We Finally Know The Flavors In A Popular Version Of Superman Ice Cream

If you grew up in the Midwestern United States, you may be familiar with a curiously colorful frozen treat known as Superman ice cream. Meant to mimic the colors of the DC superhero's muscle-showcasing costume, this dessert displays vibrant hues of red, blue, and yellow. Even lifelong fans of this ice cream might have a big question, though: What is this bright delight supposed to taste like?

The original Superman ice cream was made by Stroh's Ice Cream (a subset of Stroh's Brewery) in Detroit in the 1920s, and consisted of lemon, Red Pop, and Blue Moon flavors. Has this answer created even more questions for you? No worries; we'll explain those latter two flavors momentarily. In any case, this ice cream has long appealed to kids (and kids at heart) because of its eye-catching colors, with the actual taste taking more of a supporting role. In fact, as long as the colors of red, blue, and yellow are represented, any flavor of ice cream can be called "Superman." Some parlors offer a Superman flavor that is just basic vanilla ice cream dyed in different hues. 

Although it's a Midwest specialty, and those who grew up in the region may cry foul, this tricolored treat can be found across the country under a variety of names and flavors. If you're interested in trying the original, most authentic Superman ice cream, read on to find out what to expect from that first spoonful.

What are Red Pop and Blue Moon ice creams?

When guessing the flavor of a yellow ice cream, lemon is an easy answer. Conversely, it would take superhuman insight to deduce that Red Pop and Blue Moon are the other two hues in classic Superman ice cream, never mind what they taste like. Red Pop is actually the name of an old-fashioned strawberry soda native to Detroit, and the ice cream version was designed to taste like the drink. Blue Moon is a little more mysterious, like the curious strength-sapping power of kryptonite.

Blue Moon ice cream happens to be another specialty of the American Midwest, and is popularly enjoyed on its own, separate from Superman ice cream. Its exact flavor is one of those never-ending food debates that might never reach a final conclusion. Fans have likened the taste to many other sweets, from marshmallows to cotton candy to Fruit Loops (another colorful treat with much speculation on its flavor). Stroh's vaguely describes its version of Blue Moon as "citrus flavored ice cream."

Milwaukee-based Petran Products is credited with inventing the enigmatic Blue Moon, and has done an exceptional job at keeping the recipe a secret. Still, all of this mystery is part of what makes the Superman flavor so endearing, much like Clark Kent himself. He's hard to pin down, prone to secrecy, and a bit out of this world, but as Superman, he's a beloved symbol of Americana for kids across the nation.

The many names and colors of Superman ice cream

Don't be surprised if you come across a red, yellow, and blue ice cream that isn't marked with the "Superman" moniker. Because DC Comics owns the copyright for the hero's name, many companies label the flavor with terms such as Super Rainbow, Super Scoop, and Scooperman.

The flavor combination of Red Pop, lemon, and Blue Moon is also prone to change, depending on who produces the ice cream. Blue Moon is sometimes replaced with blue raspberry or a simple blue-colored vanilla, while the red part may be flavored with cherry, black cherry, or fruit punch. The yellow lemon flavor is mostly likely to stay on board, but several brands use either vanilla or banana flavoring for the color, instead.

With all of this being said, the target audience for Superman ice cream likely doesn't care much for semantics. This flavor puts a grin on kids' faces (not to mention some blue on their tongues) primarily due to its exciting appearance; all that matters about the taste is that it's sweet and cold. And if it makes them feel like little superheroes for a minute, all the better.