Ice cream sandwiches and those red-white-and-blue popsicles are summer staples — and so are the sticky fingers that come along with them.
But what a Cincinnati mother saw, or rather didn't see, from an ice cream sandwich abandoned over night after an 80-degree day surprised her.
"I noticed that my son had left his ice cream sandwich outside, and I was wondering 'why is there still ice cream in there?'" Christie Watson told WCPO-TV.
The Walmart Great Value-brand treat barely leaked any of its dairy center in the 12-hour timeframe.
"I thought that's quite weird," she said. "So I looked at the box, and it doesn't say artificial ice cream. It says ice cream."
Watson tried again, setting out another sandwich over night and got the same result: the ice cream had barely melted from in between its chocolate cookie constraints.
And that's when she wondered: "What am I feeding to my children?"
WCPO did its own experiments with different brands of ice cream as well. Here's what they found:
The Haagen-Dazs melted quickly into a puddle.
The Klondike sandwich melted to a fair extent.
The Walmart sandwich, though it melted a bit, remained the most solid in appearance, and still looked like a sandwich.
Now, TheBlaze would like to point out that the news station used different forms of ice cream. The Klondike bar is encased in a chocolate shell, not soft chocolate cookies like a sandwich, and the Haagen-Dazs was a pint of ice cream in a container. All of these are factors that could impact melt independent of ingredients. But, moving on.
Wondering just "What's in ice cream sandwiches these days?" the news station identified the ingredients in each of these brands:
Walmart's ingredient list includes corn syrup, guar gum, and cellulose gum.
Unilever's Klondike Bars's ingredient list is very similar to Walmart's, with similar gums added.
Haagen-Dazs contains just cream, milk, sugar, and eggs, and vanilla, but no corn syrup or gums of any type.
Watch WCPO's report:
In a statement, Walmart told WCPO that its ice cream "melts based on the ingredients including cream."
"Ice cream with more cream will generally melt at a slower rate, which is the case with our Great Value ice cream sandwiches," the statement continued.
The University of California, Santa Barbara's ScienceLine has tackled the issue of how fast ice cream melts as well, noting that various factors — shape, amount and ingredients — all contribute to melting rates.
"Every material or ingredient has a different melting temperature or amount of heat energy required for a change in phase," UCSB's ScienceLine said on its website. "Water freezes and melts at 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius), while milk melts at about 31 degrees Fahrenheit (-0.5 degrees Celsius). Other ingredients like sugar, cream, salt, Red #3, and so forth will change the overall melting temperature of the ice cream. The melting temperature is different between ingredients because different kinds of atoms and molecules require different amounts of energy to change the way they associate with one another and change from a solid to a liquid."