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Ice cream craving in winter and you?

For years, I have craving for ice cream during winters and not during summers. For a long time, I don't understand why. I have even told myself that I should get ice cream because it is summer but I would stare the ice cream and walk away. I just don't have the same strong craving in summers. Then it occurred to me that my craving is due to energy consumption. My craving for food in general significantly goes up during winter, so the ice cream craving is probably calorie based. My body just wants more foods.

So I am curious if this is just me or if others have similar experience. Please let us know if you crave for ice cream more during summer or winter, or your craving is completely independent of season. Thanks.

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  1. Although I used to think it was weird that I craved ice cream in the winter (I crave it in the summer as well) being that ice cream is cold, so's the cold weather and all that, I think your point about energy consumption and that appetite tends to increase in the colder weather, with higher calorie intake, is really what's going on. If you happen to like ice cream, then you're certainly going to gravitate to it as a source of calories.
    Of course, I eat ice cream during the other seasons because it's just so damn good.;-))

    1 Reply
    1. re: bushwickgirl

      Hi Bushwick,

      Thanks. :) I eat ice cream all seasons, but my craving is much stronger during winter. Now come to think of it, this craving pattern only started after I moved out of California to states with cold winter, so maybe it is temperature related. When I say craving I don't mean I crave for it in any situation, it is more like when I walked pass the ice cream section in a supermarket, part of my head would say "get some ice cream" and my logic part of the brain would say "What is wrong with you, it is winter and it is freezer outside, don't get!" Seriously, I really had experience this two voices debating inside my head while I am looking at the ice cream. It is like that "angle vs devil" thing from cartoon. In my case, I don't think it is good vs evil. It is more lik gut instinct vs logic reasoning:


    2. supposedly, the state of Alaska has the highest ice cream consumption.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rudysmom

        Really. Hmmm. Interesting about the Alaska thing. Thanks. Rudy.

      2. Holy copacabana yes. There is this one ice cream that's sold in South Dakota in a local ice cream shop that is sunflower seeds in vanilla(?) and oh mylanta. SO GOOD. Even though I want it all year long, I have a severe yen for it (and all ice cream) in the winter. Only my winter is a bit...uhm...longer and colder. A bit intense in upper Minnesota. Making my willpower a bit shakier near the end months. ANYWHO, I totally follow.

        4 Replies
        1. re: quick.to.chuckle

          Thanks Quick,

          Cool. Sounds like you and I are similar.

          I had one ice ream (when I were in California) and I don't even remember its name, something San Francisco... It is a local ice cream and I bought it once out of curiosity and it tastes so much better than other ice cream. It is much creamer and smoother. Then, I looked at the nutrient facts table on the ice cream box. :) Guess what. It literally has like 50% more fat than the other brands. Ha ha ha. I stopped eating it. During my last month in California, I decided to try it one last time, but then I could find it again, so I only tried it one time :)

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Perhaps it's the fact that in the winter, our brains are potentially hardwired to "pack on the fat" for survival reasons. Think about how stew, pot roast, braised short ribs just seem *so* much better in the winter! So your craving is just an answer to that long-ago message.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Local San Francisco ice cream? Perhaps it was Mitchell's Ice Cream? It's made locally, and various places around town serve it.

              There's a small ice cream shop in Berkeley that sells their own ice cream for $1 per scoop. There's no seating so you have to eat out on the sidewalk. I suddenly crave ice cream whenever I walk by, regardless of the season. I've stood there enjoying a scoop in the blazing heat and in the winter rain.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Hahaha Isn't that just how it goes? Everything that ends up being your favorite is just ridiculously worse for you than most other things. Good luck in finding it again. I hate when things like that suddenly disappear off the planet never to be found again. Happened to me a lot with my favorite cereals. Haha. Poor French Toast Crunch. :o( Ah well, good luck in your search, Chem.

