include the Roman Emperor Nero who ordered ice to be brought from the mountains and combined with fruit toppings, and King Tang of Shang, China, who had a method of creating ice and milk concoctions.
17. The ice cream we have today is said to have been invented in Italy during the 17th century.
18. One of the first places to serve ice cream to the general public in Europe was Cafe Procope in France, which started serving it in the late 18th century. The ice cream was made from a combination of milk, cream, butter and eggs.
19. When ice cream was imported to the United States, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would serve it to their guests.
20. The first ice cream parlor in America opened in New York City in 1776. American colonists were the first to use the term “ice cream.” The name came from the phrase “iced crea” that was similar to “iced tea.” The name was later abbreviated to “ice cream.”
21. Until 1800, ice cream was a rare and exotic dessert that was enjoyed mostly by the elite.
22. In 1843, Nancy Johnson invented a hand cranked freezer that established the basic method of making ice cream that we still use today.
23. In 1851, Jacob Fussell in Baltimore established the first large-scale commercial ice cream plant.
24. Contrary to popular belief, the ice cream cone wasn’t invented at the 1904 World’s Fair. Ice cream cones are mentioned in the 1888 Mrs. Marshall’s Cookbook and the idea of serving ice cream in cnes is thought to have been in place long before that. However, the practice didn’t become popular until 1904.
25. Ice cream novelties, such as ice cream on sticks and ice cream bars, were introduced in the 1920s.
26. Ice cream became popular throughout the world in the second half of the 20th century, after cheap refrigeration became common in households.
27. A chemical research team in Britain, which Margaret Thatcher was a member of, discovered a method of doubling the amount of air in ice cream, creating soft ice cream.
28. New Zealand leads the word in ice cream consumption with a per capita consumption of 28.4 liters per year. It’s followed by the United States with a per capita consumption of 24.5 liters per year.