Ice Cream History

Blue Bunny® Ice Cream – A Brief History of Ice Cream

The origins of ice cream reach back to the first centuries B.C. Yet, the ice cream recipe did not reach the New World until the 1700s.
Americans’ love affair with ice cream is centuries-old. The origins of the frosty treat reach back to the first centuries B.C., when, as the story goes, ancient Persians and Chinese stored ice to serve it with honey, rosewater or nuts. Furthermore, during Roman times, emperors sent their runners for mountain snow, which was then flavored with fruits and juices and enjoyed.
Legends about ice cream’s history abound: In the 13th century, Marco Polo brought the first ice cream recipe to Europe after his trip to the Far East, and the Italian royalties fell in love with the dessert. Italian Princess Catherine de Medici brought the treat to France when she married King Henry II. In England, Charles I paid his cook a handsome sum to keep the recipe a state secret.
Most of these tales cannot be supported. Yet, it is true that over time the ice cream recipe evolved and spread throughout the continent. In the 17th century, the dessert became publicly available in Europe, and it is believed that in the 18th century the recipe crossed the Atlantic with European settlers.
Official records in the New World indicate that presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson developed a sweet tooth for ice cream. By 1813, ice cream became a state dish and was served at the second inaugural ball for President James Madison. As restaurants became more popular in the 19th century, ice cream became a favorite indulgence. Ice cream parlors and soda fountains spread as well.
By the mid 20th century, America had tried ice cream cones, bars and sandwiches. As time went on and technology advanced, ice cream manufacturers offered more yummy novelties.
Ice cream became a symbol during World War II, when each branch of the military tried to outdo the others in serving ice cream to its troops. By 1943, the U.S. military was the world’s largest ice cream manufacturer, and later the Navy built its first floating ice cream parlor for sailors in the Western Pacific. When the war ended, dairy product rationing was lifted and America celebrated its victory with ice cream.
Today, ice cream continues to be an all-American treat. In fact, the Ice Cream Capital of the World® is in Le Mars, Iowa, where more ice cream is made by Wells than in any other city in the world. Vanilla and chocolate continue to be favorite flavors, and there is no sign that Americans’ love affair with the frosty treat will end any time soon.

Blue Bunny® Ice Cream – Ice Cream Fun Facts

Wells was founded in 1913 by Fred H. Wells Jr.
We are the largest family-owned and operated ice cream company in the United States.
Wells has over 2,500 employees nationwide.
We produce over 100 million gallons of ice cream per year. That’s over 250,000 gallons per day!
It takes over 1.5 billion sticks a year to make our ice cream novelties. If you placed them all end to end, it would stretch over three times around the earth’s equator!
There are 70 Blue Bunny® ice cream flavors – what’s your favorite?
Vanilla is the most popular Blue Bunny® Ice Cream flavor, followed by Chocolate and Bunny Tracks®. Which flavor of vanilla is your favorite? We make Vanilla, French Vanilla, Homemade Vanilla, and All Natural Vanilla!
The annual tonnage of chocolate ice cream bar coating would cover 47 football fields at a thickness of 1 inch, that’s over 8 million pounds!
We manufacture ice cream for many national restaurant chains.
Wells purchases enough strawberries each year to fill over 1 million strawberry pies!
Wells products can be found in all 50 states.
The storage freezer at Wells is 12 stories high, a city-block long, holds 53,000 pallets of ice cream and maintains a 20 degree below zero temperature, making it one of the largest and coldest freezers in the world.
Blue Bunny uses 1,127,600 pounds of pecans annually, which equals the combined weight of 16 adult Humpback Whales, making our ice cream treats nuttier than ever!
Stacking the total number of Big Bopper® sandwiches produced in a year would extend over 500,000 feet into the sky – that’s more than 12 times higher than the flying altitude of commercial airplanes!
During one of our busiest weeks, 782 loads of ice cream left the city of Le Mars. That’s 4.66 trailers an hour or one trailer every 13 minutes!
Wells has 3 ice cream plants that produce Blue Bunny frozen products. Two in Le Mars, Iowa and one in St. George, Utah.
There is more ice cream made in the city of Le Mars than any other one location on earth, making Le Mars, Iowa the Ice Cream Capital of the World®!

Jumpn’ G’s Ice Cream Inc.
1108 Tidewater Dr.
Norfolk, VA 23504
ph: 757-622-7744
fax: 757-222-0136

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