                Everytime I see sunflower seeds I think of that ice cream. I am in South Dakota every summer, just outside the town that has the ice cream shop. I was there last summer, but I don't know if the shop is still there as the local community wasn't really supporting it. Mostly just random out of towners frequent it, but not really enough to keep it going strong. A shame since it is absolutely DELICIOUS. And homemade. YUM. Man I hope it is still open...I could go for some soon. *sigh*

            2. Winter??

              I crave ice cream during winter, spring, summer and fall ...

              1 Reply
              1. Back in the early 80's when I lived in Boston and Steve's had just opened, the line in winter (sub zero wind chill factor), the line would be out the door and we'd wait upwards of half an hour in the freezing cold for ice cream. And, there would be no where to sit inside so we'd eat it outside in the cold, as did most people, except the lucky few who got tables. Good memories.

                4 Replies
                1. re: chowser

                  :) Is the line longer in the summer or winter :P Half an hour is pretty long.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Hmmm, I was a student so not there during the summer. Half an hour in freezing cold weather felt like forever and we were shivering as we ate the ice cream, and walked the 2+ miles back to campus!

                  2. re: chowser

                    When I was growing up in Massachusetts in pre-Steve's days, there were many ice cream "parlors" in Boston and the surrounding communities. They were packed with people, including me, in wintertime. My favorite winter treats were big bowls of chocolate chip ice cream, butterscotch sundaes with vanilla ice cream and chocolate frappes. (A frappe in Boston is what everyone else calls a milk shake. If you ask for a milk shake in Boston, you'll get milk and syrup shaken together, but with no ice cream.)

                    When my parents moved to south Florida, the land of eternal summer, surprise, there were no decent ice cream shops. There was one Baskin-Robbins about 8 miles from their house, and it was never crowded. Go figure.

                    I think that we New Englanders loved our ice cream in the dead of winter, because it kept us connected to the summer that was still far away. Come to think of it, we loved our ice cream in summer, too!

                    1. re: cheesemaestro

                      I seem to remember reading statistics from the early days of Ben and Jerry's that showed production levels going way up every January -- I personally have always felt that dairy fat provides a sort of extra insulation against the cold.

                  3. I like ice cream at any time of year. But then, I also eat soup in the summer and salads in the winter.

                    I did once read that a craving for ice cream can be attributed to a low grade thirst (not thirsty enough to really realize it). Ever since then, whenever I crave ice cream, I first have a big glass of water. And the craving usually goes away.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Sooeygun

                      why would you want it to go away? ;)

                    2. I could eat ice cream 3 meals a day, everyday. Especially a good creamy vanilla. I told DH that out of all the Man Vs Food challenges, the only one I would even consider attempting is the milkshake challenge.

                      Needless to say I try not to keep more than a pint in the house--if any at all.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: iluvcookies


                        Don't be so sure. I thought I can eat ice cream for 3 meals a day, until I actually tried it. Then I have this "I want to throw up" feeling. By the way, I mean just ice cream and no bread, no potates, no pasta, no rice. Just ice cream and water. I tried that about 7-8 years ago for like 2-3 days, and got really uncomfortable.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          I wasn't being *completely* serious... I do love ice cream but no way could I actually subsist on it. Maybe a scoop after every meal....What made you try to do this?

                          I still might consider the milkshake challenge, if the opportunity came up.

                          1. re: iluvcookies

                            I do a lot of weird things when I were in grad school. Including fasting for three days every year .... my gosh, my fingernails turns blue on day 3 and I couldn't concern in school. My postdoc boss is Jewisha and every year he would go on fasting for Yom Kippur for like half day and always makes a bit deal about it. One day, I will tell him that he is weak because I can do a three days diet and he cannot even last 1 day. I just have to find the right moment.

