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Watch: How Dippin' Dots Became 'the Ice Cream of the Future'

The idea was initially meant to help farmers

For a certain portion of the young adult population in America, there's no more iconic summertime image than Dippin' Dots. Invented in the '80s and made wildly popular in the '90s, the frozen pellets were supposed to be "the ice cream of the future." Now that the future is here, Dippin' Dots are mostly a nostalgia product, consumed when 30-somethings want a fond look back at childhood.

How did Dippin' Dots come to exist, exactly? This video from Great Big Story provides the details. Cryogenicist Curtis Jones was less interested in developing a frozen dessert, and instead was focused on making food for farm animals more efficient. After flash-freezing cattle feed at 350 degrees below zero, Jones decided to apply the practice to his homemade ice cream hobby. The result was Dippin' Dots.

Despite the fact that regular, scoopable ice cream — ice cream of the past? — continues to reign supreme, Dippin' Dots can still be found at amusement parks, zoos, aquariums, and more. Watch the above video to get the full story.