SEP 12 - Geezer's Blog - National Milkshake Day

The Bottom Line: Sweet facts about milkshakes!

The Full Story:

  • Milkshakes have been around for a long time. “How long?” you ask. The first milkshake is documented in print at 1885 in a newspaper.
  • In the early days, milkshakes did not just include the typical ingredients of milk, ice cream, and flavoring. Back then, a little whisky was added to milkshakes. No wonder they became so popular! Speaking of booze, if you overdo it on night, a milkshake could get you back on your feet. A banana milkshake mixed with a little honey is the perfect cure for a hangover.
  • Milkshakes became very popular when the electric blender was invented. In 1922, Stephen Poplawski had the brilliant idea to put a rotating blade at the bottom of a container. He invented the blender for the specific use of allowing milkshakes and malts to be made easily at home. Milkshakes became even more popular when the blender was improved by a different inventor, Fred Waring, in 1937. It was known as the “Miracle Mixer” and “Waring Blendor” and was initially sold for $29.75.
  • What is a milkshake without a straw? Joseph Friedman invented the flexible straw after watching his daughter struggle with her milkshake in his brother’s fountain shop. His invention was patented September 28, 1937.
  • Just because you may call them a “milkshake” does not mean everyone will understand what you are talking about. In parts of Canada and New England, such as Boston, Massachusetts, milkshakes are known as a “frappe” (the e is silent). If you think “frappe” is a strange name for a milkshake, then you probably should not try to order one in Rhode Island. Rhode Island calls their milkshakes “cabinets.” The milkshakes in Rhode Island are thought to be called “cabinets” because people use to keep their blenders in a small, wooden cabinet. Rhode Island’s “cabinets” are not like the typical milkshake either; they do not contain ice cream. A “cabinet” is just milk and flavoring mixed together.
  • Need another name for a milkshake besides cabinet and frappe? Milkshakes may also be called “shakes” or “malts” if they are made with malted milk.
  • Dairy Queen leaded the fast food milkshake revolution. Dairy Queen introduced milkshakes in 1949.
  • Fast food restaurants like to make up their own names for milkshakes. McDonald’s is famous for their McFlurries. McFlurries come in a variety of flavors, the most popular being Oreo, M&M, and Butterfinger. McFlurries were invented in October 1997.
  • McDonalds’ milkshakes contain seaweed. Before you start writing a complaint letter to McDonalds, know that it is a seaweed extract called carrageenan. Carrageenan can also be found in a lot of dairy products, soft drinks, and gelatin mixes of other brands as well.
  • Chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry are not even the start of milkshake flavors. There are many seasonal milkshakes such as the Pumpkin Pie Milkshake from Jack in the Box and the Shamrock Shake from McDonalds.
  • There are also weird flavored milkshakes. There is a recipe known for an avocado milkshake. Pizza, Wings, Steaks, & Things is a restaurant in Edison, New Jersey that sells a bubblegum grape milkshake.
  • If you are not fond of chocolate milkshakes, don’t despair. June 21 is National Vanilla Milkshake Day too.
  • If you prefer to celebrate milkshakes as frappes instead, then there is a day for you too! October 7 is recognized as National Frappe Day.


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