Carvel Created Pints of Fudgie the Whale and Cookie Puss Ice Cream for Valentine's Day

Mental Floss
Mental Floss

Lovers of Carvel ice cream cakes might have often wondered why the company doesn’t bottle the delicious desserts up in a pint of ice cream. Well, now they have: Both Fudgie the Whale and Cookie Puss are available in pint form for a limited time—and only via delivery.

It’s a new twist on the cakes, which have been around since the 1970s. Cookie Puss is, in Carvel’s words, “a space alien born on Planet Birthday who’s the perfect companion to any celebration," while Fudgie was created to "celebrate none other than Dad. But now, he’s a staple at any and all gatherings!”

An image of Cookie Puss and Fudgie the Whale Cakes with their ice cream pints.
Courtesy of Carvel

Each pint features a layer of chocolate and a layer of vanilla ice cream, separated by chocolate crunchies and combined with frosting and fudge. The Cookie Puss pint is topped with crumbled cookies, and Fudgie gets Carvel’s chocolate crunchies.

Pricing and availability depend on where you’re located, but you can only get the pints via delivery using services like DoorDash and UberEats. A press release for the pints has dubbed the promotion “a new take on Netflix + chill … get it?”

An image of pints of Cookie Puss and Fudgie the Whale ice cream.
Courtesy of Carvel

Carvel was nice enough to send Mental Floss pints to taste, and trust us—they’re delicious. You don’t want to miss out, so visit Carvel’s website to find out how you can get yours.

(Also, remember when Carvel made us a Gritty cake?! We're still not over that.)

Here’s the Keyboard Waffle Iron You’ve Been Waiting For

A keyboard waffle iron may not sound like an essential kitchen appliance, but once you see it, you’ll wonder how you’ve lived without one for so long. Not only is this item deliciously geeky, it’s practical, too. Breakfast fanatics know that the best part of a waffle is the syrup-cradling nooks and crannies, and this iron produces a whole standard QWERTY keyboard’s worth.

The vision for the gadget originated in 2007 when Chris Dimino designed the concept as part of a group exhibit for the School of Visual Arts. It was just a fantasy at the time, but after his idea went viral, he decided to bring it to Kickstarter in 2014.

The campaign set its goal at $50,000 and ended up raising a total of $66,685. Eight years after its conception, the keyboard waffle iron finally started shipping out to nerdy breakfast enthusiasts everywhere for $85. By now, you can get it on Amazon, too, and the price has dropped to $70.

The old-school waffle iron works with all kinds of recipes, from blueberry to pumpkin-spiced bacon. And with an abundance of key-shaped dimples to fill, the saucy, syrupy possibilities are endless.

Buy it on Amazon for $70, on the Keyboard Waffle Iron website, or at these other retailers:

A version of this article first ran in 2015.

Americans Waste Tons of Perfectly Good Food Because They Don't Understand Expiration Dates

iStock.com/FangXiaNuo
iStock.com/FangXiaNuo

Everyone approaches safe food handling a little differently. Some people rely on the smell test; others are fastidious about washing their hands.

But according to a new survey, consumers waste food—a lot of food—because they don't understand the meaning of the expiration dates on the food labels.

The online survey, led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and published in the journal Waste Management, polled 1029 respondents about their knowledge of food labels that use terms like “best if used by,” “sell by,” or “use by.” Roughly 84 percent said they opted to discard food on or near the so-called expiration dates at least occasionally, while 37 percent said they did it on a regular basis. Just over a third of those polled believed such food labels—often found on packaged dry food as well as bread and canned goods—were federally regulated, which they aren’t.

The survey indicates some confusion over food labeling. Typically, “best by” and “sell by” labels are meant to indicate when a food might begin to experience diminished freshness or quality, not an expiration date by which it could spoil or become a potential source of food-borne illness. By discarding these foods prematurely, researchers say, consumers are contributing to a food waste problem. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that up to 31 percent of consumable food is wasted at both the retail and consumer levels.

Shoppers aren’t necessarily to blame. The labels often have no explicit explanation on packaging, leaving phrases like “best if used by” open to interpretation. Even individual states have different standards for items like milk, with some using a “sell by” date (with the milk typically good for five days after) and others sticking to a “use by” date.

Other pantry foods may have expiration dates but could conceivably last for years, like sugar, salt, and honey.

Newer food industry standards may clear up some of this confusion, with “use by” designated strictly for items where safety is a concern and other terms (including "best if used by") meant to denote quality. Taking the "use by" suggestion is especially important with deli meats and cheeses that can grow bacteria like Listeria in refrigerated environments. Until there’s a universally recognized standard, however, consumers are likely to remain uncertain about what these terms mean.

So what’s the best approach to interpreting food labels? For dry or non-perishable goods, dates are often a marker of quality, and you’re not likely to do yourself any harm by keeping the food around longer. Perishable goods should be discarded when their “use by” dates have arrived. But no matter what the package says, if doesn’t smell or look quite right, label it trash and go shopping.

[h/t ScienceDaily]

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