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Popular ice cream flavour has roots in Wolfville

Frankie Chege from Bedford liked mint chocolate chip ice cream at Hennigar’s Farm Market.
Frankie Chege from Bedford liked mint chocolate chip ice cream at Hennigar’s Farm Market.

WOLFVILLE, N.S. - This summer, based on random questioning of ice cream scooping staff, the favourite flavour of ice cream is easily mariner sea salt caramel from Farmers.

Staff at Avery’s Farm Market in Coldbrook say they go through about a tub a day of that variety. One hot day recently, it took only five hours to empty one of the 11.4-litre tubs.

Twenty years ago, Canadians ate 9.5 litres of ice cream per capita, according to the Canadian Dairy Information Centre. By 2014, consumption was down to 5.49 litres.

According to the centre, the top flavours for ice cream in this country are pretty standard: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, butterscotch, caramel, coffee, mint chocolate chip and maple walnut.

Local history of one variety

Still popular today, grapenut ice cream was created by Hannah Young while working at The Palms restaurant in Wolfville in 1919.

Having run out of fresh fruit - the usual ice-cream mixings - she looked around the kitchen, found Grape Nuts cereal, and tossed some in. The combination was a hit, especially with Acadia University students.

The late Vernita Murphy wrote in her memoir, “I was there when a man from the company that made Grape Nuts came in to congratulate her.”

In his book, Reflections of a Restaurant Owner’s Son, Paul Young chronicled the family’s further inventiveness - putting maple walnut and crushed ribbon candy into their homemade ice cream offerings.

Grapenut ice cream is now produced by both Farmers and Scotsburn dairies and sold commercially.

Did you know?

Many tubs of what looks like ice cream in the freezer aisles of grocery stores are categorized and labelled (often in a small font) as ‘frozen desserts.’ Real ice cream is milk-fat based, while frozen desserts are usually vegetable-fat based.

Staff at Avery’s Farm Market in Coldbrook say they go through about a tub a day of that variety. One hot day recently, it took only five hours to empty one of the 11.4-litre tubs.

Twenty years ago, Canadians ate 9.5 litres of ice cream per capita, according to the Canadian Dairy Information Centre. By 2014, consumption was down to 5.49 litres.

According to the centre, the top flavours for ice cream in this country are pretty standard: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, butterscotch, caramel, coffee, mint chocolate chip and maple walnut.

Local history of one variety

Still popular today, grapenut ice cream was created by Hannah Young while working at The Palms restaurant in Wolfville in 1919.

Having run out of fresh fruit - the usual ice-cream mixings - she looked around the kitchen, found Grape Nuts cereal, and tossed some in. The combination was a hit, especially with Acadia University students.

The late Vernita Murphy wrote in her memoir, “I was there when a man from the company that made Grape Nuts came in to congratulate her.”

In his book, Reflections of a Restaurant Owner’s Son, Paul Young chronicled the family’s further inventiveness - putting maple walnut and crushed ribbon candy into their homemade ice cream offerings.

Grapenut ice cream is now produced by both Farmers and Scotsburn dairies and sold commercially.

Did you know?

Many tubs of what looks like ice cream in the freezer aisles of grocery stores are categorized and labelled (often in a small font) as ‘frozen desserts.’ Real ice cream is milk-fat based, while frozen desserts are usually vegetable-fat based.

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