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Interesting Facts About Ice Cream

Updated on June 1, 2013

Ice Cream

Ice Cream is a popular frozen dessert.
Ice Cream is a popular frozen dessert. | Source

Ice Cream Facts

It is very interesting to think that a common dessert we indulge in today has been around for decades in one form or another. Ice Cream has a long and interesting history that goes back to ancient China and continues to today.

Ice cream facts:

  • During China’s T’ang Period, about 618 A.D. to 907 A.D. the King, it is rumored, kept 94 ice men to bring ice to the palace so that a mixture of heated, fermented milk, flour and camphor, known as koumiss could be used to make an ancient form of ice cream

  • It takes about twelve pounds of whole milk to make a gallon of ice cream

  • with 25 gallons of milk, 9 gallons of ice cream can be made. To make one gallon of ice cream, it takes about 1.4 gallons of milk.

  • George Washington enjoyed ice cream so much, he ran up a $200 bill one summer

Your Favorite Ice Cream Flavor

What flavor ice cream do you like best?

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The History of Ice Cream

  • The Roman emperor, Nero ordered ice to be brought down from the mountains and combined it with fruit toppings, back in the 4th century B.C.
  • During the 13th century, Marco Polo brought back the recipe of making ice and milk from the Chinese to Europe. Eventually these turned into sherbets, ices, and milk ices that were served in the French and Italian royal courts.
  • Italy made great strides with their invention of ice cream in the 1500s
  • In the 1600s Spain and France and in the later 1600s, England also created their own versions of ice cream.
  • In the 1700s America created their version of ice cream. After the dessert was imported to the United States, it was served by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Dolly Madison.

Women have played an important role in a lot of things throughout history and that list of accomplishments includes helping to turn ice cream into the freezer staple it is today.

Women and the History of Ice Cream

  • Catherine Di Medici became the Queen of France in 1533 after she married King Henry II of France. She had lived in Italy and before she moved to France, she made sure to bring her frozen milk recipe, famous in Florence to France. The frozen, sweet dessert became very popular throughout France. When King Charles I of England visited France, he loved the dessert so much, he bought the recipe for this early version of ice cream.

  • Dolly Madison, the wife of James Madison enjoyed the ice cream recipe that was created by Sallie Shadd, in 1813, a freed slave who started a catering business in Delaware, and served it at the inauguration of her husband, James Madison and to the guests who visited them while they stayed in the White House. This creation is what Americans now recognize as ice cream.
  • On Sept 9, 1843, Nancy M. Johnson of Philadelphia patented an “artificial freezer”, which contained a tub, a cylinder, a lid, and a crank for making ice cream. She didn't have the financial means to manufacture her idea so she sold the patent for $200. This design is still used today to make homemade ice cream. Prior to this invention people made ice cream by the pot freezer method. Her invention made it possible for ordinary people to make ice cream in their homes easily.

The History of the Ice Cream Soda and Ice Cream Sundae

The Invention of the Ice Cream Cone

  • People in the U.S. eat an average of about 48 pints of ice cream per person every year.

  • More people eat ice cream in the U.S. than any other country

  • 1832 Augustus Jackson, who is known as the “father of ice cream”, created ways to ds to freeze custard and invented many of the traditional flavors we eat today. Originally he was a chef in the White House, but then moved to Philadelphia where he started his own catering business and sold his ice cream.
  • It takes about 50 licks to finish eating a single scoop ice cream cone

  • The record for the biggest ice cream sundae weighed over 24 tons and was made in Alberta Canada in 1988.

  • the first ice cream cone was made in 1896 by Italo Marchiony in New York City. The Italian immigrant received a patent in December 1903.

  • the ice cream cone gained popularity during the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, when an ice cream vendor ran out of dishes to serve the ice cream in and teamed up with the concession next door, a waffle vendor, Ernest A. Hamwi, a Syrian. He was serving zalabis, a waffle like pastry. He rolled the waffles into a cone to serve the ice cream in.

  • this led to a St. Louis foundry town inventing special baking equipment.

  • at the time cones were called cornucopias

  • In 1906, Stephen Sullivan in Missouri served ice cream cornucopias at the annual Log Rolling

  • in 1910, Hamwi, the World’s Fair Vendor started his own Cornucopia Waffle Company, which later became known as the Western Cone Company

The Invention of the Ice Cream Sandwich, Ice Cream Bar, and Ice Pop

The Popularity of Ice Cream Cones

  • vanilla is the favorite flavor of ice cream in the U.S.

  • 245 million ice cream cones were sold in 1924

  • automation has give ice cream cone factories the ability to make 150,000 ice cones in a 24 hour period.

  • the first written account of eating ice cream in the New World is May 19, 1744, when a group of dignitaries ate at the home of Maryland Governor Thomas Bladen. The American colonists had brought many recipes with them from Europe. A Scottish colonist described and a fine Ice Cream made with strawberries and milk called Compos’d and called it most delicious.
  • As the modern ice cream cone was created, two different types of cones were developed. The rolled cone was a waffle that was baked in a round shape and rolled. Originally it was done by hand, and later machines were invented to do it. This was done while the batter was soft and moldable. In a few seconds, it hardened in the form of a crispy cone.
  • The second type of cone was created by pouring the batter into a mold.
  • Today there are many varieties of ice cream, and many different ways to eat it. Whatever you do, just enjoy, because ice cream is a delicious treat for young and old.


