ICE CREAM: 5 Big Differences in Germany & USA

ICE CREAM: 5 Big Differences in Germany & USA

The ice cream shops are once again open in
Germany after being closed for the winter! So let’s talk about ice cream differences
in Germany and the U.S. Hey everyone! I’m Dana and you’re watching Wanted Adventure Living Abroad. Last summer I put out a video trying several
different delicious kinds of ice cream around Munich. That was definitely a fun video to film. And about a year ago I also made a video about
soda, popcorn, pizza, chips and ice cream, where I mentioned a few Germany versus USA
ice cream differences. Both of those videos linked in the little
I in the corner and down in the description. But today I have a few new ice cream differences
that I don’t believe I mentioned in either of those two other ice cream videos. And the first one has to do with what I mentioned
at the beginning of this video: ice cream stores in Germany reopening after the winter. In Germany a huge chunk of the ice cream places
close for the winter, whereas in the U.S. as far as I have experienced it, a lot of
ice cream places stay open throughout the winter. Some might close, but it doesn’t seem to
me to be as big of a percentage as the really huge percentage of ice cream places that close
here in Germany over the winter. Here in Germany it feels to me like it’s
pretty much a given…it’s just kind of assumed that ice cream places will close during
the winter and if you happen to see an ice cream place open here in the winter in Germany
it’s like: whoa that place is selling ice cream in the winter!? Wow! But now let’s get on to the sweet stuff. The ice cream itself. Starting with something called Spaghetti Eis
in Germany. Now spaghetti ice cream is not a thing that
is unique to Germany alone, I have seen this kind of ice cream sundae in other ice cream
shops in other European countries too, but I had never seen or heard of it before moving
to Europe. So I had never seen it in the U.S., and I
was actually never really brave enough to buy it for myself because I thought like…Spaghetti
ice cream — is that going to be cold spaghetti with ice cream on top? Then one summer Stefan ordered a Spaghetti
Eis and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that no, no actual spaghetti noodles are
involved in this sundae. But rather the ice cream is formed into little
spaghetti like strings, and the sauce is strawberry sauce, not marinara sauce, and there’s usually
some whipped cream in there as well. Which brings me right into the next difference,
whipped cream on ice cream sundaes. In both the U.S. and Germany whipped cream
on ice cream is a thing, but in the U.S. all the whipped cream that I’ve ever had has
been pretty dang sweet. Most of the time as sweet or maybe even a
little sweeter than the ice cream itself. Whereas in Germany all the whipped cream I’ve
ever tasted on ice cream here has been considerably less sweet than the ice cream itself. And at first I was like: hey, this whipped
cream is not sweet enough! But now I’ve actually come to really enjoy
it. It provides a kind of balance to the sweetness
of the ice cream sundae and doesn’t run the risk overpowering the whole flavor. But now a quick hop back into the ice cream
shop to actually order your ice cream. And there’s another difference here too. In the U.S. from my experience it’s pretty
common to be offered a taste test of one or a few different ice cream flavors before finally
choosing what you want to get. At every ice cream place that I’ve been
to in the U.S. you can ask to try a couple different ice cream flavors, or the people
working at the ice cream place will even offer, like: “would you like to try something?”
if they see I’m struggling to figure out what I want. In Germany so far I have never experienced
that. As far as I know that’s just not really
a thing here. I have stood here in Germany in ice cream
shops mulling over what flavor to get for a while and nobody has ever offered me a taste
test before purchase. And my last big difference for this video
is that getting ice cream in the summer is really popular in Germany. Like, ice cream in general is also a pretty
popular thing in the U.S., and there are lots of ice creams that you can buy in the supermarkets
in the U.S. So, yes, ice cream itself is popular in the
U.S. But I feel going to an ice cream shop and
getting some ice cream is much more popular and a more of a common thing for adults to
do here in Germany in the summer than in the U.S. Germans, for example, can be known to go get
some ice cream from an ice cream shop during their lunch break just in the middle of the
week. I can still remember my first summer in Europe,
I was living in Prague, dating Stefan who lived in Munich and he wrote me one afternoon
telling me that during the lunch break he and his colleagues, like around 5 or 6 people,
had all gone out for ice cream together. And I was like: oh cool, was it someone’s
birthday? Or, you know, what are you guys celebrating? No, nothing. No celebration. They just all went out and got ice cream from
the ice cream place down the street on their lunch break. And at first I thought like, well, I mean, maybe it was just them. But then I moved to Germany and once the summer
rolled around I noticed lots and lots of people getting ice cream during their lunch break. People wearing suits here in Germany walking
past me on the sidewalk in the afternoon eating ice cream from an ice cream cone or from a
cup that they had gotten from the ice cream place. As far as I know that is not a common thing
in the U.S. I don’t think I ever went out and got ice cream on my lunch break with or
without my co-workers in the U.S. For me in the U.S. going to an ice cream parlor
was something I did as a kid and then as an adult maybe for example on a date in the evening,
or when on vacation. But not just like on a Tuesday during my lunch
break with my co-workers. So my question for you is: do you eat ice
cream on your lunch break? And do you prefer ice cream in a cone or in
a cup, or are you not a fan or ice cream at all? Please let me know in the comments below. Thanks so much for watching. If you enjoyed this video, please think about
giving a like with the like button. And don’t forget to subscribe for more Wanted
Adventure videos on Wednesdays and Sundays. And a really, really, really big thank you
so much to our patrons on Patreon who help make these videos possible. Thank you so much for your support. If you would like to check out our Patreon
page, you can find a link to that down in the description box below. Until next time, auf Wiedersehen! Lots and lots of people getting ice break
during their lunch break. Did I say ice break? And there is another difference…here too? Something called Spaghetti Eis…in Germany. Ice cream!

