Summer and Superman ice cream go hand in hand in Michigan, just like peanut butter and jelly.
If you’re a Michigander, chances are you spent most of your summers buried in blue, yellow, and red ice cream cones. But you probably didn’t stop to think about the origin story behind this treasured dessert.
We’ll straighten up some little-known facts about Michigan’s iconic summer treat by walking you through several Superman ice cream mysteries.
Once you know about the lore behind Superman ice cream, you can:
- Take pride in your rich Michigander culture
- See how a treat of the past has shaped the present-day frozen snack
- Bond with your kids and loved ones when you share the story with them
The next time you dig into your yummy scoop, you’ll do it with renewed passion thanks to your knowledge of its little-known facts.
1 - The Origin of Superman Ice Cream Remains a Mystery
The history of Michigan’s iconic summer treat is shrouded in mystery. However, there’s one accepted theory: Superman ice cream was first created during the Prohibition era, around 1920–1933.
Due to the ban on the sale of alcohol across the United States, brewery businesses had to find new ways to legally sustain themselves.
Stroh Brewery Company is one famous business that’s believed to have undergone reconstruction during this period.
Julius Stroh, its founder, changed Stroh’s Breweries Factory in Detroit to Stroh Products Company in order to remain afloat. Since he could no longer sell alcohol, he became a non-alcoholic beverage supplier.
The company decided to manufacture:
- Birch beer
- Orange soda
- Ginger ale
- Club soda
Under an additional label—Stroh Ice Cream Company—they invented this colorful dessert. It became so popular that the business flourished from selling it even after the prohibition.
The frozen delicacy was available in three flavors—Lemon, Red Pop, and Blue Moon. Red Pop was named after a strawberry red soda, and the truth behind the Blue Moon name is still hazy.
Food for Thought: Without the alcohol ban, would Superman ice cream ever see the light of day?
2 - Superman Ice Cream Is Not Related to the DC Comics Superhero
You must be wondering whether Superman ice cream is related to the DC Comics superstar, Superman. The short answer is no!
The DC superhero and the ice cream have only one thing in common: their red, blue, and yellow color resemblance.
Michigan’s iconic treat premiered during the prohibition era, way before the fictional hero appeared in action comics in 1938. And thanks to Superman’s debut, Superman ice cream became even more popular in the Midwestern region of Michigan.
Does DC Comics know about this tasty treaty? Oh yes. Being Michigan’s favorite ice cream, they certainly know about it, but they’ve never issued a permit for the superhero's name use in the frozen delicacy.
But to avoid any copyright issues, manufacturers and parlors offer this ice cream under different names, including Super Hero, Super Kid, and Scooperman.
The table below compares four flavor names alongside their brand and location:
|Ice Cream Name
|United Dairy Farmers
|Baskin Robbins, Ohio
|Cedar Crest Ice Cream
|Hudsonville Creamery & Ice Cream Company
|Dean Foods Company
|Stroh’s Ice Cream Parlor, Detroit
The original Stroh Company transferred ownership to Dean Foods Company in Detroit which now produce it under the name Super Rainbow. Although its name changed, it still contains the same unique flavor combo.
Where did the ice cream get its Superman name to begin with? That’s still a mystery.
But here’s something we can all agree on—Superman ice cream is a super tasty treat, just as its legendary counterpart is a super human.
And this leads us to our next section, what is the secret behind its Blue Moon flavor?
3 - Superman Ice Cream’s Blue Moon Flavor Remains a Secret
Superman ice cream’s original blue flavor is a mystery.
On the outside, Blue Moon is aqua-blue and undeniably delicious. But the flavor’s mixture is still unknown, quite like Coca-Cola’s formula.
As much as chefs have tried to replicate the flavor, only one chef from Food.com came close to producing it.
Ice cream lovers say it tastes like a mixture of almond extract, bubblegum, and marshmallows. Other enthusiasts argue it’s made of citrus fruits. Some say it’s a blend of Fruity Pebbles, Trix, and Froot Loops. Perhaps it’s a mix of all these ingredients.
Despite the speculation, the ice cream companies have adamantly zipped their mouths about it.
Are the Other Flavors Mysterious?
Thankfully, the other two Superman ice cream flavors are as clear as day. Their colors are the same throughout the parlors, but their ingredients differ from one joint to the next.
These flavors are:
Superman ice cream owes its bright red color to Red Pop. Red Pop is a type of cream soda originally made with strawberries.
The red flavor of Stroh’s Ice Cream Parlor is attributed to Faygo Pop, a popular Michigan drink with a classic strawberry pop variety.
Other parlors craft this flavor using raspberry, strawberry, and black cherry flavorings.
Lemon, Banana, Vanilla
Superman ice cream’s bright yellow hue always comes from one of these three flavors: lemon, banana, or vanilla.
4 - Superman Ice Cream Is Only Popular in the US Midwest Region
The Midwest is the original harbor of Superman ice cream and is thus the best place to come to satisfy your craving for it.
Believe it or not, some people in other states have never tasted this iconic summer treat. Most Michiganders grow up thinking that it's universally popular, only to be surprised when they visit other states.
For the greatest nostalgia, consider visiting parlors and stores in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin, where it’s most popular.
It can be found at:
- Hudsonville Creamery and Ice Cream Company
- House of Flavors
- Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Company
Superman ice cream is not just a tasty dessert in the Midwest—it’s a staple snack you’ll often see served at events and festivals, such as National Ice Cream Day and Independence Day on the 4th of July.
Spoil Yourself With Michigan’s Iconic Summer Treat and a Matching T-Shirt
Wearing our Superman ice cream-themed shirt will take you down memory lane if you grew up in Michigan. You can adorn this silky soft shirt during summer and show the world your love for this colorful delicacy, like the customer below:
“As a former Michigander, Superman ice cream is (still) one of my favorite summer traditions! I was so excited when I saw this shirt! It’s super soft...”
– Emily P, US
And no matter where you are, you can still wear this awesome shirt and look cool.
Apart from our Superman ice cream-themed shirt, you’ll be surprised to find other Midwest treats on our t-shirts so you can continue spreading the love.
Grab Your Superman Ice Cream Shirt From Jupmode
Having looked at the juicy little-known facts of this ionic summer treat, the table below highlights some Superman ice cream trivia.
|Superman ice cream is not named after the DC superhero
|This ice cream existed way before the emergence of the DC comic superhero
|Historical and cultural significance
|The Blue Moon flavor is still a mystery
|No one knows exactly what flavor Blue Moon is supposed to be, but it’s generally agreed to be sweet and fruity
|Superman ice cream was not originally available outside of Michigan
|For many years, this colorful treat was only found in Michigan, making it a regional delicacy. It became more widely available in the 1970s when Stroh's expanded its distribution to other Midwestern states
Gift your childhood friends and awaken long-forgotten bonds or strengthen existing ones. This time around, you’ll back up your gifts with the incredible stories that come with this summer treat.
“Their staff was super helpful and the shirts were really soft. She went over the types of t-shirts ordered and proceeded to carry the box to my car for me! Great experience..."
– Kelsey E
You can also enrich your kid's imagination by telling them about the fascinating mysteries behind Superman ice cream.
Take a quick tour of our store in Toledo.
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