Indulge yourself in these sweet worldly ice cream facts

Summer is officially here which means it’s ice cream season. And what better way to celebrate National Ice Cream Month than creating a list of fun facts about the delectable treat from around the world!? In order to set the scene, let’s dive deeper into the history of everybody’s favorite dessert.

From ancient treats to modern delights

The oldest known ice cream recipe dates back to around 200 B.C. in China. It consisted of snow mixed with milk or rice. From there, it made its way to the Middle East and Europe through trading routes. In ancient Persia, known today as Iran, the recipe consisted of ice, rosewater and saffron which later influenced the creation of Sherbert. Jumping forward to the 13th century A.D., Marco Polo brought the idea over to Italy from China, where Italians experimented with the recipe and eventually came up with their signature gelato.

The sweet treat didn’t make its way over to the U.S. until 1774 when British confectioner Philip Lenzi put an ad in the New York Gazette announcing that he would make ice cream available to the public. By the mid-19th century, ice cream became a national favorite with ice cream parlors opening up throughout the country, eventually leading to the iconic ice cream soda floats and sundaes.

Strawberry milkshake on a table with an old time diner in the background.

Sweet facts

From the largest ice cream cone in the world to the most popular flavors on the planet, here’s a mouthwatering list of cold facts.

From the largest ice cream cone in the world to the most popular flavors on the planet, here’s a mouthwatering list of cold facts. 

1. The most expensive ice cream in the world is the “Byakuya,” made by the Japanese ice cream brand, Cellato. Consisting of white truffles imported from Alba, Italy, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and sake lees, this frozen dessert costs about $6,696 for a single 4.4-ounce serving. Who’s treating us to some?

2. The world record for the largest ice cream cone ever created was achieved in 2015 in Norway with the cone being over 10 feet tall. It was recently beaten by an 11-foot tall ice cream cone in Englewood, Colorado on June 8th, 2023, surpassing the previous winner by only 11 inches. 

3. New Zealand consumes the most ice cream per capita, eating an average of 7.5 gallons of ice cream per person per year. They don’t play around when it comes to their flavors too! One of the most popular is “hokey pokey” – vanilla ice cream with small chunks of honeycomb toffee throughout. 

Someone holding up an ice cream cone on a farm in New Zealand with a label on the ice cream that says

Don’t worry, the good ol’ U.S.A. comes in 2nd with an average of 5.5 gallons of ice cream consumed per person per year. America is also home to the world’s first alcoholic ice cream parlor, Tipsy Scoop, located in New York City, serving boozy ice cream to those 21 and older.

Ice cream truck parked outside a building in New York City.

4. Turkey’s popular ice cream is called “dondurma” and is known for its stretchy, chewy texture. This unique consistency is due to the inclusion of the starchy root of wild orchids called salep. This ice cream also consists of goat’s milk and sugar, and in some parts of Turkey, an aromatic resin called gum mastic is added. 

5. The Ice Cream Farm in Tattenhall, UK is the largest ice cream shop in the world. In addition to ice cream, it offers many family fun attractions, like Strawberry Falls – an adventure golf course. We think that calls for a trip to the UK!

6. Making the list again, Japan is known for its unique ice cream flavors like wasabi, miso, soy sauce, matcha and sweet potato. 

Two different flavors of ice cream in a cup being held up in a street in Japan.

7. The most popular ice cream flavor in the world is vanilla, with chocolate, strawberry and cookies and cream following closely behind. Wondering what the strangest ice cream flavors are? Beef tongue, foie gras and lobster are just a few that make the list.

A close up of vanilla ice cream being scooped by an ice cream scooper.

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