About the Author: Garret Beatty


  1. There are ice cream shops that close during winter? I have the feeling I've been living in cities for too long.. ^^;

  2. Another thing here in Germany is that school classes tend to go and buy ice cream a lot! In every school and class I've been we went to ice cream shops during the end of the school year and our teachers bought everyone ice cream. That's why ice cream shops like to open near schools 🙂

  3. I work in a Mall in Berlin. The shop is just beside an ice cream place. I often eat ice cream in summer. In the morning, at luchtime, in the evening.. 🙂
    Many of the ice cream shops in Germany are still run by peolpe from Italy, in know a few. They travel to their family in winter, I used to learn whem I was a child. Don't know if this is still common.

  4. I love getting icecream with my coworkers because you can only get ice cream a few month each year. But the best thing are the ice cream trucks. Ever seen one of these? When I was a kid the ice cream truck would come into each neighborhood and turn on some music…something like a bell ringing. Then all of us started begging our parents for some coins and ran onto the street getting in line to get some ice cream. There used to be an ice cream truck that stopped right in front of my school during lunch break so we could get some ice cream. Amazing childhood memories 🙂

  5. Remember you grew up in Florida, you may be a little biased, up North many of the Dairy Queens only operate between Memorial Day and Labor Day. I can testify that the Dairy Store at Michigan State University sold ice cream cones all winter, winter was the best time to eat ice cream cones outside as you can take you time and not worry about it melting. You could identify the Dairy Majors back then, we were the ones wandering around munching on an ice cream cone in 20 degree weather.

  6. This is weird, in the city I live in here in Germany there are three ice cream shops that I go to and all three stay open in the winter. They close earlier but generally they are still open.

  7. I like ice cream, but since it is such a rip-off in Germany, I refuse to buy it from ice cream parlors. Since the 1980s prices for a scoop of ice cream have gone up 600 to 1,100 percent. The price of milk hasn't really changed since then, the wages haven't been raised that much and even the rent for those places can't be 10 time higher than it was in the 80s. It's a scam. And since Germans are suckers who pay anything for a scoop of frozen sugar-milk as soon as they are hit by a single ray of sunshine, they get away with it.

  8. About the "taste test": Newer or specialized Eis-Cafés – as they are correctly called in Germany – like the one nearby Munich University actually DO offer these taste tests. In regular ones, its expected of you to at least roughly know what this or that type of ice cream might taste like. Which is rather sad, because then you tend to limit yourself, expecting nasty or "not my cuppa tea" tastes of unknown ice cream types.

    I'd really prefer though if it was the same as in the US, ie. folks giving out "Testproben" of the ice cream if you cant decide .. 🙂

  9. Another one: About the ice cream in a cup – this was way more common in the 80s and 70s. I remember strongly all my folks using the cups, and just the kids getting cones. Somewhere around the early 90s the cone seemed to trend more strongly, and cups where generally used less, more like when you were going to take a lot of icecream bowls than regular with you, eg. to share it with your family or friends at home or outside.

