10 things you didn’t know about ice cream

Summer is finally here! And as the fine weather returns, so too does our favourite summertime treat: ice cream. Here are some quite interesting facts about the world’s most popular warm weather snack.

1. During the 5th century BC, ancient Greeks ate snow mixed with honey and fruit in the markets of Athens. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, encouraged his Ancient Greek patients to eat ice "as it livens the life-juices and increases the well-being”.

2. Ice cream used to be called iced cream and cream ice.

3. Ice cream cones were popularised in America during the 1904 World’s Fair in St Louis, when an ice cream vendor ran out of cups and asked a nearby waffle vendor to roll up his waffles to hold the ice cream.

4. Eccentric millionaire Howard Hughes was such a big fan of Baskin-Robbins’ Banana Ripple ice cream he had his helpers order 200 gallons from the factory before the product was discontinued. A few days later Hughes announced that he didn’t like it anymore.

5. In 1940, scientists concluded that consumption of ice cream was the leading cause of the polio epidemic. This assertion was solely based on the fact that there were more cases of polio during the summer months, which was also when children ate the most ice cream.

6. In the early days of television, mashed potatoes were used to simulate ice cream on cooking shows. Real ice cream melted too fast under the heat of the studio lights.

7. New Zealand consumes more ice cream per capita than any other country in the world (28 litres per year). The USA is second with Australian third. Perhaps surprisingly, Sweden and Finland (who both have relatively short summers) make up the top five. Ireland is 8th on the list with 8.2 litres consumed per capita.

8. Ice cream testers use gold spoons as typical spoons can leave a slight aftertaste which might distort the flavour.

9. The technical term for ice cream brain freeze is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. The best cure is pressing your tongue against the roof of your to mouth to warm the area.

10. It takes about 50 licks to finish a single scoop ice cream cone.

Have a great summer,

The Team at GMIB.ie