The Mysterious Origins Of Michigan's Superman Ice Cream Flavor

Few ice cream flavors enjoy regional fame quite like Superman. According to Frozen Dessert Supplies, this tri-colored and tri-flavored ice cream is the favorite ice cream of Michigan. The colors red, yellow, and blue roughly correspond to the flavors raspberry, lemon, and Blue Moon, the last of which is the favorite flavor of fellow Midwest states Illinois, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Besides the Blue Moon, however, there does seem to be some wiggle room for flavors. Atlas Obscura states that the red flavor is Red Pop, derived from a local brand of strawberry-flavored soda. The Dairy Dish, which lists various flavor combinations of Superman ice cream, includes vanilla and banana as various options for the yellow ice cream and black cherry for the red. But the most consistent flavor across the board is the Midwestern favorite Blue Moon.

Describing Blue Moon to anyone who hasn't had it proves too difficult for its fans. WhooNew writes a long list of possible flavors for the secret recipe, including amaretto, Froot Loops, ginger, and pineapple. One common weird theory is that the ice cream is flavored with castoreum, which comes from the castor sac located in the pelvis area of a beaver. That, though, is not the only mystery associated with Superman ice cream.

Superman supposedly originated during Prohibition

There is some doubt as to the origins of Superman ice cream. However, popular tradition links the production of the ice cream to Prohibition. While people could no longer enjoy beer, breweries had to make something else. As Atlas Obscura relates, Stroh's Brewery in Detroit is credited with compiling the Frankenstein ice cream flavor. Incidentally, there is no immediate connection between the Superman ice cream and the superhero, as Insanely Good Recipes notes that the ice cream predated the comics by about a decade. However, the colors of the two are so similar that the name might have been applied to the ice cream in retrospect.

Admittedly, that mystery does not have the same gross appeal as the possibility that the ice cream is flavored with secretions from beaver glands. However, the knee-jerk declaration of a Michigan brewery as the flavor's inventor makes a bit more sense. In any case, as The Detroit Free Press writes, the state adores the flavor with superhuman ardor. Locals may agree with MLive and bristle at the idea that Wisconsin invented Blue Moon ice cream, but at the very least, they can accurately claim that they've incorporated the flavor into something distinctly Michigander.