The Invention of the Ice Cream Cone

The invention of the ice cream cone helped sell more ice cream.
The invention of the ice cream cone helped sell more ice cream. | Source

Ice Cream is Banned in Italy

  • in 1850, Jacob Fussell, a dairyman, started the first commercial ice cream factory because he had a surplus of cream. He is known as the father of the wholesale ice cream industry.

  • the ice cream sundae was invented because ice cream sodas were not allowed to be sold on Sunday, and this was a way to get around the restriction.

  • in the 1930’s grocery stores started selling ice cream.

  • ice cream was so popular in the U.S. by WWII, it became an American symbol and Mussolini banned it in Italy for this reason.

  • ice cream was so good for the WWII soldier’s morale that in 1943, the U.S. Armed Forces was the largest ice cream manufacturer.

  • in 1945, the first the U.S. government created a "floating ice cream parlor" that was built for sailors in the western Pacific

  • during the war, ice cream was deemed as one of several foods that boosted the morale of the soldiers

  • ice cream was rationed in the United States during the war. When the war was over, Americans celebrated by eating ice cream. In 1946 approximately 20 quarts of ice cream were eaten per person.

Ice Cream Sundae

Ice cream sundaes have an interesting history too.
Ice cream sundaes have an interesting history too. | Source

More Fun Ice Cream Facts

  • a gallon of ice cream weighs about five pounds
  • one scoop of ice cream is equivalent to about a half a cup
  • in 1984, President Ronald Reagan declared July, National Ice Cream Month. The third Sunday in the month of July is National Ice Cream Day.
  • ice cream generates total revenues of over $10 billion. People spend nearly $7 billion dollars on ice cream they eat in their homes, which is over 2/3 the $10 billion.
  • approximately nine percent of all the milk that is produced by dairy farmers in the United States, is used to produce ice cream.
  • About 1.53 billion gallons of ice cream and related frozen desserts were produced in the U.S. in 2011 according to the USDA.
  • most of the manufacturers who produce frozen desserts and ice cream have been in business more than 50 years, and most are family owned businesses.
  • most of the ice cream in the United States is produced in the Midwest.
  • the largest producing ice cream states in the U.S. are California, Illinois, Indiana, Texas, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania.
  • Summer is the biggest season for eating ice cream. June is the highest production month and is robust through August.

Recipe for Deep Fried Ice Cream


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    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 2 years ago

      Glad my hubpages article helped you!

    • profile image

      Awesome 2 years ago

      Thank you for helping me on my project!!!!!! Good job do some more!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      my name is jeff 3 years ago

      i like icecream heaps i put icecream down my pants and dance

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 4 years ago

      Thanks Alecia, I am glad you enjoyed my hub. Hopefully it will make you even more of an ice cream fan.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Fabulous hub! Voted up and more! I cannot imagine that the favorite flavor is vanilla. Most versatile certainly but gosh. My personal favorite is black walnut. Great facts you have assembled here. Highly entertaining.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Lots of fun and interesting facts here! The one about the ice from the mountain with fruit reminds me of making snow cream with fresh snow, sugar , milk and vanilla. Wouldn't want to do that now with all the pollution!

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      An extremely informative & engaging hub about one of my most favorite desserts - ice cream! My favorite ice-cream flavors are butterscotch and strawberry cheesecake. I enjoyed reading your hub from the start till the end. Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up & shared

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Ice cream is such a spectacular treat, especially during hot weather! We just went to Cape Cod for the weekend, and enjoyed a couple of scoops at a place called "Bob's Sub'N Cone" for the first time since last year.

      Thank you for writing such an informative article on ice cream. I enjoyed it!

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 4 years ago

      Hi Vacation Trip, Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments. I am glad you enjoyed this hub about ice cream.

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      These are some really interesting facts and information about the ice-creams. Thank you for this. Voted up and sharing!

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 4 years ago

      Yummy subject :-), and a very interesting hub! Voted up!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi my friend great interesting facts about ice cream . My favorite ice cream was not on your list, they are Maple Walnut and coffee ice cream.

      Vote up and more !!! Sharing ! Well done !

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Thanks for interesting facts about my fave food. Pineapple and coconut rule for me!

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 4 years ago

      Hi Mhatter, I am glad you found this hub interesting, and I appreciate your comments.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I don't eat ice cream that much but I enjoy it this time of year. Suffice to say I didn't know any of this at all about ice cream. This is a rich history. Cool hub!

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 4 years ago

      Hi Careermommy, Thanks for stopping by and I do hope you enjoy your ice cream.

    • Vacation Trip profile image

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      I love eating ice-creams a lot and i did not know all this. After reading your hub I came to know all the history of ice-creams. Thank you for sharing. Voted up and interesting.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Interesting indeed. Thank you for this.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 4 years ago

      Hi Kidscrafts, I am glad you enjoyed this hub. I never thought of trying every kind of ice cream. I love my Ben and Jerry's and Haagen-Daz. Since I am lactose intolerant, only the brands made with heavy cream are comfortable for me to eat. But my family and I are real big ice cream lovers. Luckily, you would never know to look at us. I happen to think ice cream is the perfect food.

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Excellent hub. Very interesting facts about ice cream. In honor of your hub I think I'll eat some pralines and cream ice cream after dinner!

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      I don't know how Mussolini managed to banned in Italy... it's like Belgium would ban chocolate! I love the ice cream in Italy!

      For me, the best place to eat a nice big ice cream with all kind of things on it is at a beach when it's quite hot outside :-)

      I am amazed to all the different taste of ice cream it's possible to try... in fact too many to be really able to try them all!

      Thank you for this interesting hub.... and now, I am craving for an ice cream!

      Enjoy your weekend!