  10. I live in Michigan, US. And most ice cream shops here close during the winter unless they’re a franchise. Ice cream has never been considered a special treat in my family and we get it quite regularly during the summer.

  11. You just need to ask to taste the eis Most will give samples. The eis shops are mostly run by italians & they close to go home for the holidays as well as its a slower business season.

  12. Two days ago at lunchtime suprisingly one of my colleagues come around a spent some ice for the whole Company
    I think because its unusual its Even more a Special thing.
    After watching your video and think about it i definitely agree with your obersavation
    As a German you never think about such normal behaviors.

    And Spagetti-Eis is the best After Banana-Split or a Kiwi-Becher 😉

  13. Germans do like their ice cream, in Belgium its not that big of a deal. we do like Ice, but there arnt any good… or as good as the German/Italian shops. In large city centers you might find an "Australian" ice shop…
    or I do know of a good one in Antwerp, but they don't have the huge variety of flavors they have here.
    I've grown very fond of german Ice, and some ice on cone in the summertime… just whenever 😉

  14. My friends and I always used to get ice cream during our lunch breaks from uni and also work. Sadly ice cream stores aren't really a thing in the UK (not to the same extend at least) so those times are over for me. ;A;

  15. Also ich mag mein Eis lieber in der Waffel. Aber als ich neulich in Griechenland im Urlaub war, musste ich dort 50 Cent zusätzlich bezahlen für die Waffel. Das ist mir vorher noch nie passiert. 🤷 Würde mich interessieren ob das in anderen Ländern auch so ist oder nur in solchen Urlaubsländern… Wenn du Spaghettieis magst kann ich dir auch das von Aldi für zu Hause empfehlen. Sehr lecker! Schönen Sommer!

  16. A taste-test might not be a thing here in Germany, but if you ask most stores will give you a spoon of the flavour to try😊
    It a like many things in Germany: you have to ask😉

  17. If you go to ice cream parlors where they offer more unusual flavors they often ofter you a taste before purchase. Have you ever been to Eismeer in Munich? They have amazing ice cream called "Mozart" and even one with cheese that tastes real nice.

  18. spaghetti eis is the best.
    always when I ordered something else I regret it.. 😀
    so now I only take spaghetti eis or some ice in a cone.

    when I was in school the teachers would sometimes go and get some icecream with the whole class on a hot day and when I made Abitur I often went with my friends to get icecream in the break.
    sometimes when my family comes together and we relax in the garden 1 or 2 of us go to get icecream to take away for the whole family. mostly we order 1 spaghetti eis for each grown up and some scoops for the kids.

  19. Klaro! Ich bin Polizist und wir holen uns an sehr warmen Tagen oft mal ein Eis und essen es im Auto. 😁👍🏻

  20. Hmm. I've lived in the U.S. my whole life (mostly Buffalo, NY) and about half of the whipped cream I've had is unsweetened or only lightly sweetened. Perhaps unsweetened is less common in some areas of the country—I lived in Florida for two years, and in retrospect it seemed less common there.

  21. I love ice cream any way I can get it. The latest thing thing in the U.S is "Rolled" ice cream. They take cream or condensed milk sauce, put fruit or toppings in it, spread it around a huge, round, frozen pan and then scrape it into rolls into a cup. It's so pretty and it's incredibly delicious. I eat it all year round.

  22. I never ate ice cream at the lunchbreak, since I am super hungry then I need a real meal! But after work meeting up with friends/co workers eating ice is a thing I do 🙂
    And I hate the cones I always eat them in a cup.

  23. What I also noticed while I was in the US was that they don't have the kind of ice cream I was used to from Germany – mostly texture-wise – and the only thing that came close to it was sth called "Gelato" so original Italian ice cream – which makes sense bc a lot of ice cream shops in Germany have Italian owners or make Italian-style ice cream. I just like it much more bc it's not as soft and richer in taste!

