Some people celebrate September 22 as Ice Cream Cone Day because they believe that the ice cream cone was invented on September 22, 1903. As it turns out, though, the history of the ice cream cone isn’t quite so clear.

Many people have believed for years that the ice cream cone was invented in 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair. As the story goes, ice cream vendors at the fair ran out of bowls and turned to a waffle-like pastry they could roll up and scoop ice cream into.

Months before the fair, on December 13, 1903, a New York resident named Italo Marchiony received a patent for an invention that was described as being “like a waffle iron and producing several small pastry cups with sloping sides.” Marchiony had apparently been selling lemon ice in his homemade cones since 1896.

The ice cream cone may be even older than that, though! Waffle-like edible cones were mentioned in French cooking books as early as 1825. No matter who first had the idea, we can all agree that it was excellent.

Cones come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and flavors, but let’s be honest. It’s what’s inside the cone that really matters. That’s right. We’re talking about the ice cream!

No one knows for sure when ice cream was first invented or by whom, but that doesn’t matter. It tastes great regardless of its history.

In the United States, vanilla ice cream is the most popular flavor based on sales. Vanilla outsells chocolate ice cream by a margin of three to one.

Some believe the popularity of vanilla is due in part to the fact that it’s used in so many other ice cream treats, such as milkshakes and sundaes.

The wide variety of ice cream flavors is limited only by the imagination of ice cream makers. From cookie dough to rocky road to butter pecan to cherry vanilla, ice cream comes in all sorts of flavors that appeal to all sorts of different tastes.

For example, Baskin-Robbins® touted its 31 flavors for years. Since 1945, though, Baskin-Robbins® has actually introduced more than 1,000 different ice cream flavors.

Can you imagine walking into an ice-cream shop with more than 1,000 flavors to choose from? That would be a difficult choice!

Or maybe not… we all have our favorites. And some flavors just might not be that appealing.

Here are a few real ice cream flavors that you might need a bit of courage to give a try:


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    • Thanks for leaving us such a nice comment today, Sara Flano-MC! Do you have a favorite flavor of ice cream? We like many different flavors here in Wonderopolis, but one of our favorites is Wonderberry-Vanilla Swirl! :-)

  1. MMMM mmmm MMMM!!! What a tasty wonder!! We love all sorts of flavors, from orange sherbert to cookies and cream to chocolate to rainbow sherbert! :)

    Lots of us tried ice cream as babies and immediately loved it! We learned that the first cone was made because the vendors at the fair ran out of bowls. How resourceful! :)

    • We’re so glad you SCOOPED up some new facts about ice cream, Kerrick Elementary School! Have you ever tried fried ice cream? It’s really yummy, too! Let’s also not forget about milkshakes, sundaes, ice cream cakes…we’re getting hungry! :-)

  2. Thank you for a YUMMY wonder! We tested the theory that vanilla is more popular than chocolate. Not in our class! We like chocolate 2 to 1.

    • We love that you had an ice cream taste test to explore more about today’s Wonder, The Beach (and that you mixed in a little math/ratios, too)! Chocolate is a winning flavor for many Wonder Friends! Thank you for sharing your comment with us today! :-)

    • That DOES sound yummy, Katie! We’ll have to try that flavor sometime soon! We heard you had a SWEET ice cream taste test at “The Beach” today! Did you pick vanilla or chocolate? :-)

    • We have a lot of GREAT ice cream shops in Wonderopolis, Olivia! It’s hard to choose a favorite! Thank you for sharing YOUR favorite with us today, though! :-)

  3. LOVE the wonder! Ice cream is probably one of my favorite desserts! I never knew about all those different kinds of flavors! I kind of want to try some of those (except for the garlic ice cream)!

    • Those not-so-average flavors, like the garlic one, must be for very brave ice cream tasters, Colin! We’re glad you would try the other ones, though! You must have pretty courageous taste buds! Thank you for leaving us a comment today! :-)

  4. When I read this article it just made my mouth water! I love ice cream and one of my favorites is banana split. Is there really a place called Wonderopolis?

    • Hello, Zaid! Yes! There is a place called Wonderopolis! It’s right here! It’s a place to grow, laugh, learn, play and share! It’s a place where you can ask questions, learn lots of new things and meet new Wonder Friends! Everyone that visits Wonderopolis is AWESOME…just like YOU! :-)

    • Good choice, Katie! We like ALL kinds of ice cream flavors! We like to eat ice cream to help us cool down when the weather is hot outside, but we also like to eat it when it’s cold outside, too! I guess you could say we LOVE ice cream! :-)

  5. Dear Wonderopolis,
    I just wanted to tell you that my mom owns a ice cream store called Cold Stone Creamery in Grove city Ohio, and her friend opened a Baskin Robbins store!

