15 Completely Useless Facts About Ice Cream
We’ve spent the last 40 years eating, sleeping, and breathing ice cream. And in that time — surprise, surprise — we’ve learned a heck of a lot of facts about our favorite frozen treat. Some of them are really useful and we use them every day to bring scoopable euphoria to our fans all over the world. And some of them are as useless as a spoon with a hole in it. But, useless or not, it’s fun to learn what secrets your pint is hiding behind its lid. Here are 15 of our favorites:
Item number 1
Ice cream cones were invented at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri by concessions vendors as a way for people to eat ice cream easily while they enjoyed the fair. We couldn’t be more thankful.
Item number 2
Ben & Jerry’s employees get to take 3 pints of ice cream home with them every day. Yup, we’re pretty spoiled.
Item number 3
New Zealand consumes more ice cream per capita than any other country, with an average of 7.5 gallons per person per year. Whoa!
Item number 4
The US is second, with an average of 5.5 gallons per person per year. That’s 44 pints!
Item number 5
Vanilla is the #1 most popular ice cream flavor in most ice cream-loving countries, (namely, Germany, Italy, the United States, New Zealand, China, and Brazil). Can’t argue with a classic.
Item number 6
It takes 3 gallons of whole milk to make one gallon of ice cream. No wonder it’s so creamy.
Item number 7
Ever noticed that when your pint melts and then re-freezes it ends up a different texture? That’s because ice cream has tiny, microscopic air bubbles in it that keep it soft and fluffy. When it melts, the molecular structure breaks down, and the air escapes. So when you re-freeze it and then go to grab a scoop, it’s not as soft. (That’s why you have to eat it all in one sitting. Because, science.)
Item number 8
The Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Gurus agree that 8° to 10°F is the ideal temperature for scooping and serving ice cream. And that’s exactly what you’ll find at your local Scoop Shop.
Item number 9
Ever gotten an ice cream headache from eating your Phish Food a little too quickly? This is what’s really going on: when something really cold touches the roof of your mouth, the blood vessels that run between your mouth and your brain tense up, trapping blood in your brain. The pressure from that extra blood causes the brain pain. If it’s particularly bad, try pressing your tongue against the roof of your mouth — this warms the roof up enough that the vessels will unclench.
Item number 10
Thomas Jefferson is credited as the first American to write down an ice cream recipe. It’s vanilla (probably because Cherry Garcia hadn’t been invented yet).
Item number 11
The world record for the largest ice cream cone ever made was achieved in 2015 in Norway with a cone over 10 feet high!
Item number 12
Ever wonder why we’re so fond of chunky flavors? Blame it on Ben. He has anosmia, which means he has no sense of smell and almost no sense of taste. So, what does he enjoy about ice cream? The creamy, chunky texture! Over the years it caught on, and now our fans love those funky chunks.
Item number 13
Speaking of chunks in ice cream, pecans are the most popular nut chunk in the US, and strawberries are the most popular fruit chunk.
Item number 14
We receive over 13,000 flavor suggestions from fans every year. And we read them all — even the really weird ones. Have an idea? Send it over!
Item number 15
According to NASA, ice cream is one of the three foods astronauts miss the most when they go on space missions. The other two? Pizza and soda.