  24. Actually.. getting ice cream during lunch break isn't really that shocking.
    when I've been working part time at a pharmacy in summer while still in school, they would sometimes send me to get ice cream for everyone.. during work hours. And I've experienced the same thing during an internship as yeah. Lunch break seems to be.. not all that dramatic

  25. the 101 on how to piss off europeans properly, #47:
    his favourite ice cream shop being closed while he craves icecream like a madman.

    don't you folks even think to dare to mess up with our icecream, you'll regret it. ^^

  26. Afaik Ice Cream was brought to Germany by Italien Ice Cream Makers, whou would visit for the Summer season and go back for the winter to their hometowns – thus closing the shop at times where there was less to be earned.

  27. Wenn man freundlich fragt, kann man zumindest hier in Berlin immer vorher etwas probieren.. man bekommt es vielleicht nicht angeboten, ist mir aber auch schon passiert und hängt vielleicht auch davon ab, wie lange die Schlange hinter einem ist 🙂 und Eis essen, so wie ich das aber auch aus anderen Ländern in Europa kenne, gehört halt im Sommer zum ggf. täglichen Ritual in einer Pause, nach Dienstschluss, wann immer es einem danach ist….

  28. In canada it's normal for anyone to get ice cream at any point. Adults go to ice cream shops all the time for themselves and it's completely normal.

  29. I don't just eat ice cream during breaks. Summer and the italian ice cream go together, as a german 🙂

  30. In Germany, you as the client ask for a taste test. Not everyone might grant it, but so far I haven't been denied one. Be it ice cream, cheese, sausage or gammon, wine, or even mustard. Sometimes a taste test is offered by the shopkeeper in the form of sample snacks on a tray. I found that an elegant way to ask for a taste test is to ask what stuff tastes like. Then, in turn, the shop keep might offer the test in response to the question.

  31. In my town the ice cream shops close in winter because they're all run by Italians, and in the winter they go back home to Italy because they wouldn't make a lot of money selling ice cream in winter anyway

  32. Wanted Adventure I think it´s a little bit different in the north of Germany. Here are most of the places where you can buy fresh ice cream also open in winter (the whole year). We don´t care how the weather is, even if it´s freezing cold outside an tasty ice cream fits always (at least then the ice cream doesn´t melt that fast) and if you ask you can taste test the ice cream (maybe just one or two and not all flavors).

  33. I think that’s just because you’re from a warm state. I’m from New England and all the ice cream stores close for the winter

  34. I have had hummus ice cream in Tel Aviv … and saw some dairy free ice cream with pieces of raw whale meat in it in Japan, but did not have the guts to try it… In Java you can get ice cream from coconut milk and pandan juice which is gorgeous.

  35. So if you happen to come across one of the "Russian Supermarkets" in the "russian areas" in german towns (such as the store called "MixMax" – try their Vanilla Ice Cream – it is awesome … so is their sweet woodruff flavour lemonade (called "Raduga" = Rainbow).

  36. I’m Italian and I can confirm that the same thing happens in Italy. You are not told you can try the various ice cream flavors, but sometimes it could happen if there is a new favor and the guys are kind. However, since I went to the US I ask to try the different ice cream flavors even if the guy stares at me in a quite annoyed and unpleasant way. I don’t really care though, I mean, it is my right to know what I am going to it, right? 😂

  37. Not every ice cram cafe is closed in winter, especially in shopping malls they are open throughout the year.

  38. I live in Prague, and while I don't think I've ever been specifically asked if I want a sample, I haven't been turned down if I've asked for one. Also, while we've never gone out during our lunch break, my co-workers and I have been known to go out for ice cream just because.

  39. In Italy people always eat ice cream while walking, during the day, during the evening, young and old, with friends, family or alone. The only time I go to ice cream parlours and sit and order big elaborated cups of ice cream is when I'm in Germany or Austria. My dad's favourite is Heiße Liebe!

  40. The way ice cream places in Germany close in the winter reminds me of sno-ball stands in Louisiana. (look up sno-ball on Wiki… not the same as snow cones)
    Traditionally, they would all start to open around March or April and close in October. It was so satisfying to have one on a warm day after months of having none, but the wait was kind of annoying because I like cold treats even when it's cold. Thankfully, I know of at least 2 places around me who started staying open all year round and I love it. They also started selling a store bought version in limited flavors in some stores' ice cream sections, but they're not as good as the ones you get freshly made, even when you microwave it a little to soften the ice.

    I guess I am like the Germans. I more often get ice cream randomly with friends and family than for a special occasion.