    • WOW, Sarah! We think it is so cool that your mom and her friend BOTH own ice cream stores! Do you get to sample all the great flavors when you visit your mom’s store? We like to mix in different toppings into our ice cream sometimes. What are YOUR favorite mix-ins? :-)

    • We think so, too, Sarah! The little girl’s face is so cute when she realizes how much she likes the taste of ice cream. Thank you for your great comments today! :-)

  6. Dear Wonderopolis,

    I do get to taste my mom’s store ice cream. It tastes really good. They also sell ice cream cakes, ice cream cupcakes (its paper thing is made of chocolate) and ice cream sandwiches. My favorite topping is Kit Kats.

  7. Hi, Wonderopolis Friend! Today’s wonder was cute, funny, and delicous! Thanks sooo much for the wonder! By the way, my favorite flavor ice cream is cookies and cream! mmmmMMMMMmmmm! What about yours, wonderopolis? Whats YOUR favorite flavor? :)

    • It’s hard to pick just ONE favorite flavor, Some Person! We do like a special flavor we can get here in Wonderopolis, though, called Wonderberry-Vanilla Swirl. It is just ONE of our favorites! It’s got whole Wonderberries in it! We like to get two scoops on a waffle cone with sprinkles! YUMMY! :-)

    • We have tried green tea ice cream before, Malabona! We thought it was very delicious. We think it is very interesting to learn all the different flavors of ice cream our Wonder Friends favor. Thank you for sharing yours with us! :-)

    • She sure is cute, isn’t she, Joyce? We think it’s neat when she realizes how much she likes the ice cream and wants to keep eating it! Thank you for visiting Wonderopolis today and for leaving us this comment! :-)

  8. That’s a lot of ice cream flavors. Today in class, we did a fun activity on how many ice cream flavors you can list. How many do you know? Can you list them right know?

    • We know a LOT of ice cream flavors, Mahima! Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, rocky road, peanut butter swirl, cotton candy, cherry, almond….now we’re hungry for some ICE CREAM! Yum! :-)

    • We sure do, Clara! We like SO MANY different types of ice cream! In fact, we think we might just head over to the ice cream shop (we have an AWESOME one here in Wonderopolis), for a double scoop in a waffle cone! :-)

  9. My favorite ice cream is rocky road. In where I live, we have a really good ice cream shop! This ice cream shop not just has ice cream, it has pizza, salad, and sandwiches!

    • That sounds like our kind of ice cream shop, Julie! We really appreciate you sharing your favorite ice cream flavor with everyone in Wonderopolis today…rocky road sounds AWESOME! :-)

    • YUM, we’re getting hungry just thinking about that delicious flavor, Lil miss sweet! Thanks for sharing your comment with us! :)

    • YUM! Vanilla ice cream sounds delicious, Monique! The best part about vanilla ice cream is that it goes well with lots of toppings and flavors! Thanks for sharing your favorite ice cream flavor with us! :)

  10. The meaning of the phrase “ice cream” varies from one country to another. Phrases such as “frozen custard”, “frozen yogurt”, “sorbet”, “gelato” and others are used to distinguish different varieties and styles. In some countries, such as the United States, the phrase “ice cream” applies only to a specific variety, and most governments regulate the commercial use of the various terms according to the relative quantities of the main ingredients.

    • Hey Carroll, thanks for sharing your sweet treat comment with us today! You make a great point– there are all types of names for the delicious, icy, creamy, flavorful summer treat. Thanks for including all this great information and opening our eyes to ice cream, gelato, sorbet, etc! Have a terrific Tuesday! :)

    • Y-U-M! Our stomachs are growling as we Wonder about those delicious ice cream flavors, Animelover430! Thanks so much for sharing your delicious comment today! :)

    • YUM! That’s a super refreshing treat, Madalyn! What a great flavor! We Wonder if you’ve made your own ice cream before? It takes some time, but it sure is delicious! :)

    • Isn’t it crazy, Genevieve V? People have such WONDERful imaginations!! If you could invent an ice cream flavor, what would it be?? :D

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Have you ever wondered…

  • What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
  • Who invented the ice cream cone?
  • Which flavor of ice cream is most popular in the United States?

Wonder Gallery

ice cream cone with sprinkles_shutterstock_11048371images-10ice-creamimages-8images-9Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Ready to create your own unique ice cream masterpiece? If you travel down the frozen food aisle at the grocery store, you’ll see all sorts of ice cream treats in a wild variety of flavors and combinations.

Now it’s time to come up with one of your own! Think about what flavors of ice cream you like. Chocolate? Vanilla? Strawberry? What else?

What other treats do you like? Brownies? Marshmallow crispies? Peanut butter cups?

Do you like fruits? Bananas? Pineapples? Mangoes? Watermelons?

How might you mix your favorite flavors, treats and fruits into a fabulous new ice cream concoction? Let your taste buds — and your imagination — run wild. Maybe even take a field trip to the grocery store with someone you know.

If you’re daring, try out some new recipes at home. There’s nothing quite like kitchen experimentation to bring out the laughs by the scoopful.

When you have settled on a new ice cream masterpiece of your very own, email us the recipe and a picture. We’d love to try it!


Still Wondering

Do you know how to use math to figure out all the combinations for ice cream cones? Check out Illuminations’ Ice Cream Cones lesson to learn how!


Wonder Categories/Tags



cone  cream  favorite  flavor  ice 

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