A Creamsicle® is a frozen dessert with a vanilla ice cream core and a fruit sherbet coating. The classic Creamsicle® flavor combination is orange and vanilla, although numerous variations on this premise can be found in stores. Officially, the term “Creamsicle” is a registered brand name owned by Unilever, and similar products cannot be labeled as Creamsicles. However, the original Creamsicle® is such a perennial best-seller that the term is often used generically, and the branding rights may eventually be lost due to trademark dilution.
The origins of this dessert are a bit unclear. Frozen juice bars have been popular in many cultures historically, and it's possible that someone came up with the idea of combining the sweet frozen juice with creamy vanilla ice cream long before the Creamsicle® hit the stores. The Creamsicle® may also be a bar form of the cream soda, an ice cream treat made with soda and balls of ice cream. It could also be descended from the orange freeze, another soda fountain dessert.
Whatever the origins of the Creamsicle® may be, this dessert became popular enough in the United States and Canada to become a household word, along with its cousin the Fudgesicle®, a chocolatey frozen dessert. Both desserts reference the Popsicle® brand frozen dessert developed by Frank Epperson in the early 1900s. Epperson sold his invention in 1925, and it eventually made its way into the hands of the Good Humor company. This Unilever subsidiary continues to produce Creamsicles® and a variety of other frozen desserts.
Allegedly, the 14th of August is National Creamsicle® Day in the United States, although this designation has not been made official by an executive order or act of Congress, and it is probably a publicity stunt on the part of Unilever. Placing the day in the middle of the summer was certainly a wise move, since Creamsicles® are especially popular for beating the heat in the summer months.
Consumers in North America can find Creamsicles® and their many imitators at most grocery stores which carry frozen desserts. In addition to classic orange, this dessert comes in an assortment of juice flavors including raspberry, and some imitators have come up with more exotic combinations like passionfruit and vanilla or mango and vanilla. In all cases, the dessert has a very rich, creamy flavor with a hint of crunch from the frozen juice coating.