  41. I normally order spaghetti ice cream as they often put flavours I don´t like into the common bowls (like nut or banana, which I actually like as the thing itself). So easiest way is getting a spaghetti ice cream, which you often can order in different types, eg with kiwi sauce, with chocolate sauce and banana or chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce and nuts, just to mention a few.

  42. What you buy at the Italian Gelateria is EIS (frozen water) not EISKREME (milk ice cream). If you want milk in it, you buy Milcheis.

  43. You just have to ask for a taste test. Like for everything in germany. We're pretty friendly and you can taste the ice cream. Just go for it!

  44. Depending where you live, the cost of taking the family out for ice cream can be expensive. I think for adults, it's more common to go get a cup of coffee or iced coffee (if hot out) . I live in the USA.

  45. A taste test would be awesome someone should invent that 😅
    And yes I saw a shop selling ice cream in winter and I did think "woooow ice cream in winter, fancy"
    I have my ice cream always in a cup, not a fan of the licking from a cone 😂
    And I'm quite adventurous with the flavors last time I tried "rote Beete-Apfel" – well at least I can say I've tried it 😂😂 there are better flavors though

  46. Often, when I have smtg sweet, like cake or ice cream, I like having black coffee with it. It is nice to go between sweet and bitter.

  47. Did you visit ,,der verrückte Eismacher" in Munich? I love his ice cream and he offers special flavours like ,,Apfelpfannkuchen" or ,,Zitronenbonbon"

  48. When I worked for the US Department of Defense, my co-workers and k would often go for ice cream mid-afternoon. There was an ice cream shop in the same development our office was in. Likewise when I worked in DC, we'd walk out together for ice cream around 3.

  49. Ice cream is just sooooo wonderful. I think there is no other food that I can eat as much of. The lives of adults that almost never eat ice cream must be so sad. And yes, vegans can enjoy wonderful ice cream, too!

  50. Hi, I never thought that ice-cream is something special what I can eat only as a celebration of something 😮 it is as normal as to got a coca-cola

  51. Hmm. I grew up in the Northeast U.S. and the local family owned ice cream places, especially the ones that primarily served soft serve ice cream, would only be open in summer, while the chain ice cream places like Baskin Robbins or Carvel would be open all year.

  52. Comparable to spaghetti ice cream what imitates a meal is a dessert, that looks like fried eggs. You use vanilla pudding for the white part and half peaches (from the can) for the yellow part.

  53. A taste test is sometimes offered to children. They can try a spoon if the seller notices that they don't know what they would like to have 🙂

  54. Ice cream on lunch break: In my 20’s and 30’s, I would sometimes eat just a salad or half sandwich, so that I would have enough room for ice cream.

    In the 1960’s I was a child, and mother worked. On her birthday one year, she came home and bragged that she had a 3-scoop banana split as lunch that day!

    Back to the present: a neighbor lady told me that she eats a scoop of ice cream every single night year round.

  55. there are some places in munich, where they ask you always to try some different sorts of ice-cream! for example here: (Theresienstraße 46)… And by the way, it tastes great 😉

  56. Hey Dana! I live in the US, and here in Pennsylvania, many of our ice cream shops close during the winter as we typically experience winter weather for about 6 months out of the year. Shops usually open in early May and close by October. Maybe a lot of ice cream shops stayed open because you lived in warmer-weather Florida?

  57. Schöne Grüße Dana! Ich habe den Video so lieb wie immer! Und ich verstehe was du meinst jetzt dass du darüber gesprochen hast. Dass erwachsene kein ICE an einem Normalen Tag esse in den USA. Aber dass sie das in Deutschland tun! Daran dachte ich nicht seit du was darüber sagtest. 😂😂 es ist lustig! Aber ich esse ice gern an Tag! Am liebsten Haselnuss! Und in einem Becher!😂😂

  58. It is not uncommon in germany to try ice cream. Especially if you ask what kind of ice tastes like you might get a small portion on a ice spoon to try it.

  59. Here in Hamburg a lot of ice cream stores are open in winter, but they sell cake and cookies like Apfelstrudel 🙂

  60. Cup or cone: Depends on my mood. Sometimes I just want icecream, then it's in a cup. Other times I have a crave for a Wundertüte = cone. But the best way for me to eat icecream is in a nice glass. Given it is in a nice café.

    Icecream / lunch break: It kind of makes sense cause well… most icecream is richer in calories than some regular lunch food :).

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