Who else screams for ice cream? It’s one of the most classic desserts and sweet treats consumed around the world. In movies, TV shows, music videos, and cities – ice cream tends to make an appearance – in one way or another. With so many flavors to choose from, it can be difficult to choose just one – but then again – who said you had to? So grab a pint from your freezer, and let’s check out the Top 10 Greatest Ice Cream Flavors of All Time.
10. Rocky Road
Chocolate, nuts, marshmallows, and ice cream – what can go wrong? Rocky Road ice creams is the always delicious and always exciting. Rocky Road is a beloved flavor by millions worldwide, and even though its ingredients are pretty specific, they seem to work pretty well together. This popular ice cream flavor was created back in the 1920s by a man named William Dreyer in California. It’s said that Dreyer originally cut up the chunks of chocolate, marshmallows, and nuts with his wife’s sewing scissors! The reason for its unique name? Well, it was actually chosen and created to give people living through the Great Depression a reason laugh – and a delicious treat. Although Rocky Road is a popular ice cream flavor in North America, there is another sweet snack that goes by the same name. Rocky Road is also the name of a type of candy bar people make, consisting of milk chocolate, marshmallows, and biscuits. This bar doesn’t require any baking and includes a lot of the same ingredients as its ice cream counterpart. Yes it’s delicious – but we have to admit, Rocky Road, the ice cream really hits the spot.
Why pick only one flavor when you can have three? Neapolitan ice cream combines three classic flavors: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. You may be wondering if, like the pizza, this multi-faceted flavor also comes from Italy? Well, yes, yes it doest! Neapolitan ice cream is said to have derived from Naples, and it is believed that immigrants who moved from Italy to the US brought the ice cream along with them. Not a bad export if we do say so ourselves. This ice cream is the first to have mixed three flavors into one individual ice cream. It is also presented a bit differently than your typical ice cream; it usually comes in a container with each flavor side-by-side (rather than mixed together), allowing for the sweet treat to be sliced and served. Since this flavor was first created, the Neapolitan name, style, and idea has since been recreated in cake form. Instead of each flavor sitting side-by-side, the cake version of this ice cream consists of the three flavors/colors marbled together. At the end of the day, Neapolitan ice cream is the perfect flavor for all of those indecisive people out there who simply can’t choose one flavor. You really can’t go wrong with this one – or three!
8. Chocolate Brownie
There is nothing more decadent than having a big, fudgy chocolate brownie with a smooth scoop of ice cream on top. But what if there was an ice cream flavor that combined these two things? Introducing Chocolate Brownie ice cream – yup – it really exists, and yes, it’s as good as it sounds. So, what kind of mastermind came up with this flavor? Introducing Peter Lind, a man considered a ‘flavor guru’ in the ice cream industry. Peter is the creator of many of our favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavors, and he founded this popular flavor after testing other Ben & Jerry varieties by putting the ice cream between two chocolate brownies – like an ice cream sandwich! The brownies used in this decadent treat are from Greyston’s Bakery, but this partnership didn’t come easily. Greyston’s had to figure out how to make their classic brownies into bite-sized pieces, and not only that, but they had to be able to keep their flavor and chewiness once mixed into the ice cream. Eventually, their recipe was perfected, and the ice cream flavor has been on the top of people’s lists ever since.
7. Cookies and Cream
Forget dunking your cookies in milk, take things to a new level with this great ice cream flavor. Cookies and cream, also referred to as ‘Cookies n’ Cream,’ mixes two of the most popular sweet treats: vanilla ice cream – and Oreos! Some recipes for this flavor use off-brand cookies that aren’t real Oreos, but the original recipe does call for the branded cookie. Over the years, many different people have claimed that they invented this flavor. One of the most commonly believed stories is that Malcolm Stogo, an ice cream consultant, created the cookie-filled flavor in the late 1970s. Malcolm is also known for being the inventor of flavors such as Strawberry Cheesecake, Snickers, and Milky Way. Whether or not Malcolm actually invented Cookies and Cream has not been definitively proven, but we’re pretty grateful to whoever did. Did you know that when Cookies and Cream hit the market, it was immediately popular? In fact, some people referred to it as the ‘King Kong of Ice Cream’ because, like the popular film, it was an instant hit. This flavor is also pretty easy to recreate if you have some Oreos in your cupboard and vanilla ice cream in your freezer. Simply crush up the cookies and stir them in. Just another delicious way to enjoy your milk and cookies!
6. Mint Chocolate Chip
Next on our list is one of the absolute favorites for many – but there’s a catch – you probably either love it or you hate it. However, it would be pretty hard to hate such an amazing and unique ice cream flavor. Mint and chocolate have been friends for quite some time, and the combination of a fresh minty taste mixed with the decadence of chocolate is pretty difficult to not like. Did you know that Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream has a royal past? This flavor was actually created by a student named Marilyn Ricketts after she entered a competition to see who could make the best dessert for the royal wedding of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips. Want to know another thing that makes Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream so great? Its signature green color! This unique shade makes the flavor recognizable worldwide, even though another flavor, pistachio, can look quite similar. Although it is known for its color, here’s a little fun fact: Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream doesn’t need to be green at all. Food coloring gives the ice cream its classic color, and the minty taste really just comes from spearmint and/or peppermint flavoring that is added – that is actually colorless!
