Facts of ice

Little boy enjoying a popsicle

The Postal Service will release Frozen Treats, its first scratch-and-sniff stamps, next week. To prepare for their arrival, here are five facts about summertime desserts.

1. The Founding Fathers were fans of ice cream. The sweet treat likely first arrived in America with the European colonists. Records show George Washington bought a mechanical ice cream maker for his Mount Vernon estate, and Thomas Jefferson is said to have served ice cream at the White House several times.

2. The Popsicle was invented by an 11-year-old. In 1905, Frank Epperson combined sugary soda powder with water in a cup and accidentally left the wooden stirrer and mixture out overnight. The next morning, he discovered the concoction was a frozen treat. He began selling what he originally called “Epsicles” in the early 1920s and was granted a patent for his creation in 1924.

3. Not all “popsicles” are Popsicles. While “Popsicle” is often used synonymously with any frozen treat on a wooden stick, the term technically refers to a patented brand of ice pop. Today, ice pops come in a variety of flavors and types, including traditional water-based frozen treats and fruit purees.

4. Frozen yogurt is a relatively new invention. “Froyo” is similar to ice cream but made with yogurt, giving it a tangy flavor. It became a popular treat topped with fruit, syrups or candy bites in the 1980s.

5. Ice pops and ice cream bars are popular around the world. Mexican paletas are made with fresh fruit as water and juice-based treats called “paletas de agua,” or milk- and cream-based treats called “paletas de leche,” while Indian “kulfi” is similar to ice cream and traditionally flavored with cardamom, saffron or pistachio.

Got ideas for future editions of “The list”? Email them to uspslink@usps.gov.