TNB Night Owl – Margaret Thatcher Cracks the Whippy

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of England is bid farewell on her departure after a visit to the United States.

Prime Minister Thatcher is a hero to many people, and a demon to some others, because of her political stances and her devotion to reason.  Here’s a classic interview from The Guardian if you want a reminder of what she was like.

But that’s for the normal News Blender time.  And this is Night Owl, where we look at the important things in life, such as…

Did you know Margaret Thatcher created soft-serve ice cream? (Daily Mail)

She didn’t, really.  Well, maybe she didn’t.  She might have.  At least she might have created the U.K. version, Mr. Whippy.

Thatcher started her career not as a politician, but as a scientist.  A chemist, to be precise.  One of her earliest jobs was with J. Lyons & Company, a British food company, and her group was tasked with aerating ice cream in an attempt to mimic U.S. soft-serve.  The resultant Mr. Softee was popular enough to spawn a rival, Mr. Whippy, which would go own to supercede Softee in popularity.

The New Yorker published a piece attempting to tear apart the “myth” that Thatcher created the aeration technique that led to U.K. soft-serve.  A careful reading of it, though, demonstrates that they are as erroneous in declaring certainty as those who absolutely give her credit.  They point out that the creations of J. Lyons of that day were denser than modern U.K. soft-serve, that J. Lyons was merely trying to copy an existing product from another country.

Still… she was the person who created the first aerated U.K. ice cream.  Even if she’s not Tom Carvel or J.F. McCullough (the two Americans who food historians normally credit with the creation of soft-serve, as they both laid claim to the creation independent of each other and in different states, around the same time in 1938) she was still instrumental in its development in the U.K.

Politics aside, that’s fairly (I’m sorry for this) cool.

Question for the OPEN THREAD tonight… what are your favorite flavors of ice cream?

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About AlienMotives 1853 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.