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As the days get warmer, more people will be thinking about cool treats for the summer. One of the most classic summer snacks is of course ice cream, so to get you psyched for some Ben and Jerry’s this summer, here are the most unexpected things about ice cream.
1. No one is entirely sure where ice cream comes from. There are two main stories: one says that Emperor Nero sent slaves to mix snow with sweet flavors somewhere between 54 and 68 A.D., while the other says that it was created in China’s Tang period (618-908 A.D.). Supposedly the king had “ice men” who would bring ice to the palace and mix it with milk, flour, and camphor.
2. American’s eat the most ice cream of anyone in the world, an average of 20 quarts a year.
3. Not surprisingly, vanilla is the most popular flavor around, but the margin by which it wins is impressive: it makes up 20-29% of all ice cream sales, and chocolate trails in a distant second.
4. The largest ice cream cone ever was made in Italy. It was a full 9 feet tall.
5. Ben and Jerry’s alone has 46 flavors, although they do introduce and retire on a regular basis.
6. The most popular month for ice cream? June.
7. In 2011 alone, Americans ate 1.53 billion gallons of ice cream and frozen treats.
8. When immigrants arrived at Ellis Island, they got ice cream to welcome them to the new country.
9. Ice cream takes up a lot of the dairy in the U.S. A full 9% of all milk produced in the U.S. is for ice cream.
10. The average ice cream cone takes about 50 licks to finish.
11. The biggest sundae ever was over 24 tons, made in Edmonton, Alberta.