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Here’s some real freezer talk: about 87 percent of Americans claim to have a pint or two of ice cream in stock at all times. The sound of the ice cream truck, the breeze in the frozen dessert aisle, the sight of a dripping cone — it’s all so satisfying and brings back happy memories. In fact, ice cream is such a passion for MaryEllis Bunn that she co-founded The Museum of Ice Cream, which opened Friday in New York City, just in time for the end of National Ice Cream Month. The ticketed pop-up museum, which will be around for one month, is already sold out. Fear not: here are a few things this fellow ice cream lover found while indulging in this experiential display.
1. Birth of the best thing ever: Who truly gets credit for ice cream? It started as a frozen milk in China’s Tang Dynasty and emerged as we know it in 17th century France. And let’s not forget the ice cream cone debuted at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri (what is ice cream without a cone, anyway?!). Does any of this matter? I’m just glad it’s here to stay!
2. Presidential scoop: George Washington dropped $200 on ice cream during one summer alone (equivalent to $5,000 today). We’re obsessed, too, and clearly in good company.
3. Old-school scoopers: Did you know the first scoopers were triangular in shape? Alfred Cralle patented the ice cream scooper in 1897. There were also specialty scoopers that were square—perfect for an ice cream sandwich! It slowly evolved from conical to the more rounded scoopers we’re used to today.
4. Collaborative chunk: The folks at the museum are trying to make the largest sundae by having all of the participants stack 30,000 individual scoops onto one pile. Currently, Baskin Robbins holds the title for largest ice cream pyramid with 3,100 scoops set back in 2000.
5. Sprinkle of fun: Chocolate sprinkles actually have cocoa powder in them. The centerpiece of the exhibit, a three-foot deep pool full of sprinkles, features 16,000 pounds of fake, colorful representative pieces to bring out your inner child!
6. Crazy cones: The largest ice cream cone apparently stands at over nine feet tall. Joy Cone claims to be the largest cone manufacturer, creating over 1.5 billion cones in a year. I prefer sugar cones, so you can keep the cups!