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 V.13 No.5 | January 29 - February 4, 2004 

Eating In

Ice Cream Trivia

Seventeen (or so) things you didn't know about your favorite treat

"Overrun" is an industry term for the amount of air that's whipped into commercial ice cream. That dense, creamy mouth-feel we all covet in premium brands is the result of about 10-25 percent air in the product. Less expensive ice creams will, as a rule, have more air in them (sometimes as much as 75 percent). Overrun amounts aren't listed on containers, so to make sure you're not getting shafted, we recommend you try this little experiment. Take a pint of fancy ice cream and a pint of value brand ice cream to the produce department and weigh them individually on the hanging scales. Subtract about one and a half ounces from each one to account for the weight of the container. Compare the weight difference (a pint with 25 percent overrun should weigh about 18 ounces) and be amazed! Turns out that pints of Godiva ice cream are more cost effective than buying those sticky plastic tubs of generic goo. In your face, prudence! Who's "frivolous" and "living beyond her means" now?

We're number one! Americans eat more ice cream than any one else in the world. About 23 quarts of the stuff slip down our quivering gullets every year in 98 percent of households. And with so many "x-treme" flavors to choose from these days, you're probably dying to know which one is our favorite, right? Well it's vanilla. Yep, boring old vanilla is what nearly one out of every three ice cream eaters flock to.

It takes about 50 licks to polish off a single scoop ice cream cone. We know this because we counted several times to be sure. It was all very scientific, of course. And videotaped. Copies will be available on our website any day now.

Ever wonder what those terms on the label mean? Low-fat means it has three grams of fat or less per serving. Light means the product contains 50 percent less fat than a brand's regular ice cream. Ice milk can mean low-fat, light or both. Nonfat ice cream has less than half of one gram of fat per serving.

Robert M. Green is credited with inventing the ice cream soda in Philadelphia. Although a delicious and exciting beverage, Victorian mores frowned upon drinking soda water. As a result, several towns banned the sale of ice cream sodas on the Sabbath. Thankfully, a druggist in Evanston, Ill. got around this problem by creating an alternative Sunday version of the popular dish where syrup was used in place of soda. He eventually changed its name to "sundae," out of respect for the Lord's Day. Today more ice cream is sold on Sunday than any other day of the week.

We're not completely over the guilt thing though. One out of every five people who eats ice cream does it by bingeing in the middle of the night. Bingers are usually between the ages of 18-24 and are most commonly male.

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