Magic Shell

How much is inside a bottle of magic shell? 

Simply put, magic shell is awesome. It is ACTION FOOD! It forms a hard shell when put on top of ice cream, which protects it from burrowing insects and mites. It is the perfect way to make ice cream more fun & your classmates jealous.

Developed in the 1960s through a collaborative effort between the U.S. Army and Industrial Light and Magic, magic shell was designed to be a bulletproof camouflage coating for armored vehicles.  After botched field trials in Cambodia and Syria, the delicious butterscotch coating was tried on a Swedish  LVKV9 deep in the frozen Siberian tundra. One of the servicemen got some magic shell fragments on his tongue, and the rest is history!


I was certain we would need a large surface to pour out all of the magic shell, but Jennifer thought we wouldn't need too large an area.

Checking the label, the magic shell container held only a measly 7.25 fluid ounces of product, less than a measuring cup! Jennifer was going to be right about this one.
I wanted to measure the surface area on a simple flat surface, so I sliced apart 4 cartons of ice cream.  Mint Chocolate Chip, French Vanilla, Neapolitan and Cappuccino chip.
We had created a  two square-foot plane of ice cream goodness!
With the creamy proving grounds ready, I shook the magic shell very well. I turned the bottle upside down and shook it, as the label told me to.  To be more precise, it told me to SHAKE MAGIC SHELL VERY WELL! TURN THE BOTTLE UPSIDE DOWN AND SHAKE WELL FOR AT LEAST 20 SECONDS! These directions used all capitals and boldface font, and those exclamation marks. These instructions didn't leave much room for error, revealing their military roots.


The magic shell was thick at first, covering the ice cream completely, but I eased up
Six of the ice cream patches had been affected
It looked a little too thick, so I spread it around a little with a spatula. The bottle doesn't recommend this,  they say you should use a cool iron.

Jennifer carefully measured with the food ruler, there was a rough square 9 inches by 9 inches (23cm by 23 cm).
After four hours of complex calculations, we found the total area to be 81 square inches (520 square cm). It was about an eighth of an inch thick.

When planning a party, buy two bottles of magic shell for each child under 7, and three bottles per adult serving.  If you are covering a three-ball snowman, buy 31 bottles.   

With the experiment complete, I helped myself to a quart of the cappuccino chip. 

Jennifer didn't want any.  I guess she doesn't like cappuccino chip... or  Mint Chocolate Chip..or French Vanilla or  Neapolitan.

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write Last updated July 24, 2001.
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