6 crazy questions about the history of Michigan’s favorite frozen treat

Visit just about any glacier in Michigan and you’ll find an odd mix of blue, red, and yellow among the Moose Tracks, Rocky Road, Chocolate, and Vanilla. It’s the famous Superman ice cream you’ve heard of. He is named after a well-known superhero who wears all three colors on his outfit. Local legend has it that a brewery brought the flavors together in Detroit during Prohibition in the 1930s. Let’s explore the true story and some of the great stories surrounding one of Michigan’s favorite ice cream flavors.

What’s Alluring About Superman Ice Cream Flavor?

The bright yellow is lemon, the deep red tastes like another Detroit icon, Faygo Red Pop, finally, the blue swirls are another favorite Michigan flavor all on their own; Blue Moon.

The taste of red, yellow and blue ice cream can vary depending on the ice cream shop that sells it: yellow can be vanilla or lemon, and red can be black cherry or red pop, but blue is still Blue Moon. .

There is a bit of mystery about the taste of Blue Moon. Blue Moon is a bright blue colored puzzle of dubious origins, said to include everything from Froot Loops to Marshmallows. Even though several companies produce the taste, there is continued disagreement over the essential components that contribute to its characteristic fruity sweetness. According to Food.com, the recipe, which consists of raspberry flavoring, lemon oil and vanilla pudding mix, is exactly the flavor of Michigan.

Is Superman ice cream only sold in Michigan?

Superman ice cream should be called Great Lakes Superman ice cream. We challenge you to find this frozen concoction anywhere outside of the states that border the shores of the five Great Lakes.

Michigan has no right to say it “owns” that flavor. Although it was invented in Detroit, it is also a favorite of children in Cleveland. So the brightly colored frozen treat is a specialty of Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio.

Did a local Detroit brewery invent Superman ice cream?

Superman ice cream cone
Superman Ice Cream Cone on a Hot Summer Day

In great evils, great means. So when Prohibition forced brewers to stop producing beer, one enterprising brewer decided to produce a treat that would eventually outlive the brewery itself.

In 1933, Julius Stroh, the head of Stroh’s Brewery, decided to convert the beer brewing facilities at his Detroit plant to produce non-alcoholic products. The company brewed non-alcoholic near beer, soft drinks, malt extract and ice cream. Strohs created the “Alaska” brand to market its assorted flavors, including Superman ice cream. This business proved profitable and popular and profitable enough to continue even after resuming brewing beer.

Stroh Brewery Company ceased brewing operations in 1999 after selling all of its brands to Pabst Brewing Company and Miller Brewing Company. Melody Farms ran Stroh’s Ice Cream for many years, preserving the Stroh name until Dean Foods purchased it in 2005.

What brands make Superman ice cream?

We were surprised to learn that Michigan is ranked the fifth largest ice cream producer in the nation. Suppose you are looking for Superman ice cream for your next party. Several brands make it. Other companies have similar ice cream, but with a twist on the name.

Super Scoop Ice Cream – Courtesy of Hudsonville Ice Cream

Hudsonville Ice Cream calls its version Superscoop. Their recipe is one that many adults prefer. This vibrant delight has exquisite swirls of rich and creamy black cherry, blue moon and traditional vanilla ice cream. Hudsonville Ice Cream is a well-known brand that is available in four states. The creamery began in Hudsonville in 1926 with six flavors and has since grown to include over fifty distinct varieties and tastes.

County Dairy Ice Cream calls their version Simply Supercow. It is a combination of Blue Moo, Wild Cherry and Lemon Ice Cream.

Ludington’s House of Flavors has its version of Superman with Blue moon, cherry and lemon ice cream.

Country Fresh began in Michigan in 1946. It began as a dairy cooperative of Grand Rapids area retailers and has since grown into a well-known dairy brand throughout central Michigan. During the summer they produce their version of Superman ice cream.

Grindstone General Store
Grindstone City General Store

Stroh’s Superman Ice Cream can still be found at Krogers and Grindstone General Store during the summer. The ice cream shop near Port Austin offers some of the biggest ice cream cones in Michigan.

superman ice cream
Super Moo – Courtesy UDF Inc.

Ohioans are turning to United Dairy Farmers’ hand-dipped flavor called Super Moo. This is a mix of yellow vanilla, red cherry and sweet blue vanilla ice cream.

In Wisconsin, Cedar Crest Ice Cream makes over 80 premium flavors of Wisconsin small batch ice cream. Super Madness has swirls of blue raspberry, cherry and vanilla.

Does DC Comics allow Superman’s name for this ice cream?

We found out that DC Comics has no connection to Superman Ice Cream. They do, however, share the red, blue, and yellow hues of Superman’s suit. Makes sense, considering this ice cream is a superhero just like the Man of Steel himself.

However, in 2018, the Superman Homepage website noted that Edy’s and Dreyer’s ice cream launched a variety of new SuperHero ice cream flavors, including Superman Krypton Cookie Dough, Batman Dark Knight Brownie Bite, and Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Twirl. Superman Krypton Cookie Dough Ice Cream is made with cookie dough, light ice cream, red and gold cookie dough bites, and blue sprinkles. Additionally, there were collectible comics associated with the new ice cream flavors. However, four years later, we don’t know if these are still being made.

How many calories does Superman ice cream contain?

Although extremely sweet, this iconic flavor compares to other flavors because there is no added cookie dough, fudge bits or nuts. A single ⅔ cup serving of Superman ice cream equals 160 calories. Compare that to the typical Frech Vanella at 180 calories or Rocky Road ice cream at 190 calories per serving. So it’s kind of a guilt-free treat.

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About Thomas B. Countryman

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