In case you missed it, next week on March 20, Dairy Queen will be handing out free cones to celebrate the start of spring. Even though outside temperatures are still pretty low in many parts of the country, there’s nothing like a helping of DQ’s famous soft-serve to help you get over your winter blues.
You probably spent a ton of time eating at Dairy Queen throughout your childhood, but as you probably could’ve guessed by now, there’s actually a lot of history hiding behind all those swirly cones.
1. You’re not actually eating ice cream when you order a cone
It’s called soft-serve for a reason, and the company has stated before that the frozen delight served in its thousands of locations doesn’t exactly qualify as ice cream.
“To be categorized as ice cream, the minimum butterfat content must be 10 percent, and our soft-serve has only 5 percent butterfat,” DQ writes. It’s not ice cream, but it is delicious.
2. The soft-serve that you know and love is made from a top-secret recipe
Want to know what makes Dairy Queen’s soft-serve taste so delicious? That’s too bad, because it’s made with a secret formula that you’ll never become privy to. The chain’s chief branding officer, Michael Keller, once told ABC News that the recipe is “kept in a safe deposit box and there are only a few keys to it.”
3. There’s a quirky story behind the chain’s name
Dairy Queen officially got its name from soft-serve creator Jack “Grandpa” McCullough, who called the store’s sweet staple a queen among dairy products.
4. The curl on top of each cone is a DQ trademark
And, according to DQ employees, it’s not as easy to master as it looks.
5. Blizzards are served upside down because of a 14-year-old boy’s strange request
If you order a Blizzard at any of Dairy Queen’s locations, there a good chance that your server will hand it to you upside down. And if you think that’s a bizarre branding tactic, you can credit that to a 14-year-old boy from St. Louis named Steve Gamber. Back in the day, Gamber used to frequent a local ice cream stand close in proximity to a DQ owned by Sam Temperato. Every day when ordering from the ice cream stand, Gamber would request that the shake be made thicker than usual, resulting in the stand’s owner, Ted Drewes Jr., one day serving him a shake so thick that he could turn it upside down without risking the ice cream spilling out of the cup. In 1983, Temperato took Drewes’ idea over to DQ execs — and the rest is history.
6. DQ used to sell frozen yogurt
And you probably don’t remember it because it never really caught on. It was around for a small chunk of time in the ’90s before being removed from the menu because of extremely low demand.
7. Texas is the state with the most DQ locations
The chain may have gotten its start in Joliette, IL, but Texas is home to the most DQ locations. The state has over 6 stores — and we dare you to try and hit them all.
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