The scoop on ice cream

·2 min read

When it comes to ice cream, Manish Vora knows the scoop. "There's nothing that makes more people happy than ice cream on a day-to-day basis," he said.

But what makes Vora happy is the ice cream scooper. "They really are things of art," he told correspondent Susan Spencer. "There's brilliance in the simplicity of this. It's something that is so utilitarian but so timeless, still is a beautiful object."

At the Museum of Ice Cream in New York City, which Vora co-founded, proud scoopers stand eight feet tall in a sort of Willy Wonka-style mini-theme park, complete with a pool of giant sprinkles.

But back to the scooper: The design we know and love today, with its built-in scraper, is from 1897.  African American businessman and inventor Alfred Cralle dreamed it up, and got a patent for it.

Alfred Cralle got a patent in 1897 for the first ice cream scooper, a design principle that has been carried forward to today's devices.  / Credit: CBS News
Alfred Cralle got a patent in 1897 for the first ice cream scooper, a design principle that has been carried forward to today's devices. / Credit: CBS News

"Alfred Cralle is our Thomas Edison at the Museum of Ice Cream," said Vora. And why not? To his genius, we owe the perfect scoop of ice cream.

Spencer asked, "Why does it matter if ice cream is in a perfect little ball?"

"I truly believe that it tastes better," Vora said. "I actually do!"

"You could use a crowbar, it would taste the same," Spencer laughed.

"Well, there are studies around savoring, whether you really appreciate it. And so, aesthetics do matter. The way it looks ties into the way your brain reacts to ice cream," Vora said.

Ice cream better licked than spooned says food expert (phys.org)Why a cone is better than a cup (thekitchn.com)

Remember that the next time you head to your freezer for a snack!

 / Credit: CBS News
/ Credit: CBS News

   For more info:

Museum of Ice Cream, New York City

   Story produced by Amiel Weisfogel. Editor: Carol Ross.

   More from Susan Spencer on design:

The one tool your kitchen can't do withoutThe beauty that is the paper clip

   See also:

Today's Special: Rolled Ice Cream ("Sunday Morning")

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