If you don't have at least one childhood memory of visiting Dairy Queen for a soft-serve cone or hot fudge sundae, then you must have been living under a rock. It's a totally beloved sweets shop-and for good reason. Treats like the classic Dilly bar and banana split, plus fully-loaded Blizzards, are more than enough to keep even the biggest dessert haters coming back for more. But there is a lot of history behind the doors of DQ that you definitely need to know before your next ice-cream run.
1. It all started back in 1938 with a killer recipe.
The original formula for DQ's soft-serve ice cream was created in 1938-though the first location of Dairy Queen didn't open until 1940 in Joliette, IL. The shop is still there and is now a city-designated landmark.
2. There's a story behind the Dairy Queen name.
The very first store was dubbed "Dairy Queen" because the man behind its soft-serve, Jack McCullough, said his creation was "a queen among dairy products."
3. The Blizzard wasn't invented until 1985.
It was so wildly popular that DQ sold 175 million blizzards in that first year alone. We can't say we're surprised by this-after all, we did rank the best blizzard flavors.
4. DQ has a special blizzard made for royalty.
Dairy Queen's new Royal Blizzard is loaded with sauces in its center, so it's similar to Ben and Jerry's core series pints-except they're blended with all your favorite mix-ins like Oreo crumbles and cheesecake bites.
5. Dairy Queen often gives away free ice cream.
Keep in touch with the brand here at Delish and also on its social media accounts to jump on deals like Free Cone Day and stuff your face with soft-serve at no charge.
A post shared by Dairy Queen (@dairyqueen) on Mar 11, 2015 at 1:56pm PDT
6. Its soft-serve is trademarked.
Well, sort of. That curly-Q atop your cone or cup is a signature DQ move and it's part of the company's trademark look. Plus, DQ's former chief branding officer Michael Keller, won't let anyone get their hands on the recipe. "[The formula] is kept in a safe deposit box and there are only a few keys to it," he told ABC.
7. The iconic Dilly Bar was invented in 1955.
The chocolate-covered treat also features that signature curl at its center, which was first introduced to the franchise by Robert Litherland, the co-owner of a store in Moorhead, MN. You can also order it with a cherry or caramel coat.
8. The most popular Blizzard flavor is Oreo.
But you probably already guessed that, huh? Because ice cream, cheesecake, and virtually every dessert on the planet is made better with Oreos. Cookies and cream forever.
9. Dairy Queen has locations in over 30 countries.
If you plan on traveling, look for one of more than 6,000 DQ shops across the U.S. and in Mexico, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Canada.
10. When you order a cup or cone, you aren't really getting ice cream.
According to the company, DQ brand soft-serve does not qualify to be called 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."
11. The largest Blizzard ever was 22 feet tall.
In 2005, someone in Springfield, MA decided to break the record for World's Largest Blizzard. It weighed 8,224.85 pounds and stood 22 feet high.
12. No Doubt was formed at a Dairy Queen in 1986.
Lead singer Gwen Stefani and her brother, Eric, both worked at a DQ at the time. It was there they discussed forming a band with other founding member, John Spence.
13. Every Blizzard is turned upside down before it's served.
The company likes to say this is because it "celebrates thinking differently" and that "an upside-down philosophy runs deep in the DQ system." But it's kind of a marketing gimmick: If your Blizzard fails to perform the trick, stores are supposed to give you the treat on the house. What's more, if your Blizzard isn't flipped in front of you, you can get a free one on your next visit.
14. Its Ice Cream Cakes Are Made Using The Soft Serve Machine.
The most surprising part of seeing a Dairy Queen ice cream cake being made is watching employees take a cake pan right up to the soft serve machine and pour directly from it, forming the base and walls of the cake. Check out the video at the top of the story to see what happens after that.
15. DQ Holds The Guinness World Record For Largest Ice Cream Cake.
It was 14 feet long and weighed more than 10 tons. See it for yourself.
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