Ice Cream

A banana sunday with three scoops of ice cream in a long white bowl.  There's vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream with whipped cream and cherries on top.  It is shown in front of a bright pink background.

One of the most popular desserts in America is ice cream. Ice cream is a delicious treat consisting mostly of dairy and sugar. In the United States we make over 1.4 billion gallons of ice cream. That is so much ice cream that 10% of the dairy made in the United states is used in ice cream.  

Ice cream can be made in a factory or in a home. In factories they use large quantities of dairy (usually a mixture of milk and cream) and sugar that they pasteurize and then cool. While cooling they mix in any food colorings or added toppings. The cooling process is done in a tank surrounded by liquid ammonia cooled to -22 degrees Fahrenheit. The ammonia cools the ice cream and freezes it to the sides of the tank where large blades sweep down the side mixing the ice cream so that it all becomes frozen.  

Ice cream made at home can be made several different ways using many different tools. Some of the easiest homemade recipes include using two Ziploc bags to make ice cream. Some ice cream recipes use very cold bowls and an eclectic mixer. You can also buy special kitchen appliances specially made to make ice cream. While the tools used to create ice cream at home are different from the tools used in factories the recipe stays the same.  

Ice cream comes in several forms from regular containers of ice cream, to ice cream bars and ice cream sandwiches. People are still creating new and interesting ice cream treats. Ice cream cones were first served at the world fair in 1904. Honey Hut, an ice cream chain located right here in Cleveland, Ohio, established in 1974, uses honey instead of sugar to make their ice cream. Another example of ice cream recipes changing is Jennie’s ice cream that uses cream cheese as part of their dairy in ice cream. Ice cream has changed throughout the years and will continue to do so well into the future.  


These articles are written by library staff using library resources such as books, eBooks, and databases. Information can vary from book to book and database to database. Tickle Your Brain is meant to be a jumping off point for starting conversations about new topics of learning. It is not to be used as an authoritative resource.

Three ice cream cones sitting in a display case above fresh strawberries.  The cones are waffle cones, and the ice cream is three different bright colors.  Yellow, pink, and blue.
Vanilla ice cream with bananas and chocolate syrup drizzled on top.  A triangle shaped cookie is sticking out of the side.  The ice cream is in a bright pink bowl with a blue spoon.
Did You Know?
  • The most popular flavor of ice cream in the united states is Vanilla. About ⅓ of the ice cream produced in the US is vanilla.
  • The average American eats about 23 quarts of ice cream a year  
  • A “brain freeze” is the result of the nerve endings in the roof of your mouth sending a message to your brain of the loss of heat.
  • The world record for tallest ice cream cone is 9 feet.