The Unexpected Material You Can Use To Keep Ice Cream Cool

With a tendency to devour "23 pounds of ice cream and related frozen desserts per year" (via the ​​International Dairy Foods Association), Americans have a long history of loving and eating chilled confections. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the first ice cream truck was invented in the U.S. by Harry Burt to better sell his Good Humor ice cream snacks. During the prohibition era when the consumption and distribution of alcohol was forbidden by law, America replaced drinking at the bar with enjoying a cup of ice cream to decompress after a long day at work (per Eater).

It's safe to say that, given ice cream's extensive past in the U.S., when the word summer comes to mind many people think of licking away at a rocky road-filled waffle cone in the park or a soft-serve swirl at the beach. But unfortunately, ice cream is as frustrating as it is delightful thanks to its tendency to melt in the very hot weather its meant to be enjoyed in. While devouring it is the easiest and best way to stop your freshly-scooped ice cream cone from melting and literally slipping through your fingers, there is a method you can use to save the prepackaged ice cream treats you bought at the store from becoming a puddle with an easily overlooked tool perfect for beating the heat.

Protect your ice cream with bubble wrap

The key to keeping your ice cream from melting in the hot sun comes down to one word: insulation. You may be familiar with insulation as something in the walls of your home. While Science Learning Hub explains that insulation can stop heat from escaping to keep a house or object warm, Wired notes that insulation can also ensure that heat does not get into a cold object, like how coolers use insulation to keep drinks and foods inside cold. And according to Real Simple, bubble wrap is a great insulator to keep the box of ice cream sandwiches you set out for your park picnic cool.

Bubble wrap acts as an insulator thanks to its "pockets filled with air" (per Dengarden) and putting it around your ice cream will keep your sweet summer treat from unthawing. Kitchn suggests applying the bubble wrap to your ice cream carton by rolling a layer of it around your dessert, and also recommends storing the bubble-wrapped ice cream (a gallon of chocolate, maybe?) in your favorite summer-themed cooler if it will be traveling a long distance to your next scorching hot summer party.