The springtime weather in the Tri-States has led me to thinking about summertime staples. There's none greater than an ice cream cone on a hot day. Of course, there are countless flavors and hybrid flavors of ice cream, but none might be more unique than a staple flavor you can find all over the Midwest.

That flavor is the one-and-only "Blue Moon" ice cream, which, depending on who you ask, originated somewhere in Michigan or Wisconsin. Blue moon is one of the most uniquely different ice cream flavors you can find, and one of the things that makes it so unique is that its taste, while delicious, isn't easy to describe.

Photo Credit: FOX6 News Milwaukee, YouTube
Photo Credit: FOX6 News Milwaukee, YouTube

What is Blue Moon Ice Cream?:

Blue moon ice cream, as the name suggests, is characterized by its blue coloring and sweet flavor. It's described by the Chicago Tribune as "Smurf-blue and marshmallow-sweet," and is also one of the indispensable ingredients in the popular "Superman ice cream" concoction, combined with cherry and lemon (although varieties vary).

Blue moon has such a mystique around it that some ice cream shops keep their recipe a secret, although the principle flavor-type mostly remains the same. Pinpointing what exactly those flavors are, however, is trickier than you might think.

What Does Blue Moon Ice Cream Taste Like?:

According to the website Food and Wine, which wrote a delightful piece about "the cult" surrounding the ice cream, no one can agree on what the delicacy tastes like.

Some say it has a citrussy taste to go with its vanilla-esque base. Others say it smells and tastes like almond extract. To me, it always tasted like Fruity Pebbles and marshmallows, to be oddly specific, although some would challenge me and say it has the distinct taste of cotton candy.

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Who Came Up With Blue Moon Ice Cream?:

Food and Wine also gave the closest thing to a commonly accepted origins story as Blue moon ice cream is likely to get. Apparently, it was the work of Bill Sidon, the chief flavor chemist at Petran Products in Milwaukee, all the way back in the 1950s. The still-secret recipe was the first to be trademarked by the company.

Blue moon endures such popularity that just a few years ago, when the Milwaukee ice cream shop Leon's Frozen Custard added it to their menu (the first addition in decades), news outlets raced to cover the story. Not only was a staple chain adding a new flavor to their menu for the first time... in a blue moon, but it was a unique flavor that always seems to spring some debate whenever it's enjoyed.

Can You Get Blue Moon in Stores?:

I think one of the elements that furthers the mystique of Blue moon is the fact that, outside of ice cream shops, it's not particularly easy to find in store. Hudsonville Ice Cream does make a 48oz container of the stuff that you can enjoy at home, but I confess that I don't believe I've seen it in stores around Dubuque and the Tri-State area.

That being said... I'd love to be proven wrong on the matter!

Read more about Blue moon ice cream on its Wikipedia page and on Food and Wine's website.


A Fun Afternoon at Smoothie King in Dubuque!

Pictures from Y105's broadcast event at Smoothie King on May 7th, 2022!

Gallery Credit: Steve Pulaski

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