North Americans know and love: some contain eggs, are eaten with a spoon, or come in flavors like mango or bee pollen!
milkshake4. In Britain, milkshakes consist of milk with flavorings. One popular brand, Horlick’s, is even promoted to help with sleep at bedtime. If you want an American milkshake, you have to ask for a “thickshake.”
5. And if you want a milkshake in Boston, you need to order a “frappe,” which comes from the French word for “shaken.” Rhode Islanders, however, call milkshakes a “cabinet”: a variation of “carbonate,” which is used in ice cream soda.
6. Why all the names? New Englanders eat more ice cream – and milkshakes – than anywhere else in the United States.
7. Did you know the blender was invented specifically to make milkshakes? Before this, milkshakes were literally “all shook up” in a metal container. Invented by Stephen J. Poplawski, the blender appeared in 1922 to save the arms of soda jerks everywhere.
8. The milkshake also inspired Joseph B. Friedman to invent the flexible straw, after watching his young daughter struggle to drink a milkshake at a drugstore counter. He patented it in 1937.
9. The most popular milkshake flavors are chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. But you can also find donut and key lime milkshakes, as well as gourmet flavors like lemon verbena and toasted pecan – even foie gras!
10. Think milkshakes are only for summer? There’s a milkshake for every season: from pumpkin pie to candy cane to McDonald’s “Shamrock Shake,” available only around St. Patrick’s Day.
11. Ever get “brain freeze” from a milkshake? You can cure this ice cream headache simply by pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth.
12. September 12 is Chocolate Milkshake Day. Cool off from the last days of summer with a milkshake – or two or three!
13. Not a chocoholic? Try a Black and White milkshake, which are popular in the Midwest. They’re made with chocolate syrup but vanilla ice cream.
14. The largest known milkshake was made in New York in 2000. It measured 6,000 gallons – that’s 50,000 milkshakes!
15. But when it comes to milkshakes, size isn’t the only thing the Guinness Book of World Records measures. It also has an entry for Fastest Time To Drink a Half-Liter Milkshake – as well as one for Most Milkshake Dispensed Through the Nose.
16. Ever hear of Ray Kroc? He’s the man who created the McDonald’s franchise, and he originally met the McDonald brothers by selling them milkshake machines. Today, milkshakes are McDonald’s most profitable product.
17. Most commercially-made milkshakes do not use ice-cream at all. Instead, they use a “milkshake base”: a dense, rich concoction which has more butterfat than most ice creams.
18. Want some sushi with that shake? Strange as it sounds, many milkshakes contain seaweed, in the form of carrageenan, to thicken and emulsify the milkshake.
19. Most of us season our French fries with ketchup, but some fanatics like to dip their fries in milkshake instead. They say it’s the perfect combination of opposites: salt and sweet, hot and cold, crunchy and creamy. Try it and see!
20. Tired of coffee? Nearly half of all milkshakes are bought in the early morning by people who commute to work in their cars.
21. You might think of milkshakes as a delicious indulgence, but they have health benefits as well. They’re a great source of calcium (a mineral that most Americans don’t get enough of), and protein milkshakes can be used as a meal replacement!
22. Convinced yet? A banana milkshake with honey is even a folk remedy for hangover: soothing and hydrating, balanced in electrolytes, and rich in magnesium and calcium.
23. It’s a challenge to make the perfect milkshake. If it’s too runny, the flavor dilutes; if it’s too thick, it can’t be sucked up through a straw. The key is letting the ice cream sit out for 10-15 minutes before scooping.
24. On a diet? You can even make milkshakes without ice cream at all – one recipe uses dried milk, sugar, cocoa, and a tray of ice cubes to create the luscious texture of a milkshake. Or you can try a smoothie, which is a milkshake made with fresh fruit in the place of ice cream.
25. Don’t forget that milk doesn’t have to come from cows! Milkshakes can be made from the milk of soy, rice, or almonds – or even goat!
By Mara Nelson
1. The “milkshake” first appeared as a health tonic back in 1885. It contained whiskey and tasted more like eggnog than the milkshakes we enjoy today.
2. In 1922, a soda jerk at the Chicago Walgreen’s pharmacy invented the modern milkshake by adding two scoops of vanilla ice cream to “malted milk”: a mixture of milk, chocolate, and malt powder designed for children and invalids.
3. Milkshakes can be found all over the globe, whether the Spanish batido or the Hungarian turmix. But they don’t taste like the milkshakes