CLOSE
Original image
Joel Kramer via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Why Can’t You Buy Dippin’ Dots in Grocery Stores?

Original image
Joel Kramer via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Since Dippin’ Dots hit the scene in 1988, the unusual ice cream has become a staple in theme parks, malls, and movie theaters. One place you won’t find the futuristic treat (besides space) is at your local grocery store. This isn’t because it lacks a consumer base—most supermarkets just aren’t equipped to store it at such extreme temperatures, Thrillist reports.

The iconic beads of freeze-dried ice cream in every cup of Dippin’ Dots are cryogenically frozen at -320°F. Once the dots are formed, they need to be kept at -40°F in order to maintain their individual shapes. Most standard freezers don’t reach lower than 0°F. At that temperature, the ice cream spheres start to clump together, losing their novelty factor.

Even if a supermarket did have a super-cold freezer that measured up to Dippin’ Dots's standards, most of their customers probably would not. That’s why Dippin’ Dots are designed to be eaten as soon as they’re purchased—unless, of course, you’re willing to shell out the money for dry ice when you order in bulk.

[h/t Thrillist]

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

Original image
Courtesy Maxie B's
arrow
Food
25 Cupcake Bakeries You've Got to Try
Original image
Courtesy Maxie B's

While it's difficult to improve upon perfection, bakers are constantly putting new twists on cupcakes. These bakeries showcase the latest trends and the classic style we all know and love.

Original image
Something Something Soup Something
arrow
language
This Game About Soup Highlights How Tricky Language Is
Original image
Something Something Soup Something

Soup, defined by Merriam-Webster as "a liquid food especially with a meat, fish, or vegetable stock as a base and often containing pieces of solid food," is the ultimate simple comfort food. But if you look closer at the definition, you'll notice it's surprisingly vague. Is ramen soup? What about gumbo? Is a soy vanilla latte actually a type of three-bean soup? The subjectivity of language makes this simple food category a lot more complicated than it seems.

That’s the inspiration behind Something Something Soup Something, a new video game that has players label dishes as either soup or not soup. According to Waypoint, Italian philosopher, architect, and game designer Stefano Gualeni created the game after traveling the world asking people what constitutes soup. After interviewing candidates of 23 different nationalities, he concluded that the definition of soup "depends on the region, historical period, and the person with whom you're speaking."

Gualeni took this real-life confusion and applied it to a sci-fi setting. In Something Something Soup Something, you play as a low-wage extra-terrestrial worker in the year 2078 preparing meals for human clientele. Your job is to determine which dishes pass as "soup" and can be served to the hungry guests while avoiding any items that may end up poisoning them. Options might include "rocks with celery and batteries in a cup served with chopsticks" or a "foamy liquid with a candy cane and a cooked egg served in a bowl with a fork."

The five-minute game is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but Gualeni also hopes to get people thinking about real philosophical questions. According to its description page, the game is meant to reveal "that even a familiar, ordinary concept like 'soup' is vague, shifting, and impossible to define exhaustively."

You can try out Something Something Soup Something for free on your browser.

[h/t Waypoint]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios