Eat an Eskimo Pie Day is celebrated annually on March 28. It commemorates the discovery of America’s first chocolate-covered ice cream bar, also known as Eskimo’s Pie, a frozen treat made of a vanilla ice cream bar and chocolate coating served on a stick.
History of Eat an Eskimo Pie Day
In the summer of 1920, high school teacher and candy shop owner Christian Kent Nelson witnessed a boy torn between buying ice cream or a chocolate bar. The boy eventually bought the chocolate. Nelson asked him why he didn’t buy both, and the boy responded that he only had one nickel, so he couldn’t buy his favorite treat. At this moment, Nelson came up with the idea of combining both treats to satisfy more children.
A month later, he successfully produced the official chocolate-coated ice cream bar, which he called an ‘I-Scream Bar.’
Nelson first made 500 bars without the sticks and sold them at a fireman’s picnic. After successfully selling his first few batches, Nelson began searching for a manufacturer to take his business to the next level. He partnered with chocolate maker Russel C. Stover and renamed the ice cream bars Eskimo Pies. Over time, Nelson and Stover sold the rights to local ice cream shops in their area.
By the spring of 1922, roughly 2,700 different shops sold the Eskimo Pie, selling over a million per day. In 1934, the popularity of ice cream bars was at its peak. It was then that sticks were introduced to make the pies easier to eat, shaping them into the modern version we know and love today. Nelson retired in 1961 and passed away on March 8, 1992, leaving behind a legacy that has forever changed the global ice cream industry.
Eat an Eskimo Pie Day timeline
Christian Kent Nelson comes up with the idea of combining vanilla ice cream and chocolate into one after witnessing a boy who couldn’t afford both.
Kent and his business partner Russel C. Stover team up and sell the rights of their Eskimo Pies to local ice cream shops.
The stick is introduced to Eskimo Pies to make them easier to eat.
After changing the global ice cream industry, Nelson steps back and retires.
Eat an Eskimo Pie Day FAQs
Why did Eskimo Pies change its name?
The name garnered controversy for cultural appropriation through the years, which is why they changed it to Edy’s Pie.
What are Eskimo Pies called in New Zealand?
Eskimo Pies are called Eskimo Lollies in New Zealand.
What is the most popular ice cream bar flavor?
The most popular ice cream bar flavor in the U.S. is chocolate.
Eat an Eskimo Pie Day Activities
Support your local ice cream shops
Pay a visit to your favorite ice cream shops and buy one or two ice cream bars on Eat an Eskimo Pie Day. You could also take your friends, family, or children with you.
Try artisanal ice cream bars
Check out modern artisanal ice cream bars on Eat an Eskimo Pie Day. You could get creative by adding dried fruits, nuts, candies, or chocolate shavings to your ice cream.
Go on a picnic
Pack a basket of Eskimo Pies and enjoy a picnic with your friends and family. There’s nothing better than enjoying a frozen treat while sitting under the warm sun.
5 Interesting Facts About Eskimo Pies
They’re now called Edy’s Pies
In 2020, Dreyer’s division of Nestle announced that they’re changing the name from Eskimo Pie to Edy’s Pie.
Kent’s broad patent caused him legal troubles
The Eskimo Pie Company used to spend $4,000 in legal fees per day defending the rights to the broad coverage of ice cream bars and for trademarking the word ‘pie.’
The price of cocoa beans increased
In 1922, the popularity of Eskimo Pies caused the price of cocoa beans to increase.
Klondike pioneers the different Eskimo Pie flavors
While Christain Nelson Kent invented the chocolate bar, it was Klondike that introduced a variety of flavors like maple and cherry.
The French Eskimo Pies
In France, Eskimo Pies are called ‘Esquimaux Bricks.’
Why We Love Eat an Eskimo Pie Day
It’s two desserts in one
The Eskimo Pie still lives true to its purpose: offering two desserts in one. Who doesn’t love chocolate and ice cream in one bite?
It brings back memories
Ice cream reminds us of plenty of childhood memories. A bite of the Eskimo Pie is like being a kid all over again.
It helps support local ice cream shops
It’s always good to patronize local businesses in your area. Help them boost their sales by buying a bar of Eskimo Pie on this holiday.
Eat an Eskimo Pie Day dates