The hot July weather returned to my part of the country in the western United States and reminded us all that we are in the full grip of the dog days of summer. A quenching thirst parches our throats and that insatiable desire for an ice cream bar calls our name.
Originally called “I-Scream-Bar”, Ice cream bar, or the Eskimo Pie the chocolate bar was invented in Iowa by a pharmacy owner named Chris Nelson who was inspired by a boy Douglas Ressenden who could not decide between candy and ice cream. The first ice cream bar on a stick was created in 1934.
I will keep the introduction short as I included a lot of information on the companies of each bar that I’ve listed below. And of course a mouth watering description for each.
Thank you to Google Images and Wikipedia for assistance with My Top 10 +1 Favorite Ice Cream Bars. There was some similarities and yet many differences from the founding candy bar product I wrote about here in My Top 10 +1 All Time Favorite Candy Bars post.
As I wrote in my candy bar post that entire chocolate era of discovery and evolution covered about fifty years amongst all of the companies from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. But, we have to go all the way back to 1822 to find the son of a Quaker named John Cadbury in Birmingham, England. The bars are rich, creamy and smooth underneath their chocolately coating. There is Double Fudge, Vanilla and Strawberry flavors just to name a few but my favorite is the delightful Caramel Crunch. The latter offering the rice crispy crunch on the outside and the ooey, gooey caramel in the middle.
On February 5, 1922 the Youngstown Vindicator in Ohio first posted an advertisement in its newspaper for the silver wrapped ice cream bar with a polar bear on it. It was created in Mansfield, Ohio and named after the Klondike River of Alaska and Canada. Their big selling angle was it being an ice cream bar without a stick. You can enjoy Vanilla, Double Fudge and Neapolitan among many choices. But, mine is the Caramel Pretzel bar that offers a salty, delightful crunchy texture and sugary smooth sweet inside.
It’s hard to believe that when Haagen-Dazs launched the business in the Bronx, New York in 1961 that they offered vanilla, chocolate and oddly enough, coffee, as their only three flavors. Ok, for you ice cream brainiacs out there Haagen-Dazs holds the distinction of being one of the only commercial ice cream brands to not use what? Answer in a second. They also separate themselves in unique combo flavors such as vanilla chocolate peanut butter, raspberry and vanilla milk chocolate (that’s all one!) and my favorite, salted caramel, just to name a few. The answer to the question: they are the only commercial brand not using stabilizers such as guar gum, xanthan gum or carrageenan. And if you’re wondering what flavor you might be able to get guar gum you might want to reconsider. It’s ground endosperm of guar beans. Sperm. Giggle.
The mega power sweets company, British/Dutch Unilever, now owns the Magnum brand. The original bar in 1987 made by Frisko from Aarhus, Denmark consisted of a white or dark chocolate covering with sweet, savory vanilla ice cream hiding ever pleasantly inside. It has now boomed to more flavors and name derivatives over the years than I have digits to count them with. They did a seven deadly sins series and a The Sixties Nine series with names anywhere from Jami Hendrix to John Lemon. The above has sea salt caramel swirled within silky vanilla bean ice cream covered in Belgian Milk Chocolate. My favorite remains the Double Caramel.
The ice cream bars came on the scene after the original Twix candy bars were first produced in 1967 in the United Kingdom. Manufactured by the chocolate conglomerate Mars would explain why I thought the Twix Ice Cream Bar looked a lot like a Snickers Ice Cream Bar. They both come from Mars. I guess I could only really differentiate the two as the Twix had vanilla ice cream inside as the Snickers has peanut butter ice cream. Do a blind test taste on your friends and see if they can tell the difference between the two.
And ding, ding, ding!! We will just make this a continuation but it in no way takes away how incredible the Twix or Snickers Ice Cream bars are. The original Snickers candy bar was introduced in 1930 and named after a favorite Frank Mars family horse. This is a bigger bar than the standard box filled with 6 bars you find with many other brands and of course more calories. I am of the belief that since I treat myself once in awhile I’m going to go all out and enjoy the best ice cream bars. A bite into one delivers peanuts completely covered in caramel to provide that wonderful crunchy addition to the ice cream and rich chocolate.
