The Easiest Way to Plug a Dripping Ice Cream Cone

iStock/photoschmidt
iStock/photoschmidt

Walking outdoors with an ice cream cone in hand is one of the most pleasurable parts of summer. That is, until your perfectly scooped ice cream starts to melt. When that happens, it doesn't take long for your relaxing stroll to turn into a race to stop your hand from becoming a sticky mess.

Drips from the top of your ice cream cone can be caught if your lick them away fast enough, but when your melted ice cream starts to leak from the tiny hole in the bottom of your cone, there's not much you can do. The only way to protect yourself is to plan ahead, and this tip from Ben & Jerry's suggests a pretty ingenious way to do just that.

Before plopping the first scoop of ice cream into your cone, drop a mini-marshmallow inside it. The confections are normally used as ice cream toppings, but if you add one to the cone before scooping your ice cream, you can create a squishy plug that absorbs any liquid ice cream that melts and prevents it from dripping onto your hand. And when you reach the bottom of your cone, you'll have a delicious, ice cream-soaked marshmallow waiting for you as a bonus treat.

Creating an edible seal for melted ice cream isn't a new concept. The bits of solid chocolate you find at the bottom of some ice cream cones, like Nestlé Drumsticks, are added for the same reason. If you're assembling an ice cream cone at home, or ordering one from an ice cream parlor that offers mini marshmallows as a topping, a marshmallow makes a great stand-in for the classic chocolate seal. And if you're looking to go beyond the cone this summer, here are some alternative ways to eat your ice cream.

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The Clever Reason Oranges Are Sold in Red Mesh Bags

Gingagi/iStock via Getty Images
Gingagi/iStock via Getty Images

If a detail in a food's packaging doesn't seem to serve a practical purpose, it's likely a marketing tactic. One example is the classic mesh bag of oranges seen in supermarket produce sections. When oranges aren't sold loose on the shelf, they almost always come in these red, mesh bags. The packaging may seem plain, but according to Reader's Digest, it's specially designed to make shoppers want to buy the product.

The color orange "pops" when paired with the color red more so than it does with yellow, green, or blue. That means when you see a bunch of oranges behind a red net pattern, your brain assumes they're more "orange" (and therefore fresher and higher quality) than it would if you saw them on their own. That's the same reason red is chosen when making bags for fruits like grapefruits or tangerines, which are also orange in color.

For lemon packaging, green is more commonly chosen to make the yellow rind stand out. If lemons were sold in the same red bags as other citrus, the red and yellow hues together would actually make the fruits appear orange. Lemons can also come in yellow mesh bags, and the bags for limes are usually green to match their color.

Next time you visit the supermarket, see if you can spot the many ways the store is set up to influence your buying decisions. The items at eye-level will likely be more expensive than those on the shelves above and below them, and the products near the register will likely be cheaper and more appealing as impulse buys. Check out more sneaky tricks used by grocery stores here.

[h/t Reader's Digest]