Speed Reads

Summertime yum

Soft serve ice cream was created by accident 80 years ago today

Soft serve ice cream was created by accident 80 years ago today

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer as well as the great American ice-cream binge.

Fittingly, this holiday also happens to be the anniversary of the birth of soft serve ice cream, at least according to ice cream maker Carvel. According to their site, the owner, Tom Carvel, bought his first truck in 1934 in the hope of traveling around the East Coast to sell his special blend of hard, delicious frozen custard. But on Memorial Day, the young entrepreneur hit a snag, literally. His truck got a flat tire and he was stuck on the side of the road in Hardsdale, New York.

When drivers started to pull over to purchase the melting dessert, Carvel realized two things: that people would happily travel to a fixed ice cream location rather than wait for the truck to drive down their street, and that these sweltering customers enjoyed the creamier, lighter taste of the melting custard he had available. And so soft serve and the Carvel chain was born.

In honor of the tasty treat's 80th birthday, I'm going to go ahead and eat some. And maybe you should, too.