The Curtiss Candy Company of Chicago, Illinois brought us the original Butterfinger in 1923 and it’s now owned by Nestle. It and the Baby Ruth candy bars were dropped from airplanes in the 20’s and 30’s as a publicity stunt. I thought the Butterfinger Ice Cream Bar had a more powerful flavor than the actual candy bar. Crunchy bits on the outside and deep, rich vanilla ice cream packed with chunks of Butterfinger candy.
Take a bar of perfectly white, cold, vanilla ice cream and surround it in Oreo waver bits and you have an amazing ice cream bar. The Oreo Biscuit went through a couple of revisions in the early 1920’s and there was even a briefly offered lemon-filled version but it didn’t stick around. Currently being made by Mondolez International’s Nabisco division it has been the best-selling cookie for nearly 100 years. Originally there was a wreath around the circumference of the wafer and they were sold for 25 cents a pound. Wow, I wish they would bring that version back! Now, it’s been formed into an amazing ice cream bar that will please any Oreo fan. There is also an Oreo ice cream sandwich.
3 Milky Way
As you read in my candy bar post you might automatically think that my #1 candy bar would be the same for My Top 10 +1 Favorite Ice Cream Bar list. With its amazing syrupy, caramel oozing out of the thick, rich chocolate ice cream covered with a decadent chocolate coating. The candy bar was created in 1923 by Mars and manufactured in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The name came not from a celestial inspiration but from amazing malted milk drink back then. The bars came in two flavors, chocolate and vanilla, in 1926 and sold for a nickel. Again, talk about wanting a retro candy bar to be offered to the consumer even just for a day! This ice cream bar is an amazing delight though not as much quantity as it’s competition. And I’ve heard both likes and dislikes to this suggestion but you can always freeze the actual candy bar in a pinch for a fix. Not quite the same but it’s amazing after a brief, very slight thaw.
2 Nestle Crunch
Nestle Crunch came storming on the scene in 1937 and Henri Nestle could never have known 70 years earlier how many delights were to come. Very interestingly enough Nestle, based in Vevey, Switzerland is the largest food company in the world as measured by revenues. The amazing, vanilla ice cream with the sumptuous chocolate coating and sprinkled, crunchy, ricey bites. As a commercial of their’s said a few years back for this delight, “You have an excuse to eat it fast.” Absolutely! Just watch out for the brain freeze.
Ahhh, my crown jewel of ice cream bars since I can remember. I’m soooo smiling right now. And if you’re going to say it’s not an actual bar because it’s in a waffle cone I’m not going to let you be a buzz kill. There are lots of ice cream bars sold by sidewalk vendors and at fairs that are held together by a waffle cone yet still called a bar. So neener, neener. There, not a very adult response but these ice cream bars bring out the kid in all of us!
The true original was discovered on accident by ice cream maker at the 1904 World’s Fair in St Louis. He had ran out of bowls to serve his ice cream but a waffle vendor rolled some of his gems into the shape of a cone, gave them to the ice cream maker and wallah that is how history was made. Little did J.C. Parker of The Drumstick Company know in 1928 that he had just invented a lottery winner when he and his brothers added a chocolate coating to the ice cream and sprinkled it with nuts. One of the brothers wives said it looked like a chicken leg and hence the name, ‘drumstick’. Cool story, eh?”
I start by taking a deliberate chomp into the dome of the
cone bar to dive right in. The snappy, brittle, delicious chocolate covering fractures and there’s frantic maneuvering by my lips and tongue to snatch as many of the little pieces of nuts as possible. As always I have a fail safe and eat mine over a bowl because I’m not a about to waste a single morsel. My immediate goal is to clear off the chocolate to make a clear attack on that gooey, goodness in the middle. I finally arrive at the caramel while at the same time being able to incorporate a bite of the slightly crunchy, somewhat pleasantly, chewy waffle cone. My eyes roll back into my head and I find myself moaning quietly. The frenzy continues but the Drumstick isn’t done given out delights. When I arrive at the final bite, in the bottom of its clyinderical cone is a bite of solid milk chocolate inside the last bite of the waffle cone. If there is utopia in an ice cream bar this is it and tops My Top 10 +1 Favorite Ice Cream Bars list.
What is your favorite ice cream bar?