The popularity of this pastel galaxy treat is fueled by its unique flavours, aesthetics and nostalgia.
While the pale purple, blue and yellow swirls of Moon Mist ice cream is simply a beauty to behold, reminiscent of pastel sunsets over the Atlantic ocean, the flavour isn’t so easy to pinpoint at first.
One lick in and it is banana.
The next is grape.
Soon, it is bubble gum-flavoured.
Of course Moon Mist ice cream is really a delicate and delicious blend of all three flavours, marbling together just like its colours.
It may be an icon in Nova Scotia in particular and Haligonian kids may have flocked to ice cream parlours asking for the pastel ice cream since the 80s, however the flavour was not invented there.
It is also pretty common to see Moon Mist elsewhere in the Maritime provinces, especially on ice cream parlour signs, in all its photogenic glory, all around New Brunswick too.
Occasionally, Moon Mist ice cream tubs make it into other province’s grocery store freezers. It is even produced in Ontario, for instance. But it is hard to come by elsewhere. That elite exclusivity propels its popularity, and the sense of nostalgia, to Maritimers- especially to those who have moved away and cannot be near it, or the Atlantic sunsets it looks like, regularly.
The precise origins of Moon Mist ice cream flavour seems difficult to pinpoint, as the flavour is suggested to have been pitched to different markets in the 80s but it has certainly influenced many generations’ childhoods.
Just go to any beach in the Maritime provinces or an Eastern Canada coastal resort town, and you are likely to find at least one kid (or grown-up) holding a Moon Mist ice cream cone by a boardwalk or on a beach.
There isn’t just one brand that sells Moon Mist. Some popular brands that produce and sell Moon Mist ice cream today in Canada include Scotsburn, Island Farms and London Ice Cream Company.
While there are many ice cream flavours that offer a variety of pastel colours these days, like cotton candy or bubble gum, this wasn’t always the case.
Even if, these days, you can choose other ice cream flavours with similarly whimsical colours, there aren’t many flavours that encompass at once three different quite rare flavours – like banana, grape and bubblegum.
And only Moon Mist can bring you to a Maritime Canada beach at sunset one cone-ful at a time.
Feature photo credit: Courtney Edgar
Photo #2 credit: Courtney Edgar
Photo #3 credit: Noémi Macavei-Katocz
Ice cream cone by: King’s Ice Cream, Moncton, NB.