Which country would you have guessed consumes the most ice cream scoops in the world? Would you have said New Zealand? You should have! They wolf down nearly 30 liters or 8 gallons per capita per year. That’s a lot. The next contender is the US. Following closely behind is Australia. They both consume only two-thirds the amount of ice cream the Kiwis do. But we all understand the delicious appeal, and maybe the New Zealanders are on to something…
New Zealand is known for its high dairy industry standards. Dairy is good for your bones, and they’re quite good at rugby. Who else is good at sports? The US and Australia! Just look at the results for almost every single Olympics. It’s always dominated by citizens from the United States, a country whose dairy industry accounts for 1% of its GDP. And when we consider sports like cricket and rugby league, Australia springs to mind. They’re the dairy-producing country that ranks fourth in the total global dairy trade.
Looking back in time, even Hippocrates, The Father of Western Medicine, would recommend patients eat ice “as it livens the life-juices and increases the well-being.” See, he said ice, but most likely the history books missed the next word cream because they wanted to save money on ink.
Ice cream has to be good for your health, right? It could explain why powerful leaders like Chinese Emperors enjoyed it when they had a chance to. Here’s another Olympics medal table to see just where China sat in another set of Olympics games… In all honesty, though, the rich were more likely to enjoy ice cream scoops in its infancy. This is because it was expensive to create. Definitely a task made easier if you had the help of servants who would carry ice around for you. It made sense that before the technology of insulating freezers, which improved the practicality of production, transportation, and storage, it could really only be enjoyed by wealthy people during special occasions.
Thank goodness for the industrial revolution then, which made ice cream accessible for everyone. It also allowed other countries to build on their sporting prowess. Manufacturers across the globe are constantly innovating in order to gain an advantage. This means countless options regardless of dietary preferences and restrictions like lactose intolerances and veganism. Take the number of dairy alternatives presented by milk substitutes such as soy, cashew, coconut, almond milk, and tofu. Not only this, but we also have producers seeking to maximize nutritional benefits. They do this by formulating more fruit-based alternatives and healthier options for those health-conscious competitors vying for future gold medals.
New flavours are constantly appearing. One favourite comes from the US-based Jeni Britton Bauer, which is grey coloured and “tastes like sunshine on a cloudy day,” appropriately named “Sunshine.” But what about some New Zealand flavours? They are the ice-cream-rugby-kings after all. Well, according to the last New Zealand Ice Cream Awards the most unusual flavour winning the “Open Creative” flavour was Little ‘Lato’s Massaman Curry. But maybe you’re not the most adventurous. Like most people, you prefer plain old vanilla. look no further than Talley’s, Motueka Creamery Mt. Arthur Snowfall Vanilla, which took out the Premium Vanilla Ice Cream category.
Thanks for reading our theories on why ice cream scoops are good for you, and how it can possibly make you better at sports. We’re not doctors, though, we’re just your friendly Dessert Advisor.