For more than 80 years, Dairy Queen has been serving up frozen treats, food and drinks. Throughout the decades, the soft-serve chain has established itself as a summertime staple for fans across the country.
But DQ has a history richer than a Chocolate Dipped Cone. Check out these little-known facts about the queen of ice cream.
10. Its soft serve technically isn’t ice cream
“Technically, our soft serve does not qualify to be called ice cream,” Dairy Queen admits on its website. That’s because the Food and Drug Administration requires a minimum butter fat content of 10 percent to be classified as ice cream. Dairy Queen’s soft serve, however, only has five percent butterfat. The FDA previously referred to DQ’s soft serve as “ice milk,” but it now fits into the “reduced-fat” ice cream category.
9. “The Q” shape on its cups and cones is trademarked
The signature curly-Q shape on the tip of the soft serve is trademarked. The iconic style is referred to as “The Q” by DQ employees.
8. The largest Dairy Queen location isn’t in the U.S.
Although there are Dairy Queens in every state but Vermont, the popular American chain’s largest store is actually located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
7. Upside down, or its free!
If your Blizzard treat isn’t served upside down, you’ll get your next one for free, at participating locations. This policy is part of DQ’s commitment to “offering the thickest, most delicious treat experience there is.”
6. The founders actually invented soft serve
DQ is truly a pioneer in the ice cream business. In 1938, founder John Fremont McCullough concocted the first-ever soft-serve, then opened the first Dairy Queen in Joliet, Ill., in 1940.
5. A record-breaking Blizzard
The worlds’ largest Blizzard weighed 8,260.85 pounds. It took home the Guinness World Record for “largest blended ‘soft-serve’ desert” in 2005. The frozen treat was whipped in a Springfield, Mass., mall. Guinness didn’t specify what flavor, but Oreo seems like a safe guess – considering it’s DQ’s best-selling Blizzard flavor.
4. The first DQ location is a city-designated landmark
There hasn’t been a Dairy Queen at 501 North Chicago Street in Joliet, Ill., since the 1950s. In its place now is an auto insurance company, but the building still stands as a Joliet landmark.
3. A healthier blizzard option bombed
In 1990, Dairy Queen introduced a healthier option to the Blizzard, called the Breeze. Instead of ice cream, Breezes were whipped up using frozen yogurt. But sales were so slow that the frozen yogurt spoiled before it could be used.
2. DQ dominates in Texas
Leave it to Texas to do it bigger and better than any other state. Texas has more Dairy Queen locations than any other state. There are more than 600 DQ stores in the Lone Star State.
1. Texas Dairy Queens are unlike any other
Not only is it home to more than 600 Dairy Queens, but Texas also has its own DQ food system, called Texas Country Foods. This signature Tex-Mex menu isn’t offered in any other state.