Apple pie might be the quintessential American dessert, but we’re willing to bet that ice cream is the sweet treat that Americans actually love most. It?s there when you need to cool down on a hot day, when you go through a break-up, or when you want to celebrate a special occasion. Here are five interesting facts you probably didn’t know about this beloved dessert:
1. It’s Mostly Air
That’s right. After it’s churned, ice cream actually contains more than 50 percent air. Now, don’t try to use that as an excuse to dig a spoon into another cup or even a pint. Even though it?s mostly air, ice cream still has a ton of calories, between the dairy and all that sugar.
2. Vanilla Is The Most Popular Flavor
Nope, not chocolate. Not rocky road. Member companies of the National Ice Cream Association (yes, this exists) reported in a recent survey that vanilla is actually their most popular flavor, comprising about 28 percent of the orders they serve.
3. We Make About 1.5 Billion Gallons A Year
Frozen desserts are a huge industry, and so are frozen dessert supplies. If we?re producing 1.5 billion gallons of frozen desserts, we?re probably producing at least that many frozen dessert cups, colored spoons, and mini tasting spoons. How long do you think it will be before ice cream stores go with the Starbucks model?sell reusable cups to be more environmentally friendly?
4. About One Tenth Of Our Milk Becomes Ice Cream
Of all the milk that U.S. dairy farmers produce, 9 percent eventually becomes ice cream. Given number three, what does that say about how much milk we produce here in the United States? Answer: It?s a lot. Well, at least we can be sure that all Americans are getting their calcium.
5. Frozen Yogurt Is Creeping Up On Ice Cream
There were about 2,582 frozen yogurt stores in the United States at the end of 2013. It might be growing in popularity because many people see it as a healthy alternative. After all, yogurt is good for you, right? The reality is that even though it contains less fat, frozen yogurt often contains even more sugar than ice cream, and it usually doesn?t have any of the good bacteria that comes in your regular yogurt.
So there you have it: everything you never thought you needed to know about your favorite frozen treat. And rest assured: as long as you consume responsibly, your waistline will be just fine.