                            The ice cream thing. Oh yes, I think I read ice cream has a lot of calories, so I said to myself, hey maybe I can just consume on ice cream and see how that goes. Although ice cream has a lot of calories, it does not give that "fullness" feeling compared to starch based foods like bread, pasta and rice, so I felt hungry all the time and I would eat more and more, but as I do that I got this "I don't feel so good" feeling as I ate more.

                            You have to try it.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              I'm with Chemical on this one.

                              I adore ice cream. But my marginal utility curve for ice cream diminishes rather steeply after about 2 scoops.

                              However, I could eat it 3 times a day (or multiple times a day), but I would need to space it out -- say, at least 2 hours per sitting.

                              I think its something about the combo of brain freeze, the cold numbness that sort of takes over your mouth, and the complete lack of chewing (don't like nuts in my ice cream) that makes eating a ton of ice cream at one sitting rather off-putting.

                              But give me some time off between each sitting, then I'm good to go ...!

                              Just my 0.02.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                I've read that after the first 3-4 bites of ice cream, you can't taste it nearly as well as the first bite and you can switch to lesser ice cream and not tell the difference at that point. I agree w/ chemicalkinetics that you don't get as full on that as you would on bread or steak or other foods--we always joked that ice cream melts and finds all the empty spots in your stomach, no matter how full you are. As this overall thread goes, I do find ice cream a little too rich and creamy for a hot humid summer when sorbets hit the spot better.

                                1. re: chowser

                                  Hot humid summer?

                                  Hawaiian Shave Ice, baby! (Of course, without the ice cream ... :-))

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    Ooh, yeah. any shaved ice is good! Sweet peanuts and red beat. Too bad I can't get it near me now. Bing soo is good, too, with sweet mochi. Who am I kidding--I want that all year round!

                      2. I definitely crave ice cream more in winter. When it's really hot outside, cold dairy products tend to make me nauseous. I do like the shaved ice in summer!

                        1. Just an update. The weather has warmed up for the past week and now I lost my craving for ice cream. It is so weird. I have two packs of ice cream and I don't feel like eating them. I craved for one bowl of ice cream during winter. Now, I don't have that urge. What should I do with my two packs of ice cream now? :)

                          13 Replies
                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            Send it to ME!! My ice cream craving does not go away. I've had it twice this week.

                            1. re: bushwickgirl

                              Hehehe. I think I can manage finishing my ice cream. I just thought it is strange that my ice cream craving changes with weather.

                              P.S.: Two times a week is not that much. During late part of last winter, I were having ice cream about 5-7 times a week.

                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                Me too! I ate alot of ice cream in two days this week (head hanging in shame..) and I have three whole containers of Edy's in the freezer as I type...I've eaten more ice cream this winter than I do for the rest of the year...

                                1. re: Cherylptw

                                  Yes, but is it not true that this winter is one of the coldest for North Carolina?

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    Yes, it was the coldest winter since I moved here in '92. We hardly ever get even a dusting of snow which is normally gone the same or at least the next day. This year, two snow falls that lasted at least a week on the ground.

                                    1. re: Cherylptw

                                      Ok, then it makes sense (according to my theory) that you have a stronger urge for ice cream last winter.

                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                Make milkshakes? Or.....................

                                .........send it to bushwickgirl. ;-)

                                1. re: LindaWhit


                                  By the way, I do love milkshake, but I have never made my own.

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    You can't get much more simple than ice cream, milk and vanilla extract (and whatever fruit or chocolate syrup you want to add).

                                    1. re: LindaWhit


                                      I actually don't have a blender. :)

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        No milkshakes for you then, Chemkin. (I don't have one either...wonder if they could be made in a food processor? LOL)

                                        Guess you have to give the ice cream to bushwickgirl. :-)

                                        1. re: LindaWhit


                                          You don't need a blender for a milk shake, just a strong wrist and some long, patient stirring. I'm sure a FP would work as well.

                                          1. re: bushwickgirl

                                            Just use the handmixer! If yours will allow you to use one of the beater bars at a time, you can make a milkshake in a large cup.