A Michigan Original, What’s the Story Behind Superman Ice Cream?
Just yesterday I did something I haven't done since I was a child: ordered a scoop of Superman ice cream.
When it comes to ice cream I prefer something chocolate-based like French silk or Mackinac Island fudge, but since returning to Michigan after living in states like Nebraska and Missouri, I decided to try another sweet Mitten staple and revisit the classic flavor.
History of Superman
Although there are many imitators and wannabes, no one knows who the definitive inventor of Superman ice cream was mystery surrounds its origins. One report credits Detroit's Stroh's Ice Cream, a branch of Stroh's Brewery, with creating the unique concoction during Prohibition but that's just one speculation.
However, during the time when alcohol production was banned in the United States, many taprooms did turn into ice cream parlors as an alternative local hangout for the working class to socialize-- so anything's possible!
What Makes Superman, Superman?
In addition to its creation another mystery that surrounds Superman ice cream is it's flavor profile. What is it, exactly?
In order to be considered a true form of Superman ice cream it must have the iconic tri-color combination. The iconic red, blue, and yellow colors are rumored to have been modeled after the legendary DC superhero and the colors of his uniform, but ice cream enthusiasts claim the creation of this uncommon ice cream flavor pre-dates the character's existence!
Atlas Obscura claims the swirled ice cream mixture, "doesn’t even have a set flavor profile." So what flavors are we tasting?!
The original Stroh's claims to have made their Superman with Blue Moon (another mystery flavor), Faygo Redpop (strawberry), and lemon. However, other ice cream manufacturers have substituted a few of the flavor profiles to create their own versions of the iconic mixture.
For example, both Meijer's Purple Cow "Scooperman" and Hudsonville's "Superscoop" feature a combination of black cherry, Blue Moon, and vanilla; while Dean Foods' "Super Rainbow" uses Blue Moon, Redpop, and vanilla. The Hershey brand's "Superman" even uses banana in place of vanilla!