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Ice Cream - Fascinating Facts

 - The most popular flavour of ice cream - vanilla

 - Vanilla comes from the plant vanilla planifolia - a member of the orchid family - grown mainly in Madagascar but also Mexico, parts of South America, Tahiti and islands off E. Africa. The vanilla extract produced from the plant in each of these areas has its own very distinct characteristics.

 - The most popular topping for ice cream - chocolate syrup

 - Ice cream as an industry has an estimated global value of 7.5 billion (USD 11bn).

 - The world's top 5 consumers of ice cream in order: United States of America, New Zealand, Denmark, Australia, Belgium/Luxembourg.

 - The UK has more than 1,000 ice cream companies with annual consumption estimated at 8 litres per person. Extra fascinating fact - ice cream consumption in the USA is about around 21 litres per person per year.

 - Approximately 13% of men and just 8% of women will admit to licking the bowl clean after eating ice cream.

 - One out of every 5 ice cream eaters is a middle of the night 'binger', usually in the 18-24 year old age bracket. Extra fascinating fact - men do this more than women.

 - The best temperature at which to serve ice cream is believed to be 8F.

 - Around 5% of people share their ice cream with their pet cat or dog.

 - Biggest ice cream sundae – 12 ft tall made with 4,667 gallons of ice cream - California, USA 1985.

 - Elvis Presley is said to have loved ice cream - apparently his favourites were chocolate milkshakes and peach ice cream.

 - The Chinese had discovered how to conserve naturally formed winter ice for summer use by building icehouses, which were kept cool by evaporation. The harvesting and storage of ice are recorded in a poem of circa 1100 B.C. in the Shih Ching, the famous collection of Food Canons.

 - Records show that Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.), considered one of the greatest military generals in history, during the siege of Petra, had his slaves bring ice down from the mountains and dug into 30 trenches so that he would have cool refreshments to drink.

 - Ice cream figured in the lives of some of the most famous people in history including Marco Polo, Emperor Nero and Charles I.

 - In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945), 32nd President of the United States, publicly confessed that he liked to have ice cream at least once a day.

 - Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island in the 1920s were given food considered "typical" American. But many of them tried to spread this "frozen butter" on bread when given ice cream.

 - During World War I (1914-1918), ice cream played a role as a propaganda tool and morale builder. A German officer, when asked about America's involvement in the war, said that "We do not fear that nation of ice cream eaters." After his comment was printed in American newspapers, it created a lot of response about the frozen treat.

 - Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982), already an established movie star in Europe, came to New York in 1939 when she was twenty-four. She loved hot fudge sundaes so much that she alarmed her American hosts.

 - The biggest ice cream sundae ever made was 12 feet high and made with 4,667 gallons of ice cream and 7,000 pounds of toppings in Anaheim, California during 1985.

 - During World War II, the Eight Air Force unit chose the Popsicle as a symbol of American life.

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