Arguably one of the greatest flavors around, Strawberry is an ice cream flavor that was created in the early 1800s, making it one of the oldest flavors on this list. There’s little to dislike about it unless you don’t like creamy, fruity, sweet desserts, or just strawberries in general. James Madison, the fourth president of the United States, was actually served Strawberry ice cream at his second inauguration in 1813. It might seem odd, but it’s true! In fact, it is believed that First Lady Dolley Madison actually created this flavor – and that is why it was served at her husband’s second inauguration. Although it hasn’t been completely determined if the First Lady was the true inventor – the story is a pretty good one to tell. You may not think of Strawberry ice cream as being controversial at all, but similar to the way that people have a preference for chunky or smooth peanut butter – there are strong opinions about whether or not Strawberry ice cream should have chunks of strawberry in it. Some people want it smooth, and some people want it chunky – but no matter what form it comes in, we’ll take two scoops!
4. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
This one has definitely become a family favorite over the years! Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream has finally given us permission to eat raw cookie dough, and for that reason, it is number four on our list. This flavor, like Chocolate Brownie, is said to have originally come from Ben & Jerry’s. Unlike Chocolate Brownie, however, the idea for this flavor was submitted anonymously by an avid ice cream lover! It was at Ben & Jerry’s first Scoop Shop in Vermont that this delight was created and tested out, and it was immediately a big hit. Wondering which brand of this flavor provides the most chunks of cookie dough? If you think it’s Ben & Jerry’s, you would be right! For those who have always wondered if these chunks of cookie dough in Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream are safe to eat, good news – they are! The dough used in this flavor is treated and pasteurized. This makes it safe to consume raw but not suitable for baking into cookies, which is fine unless you had plans to bake a cookie dough ice cream cookie. This is one flavor you do not want to miss.
3. Chocolate Chip
Next up is Chocolate Chip ice cream! This amazing flavor doesn’t have too much history, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious. Chocolate Chip ice cream is a classic in most ice cream parlors around the world. With tiny chunks of rich chocolate mixed in with a sweet, creamy, vanilla ice cream, it’s really hard to find any fault with this flavor. Perhaps it’s the simplicity that has enticed the world and helped this flavor gain so many global fans! Ice cream was once considered a luxury and was only consumed on special occasions, and the process of creating ice cream used to be quite strenuous. In fact, people used to cut ice from bodies of water such as lakes and rivers during the winter to get the ice they needed in order to make ice cream. It’s safe to say it’s a lot easier now to make this sweet, frozen treat. These days, ice cream is a pretty commonly consumed dessert. The United States is the country that consumes the most ice cream in the world – followed by Australia. Americans eat the most ice cream annually, eating a total of approximately 1.6 billion gallons of ice cream every year! You may wonder what the most common ice cream topping is – from sprinkles to fruit to marshmallows, the options are seemingly endless. However, there is one topping that stands above the rest. The most popular ice cream topping is actually chocolate syrup, although are you really surprised by that? Because we are certainly not, and to be honest, we would definitely use it to top any flavor on this list.
Well, we’re nearing the finish line, and we don’t think this one will be a big surprise. Chocolate is one of the most classic flavors of ice cream. It never disappoints, it’s always a good choice, and you can find it in nearly every ice cream place and grocery store around the world. Frozen chocolate recipes actually derive from Naples, Italy; yes, that’s right, not only did the city of Naples provide us with Neapolitan Ice cream, but they also came up with one of the three flavors too. You may be surprised to hear that chocolate ice cream was actually created before vanilla was. This had a lot to do with the fact that in Europe, drinking hot chocolate, had become very popular in the seventeenth century. A man named Antonio Latini created a cookbook called ‘The Modern Steward,’ which was packed full of recipes and information on how to entertain guests. Latini focused on using local ingredients in his recipes and shared a variety of chocolate dessert recipes, including a frozen chocolate treat, which has evolved into one of our all-time favorite ice cream flavors! And, did you know Italy is also home to the tallest ice cream cone of all time?! Yup, in Italy, there was an ice cream cone with so many scoops that it reached a height of over 9 feet! Now, that’s a tall order – try finishing that cone before it melts. Chocolate ice cream has acted as the basis for many other flavors, including Rocky Road, which we talked about earlier. Although chocolate ice cream may be seen as ‘plain’ in comparison to other flavors, have you ever met a scoop you didn’t like? That’s what we thought.
This flavor is by far the greatest, and that is why it is number one on our list of the Greatest Ice Cream Flavors of All Time. Vanilla ice cream is considered to be the most classic, and a hard-to-beat flavor when it comes to frozen treats. The options for toppings are endless, from chocolate to candy to syrup to fruit – with vanilla, anything goes. Although the chocolate flavor of ice cream was created first, it’s really hard to put anything above vanilla. Originally, vanilla was a plant species that was only grown in Mexico, however over time; it was eventually produced in other regions of the world. It wasn’t until the mid-1700s that vanilla was used as an ingredient in ice cream. During the 1780s, Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, actually brought the vanilla ice cream recipe from France to the US. In fact, he then created his own recipe for the sweet dessert (which you can actually find in the Library of Congress!) By the 1900s, vanilla had essentially become the most common and popular flavor of ice cream, even though vanilla itself was still pretty hard to come by. These days, to flavor vanilla ice cream, producers choose between using artificial or natural vanilla extract, so it’s much easier to produce, as the flavoring is pretty accessible. Overall, vanilla ice cream is hard to beat, as you really can’t fault it in any way. And the best thing going for this flavor? You are almost guaranteed that wherever ice cream is sold or served, vanilla will be offered on the menu.