Chocolate vs. vanilla: Which ice cream is big in the Peach State?

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Whether you prefer chocolate or vanilla, ice cream is the perfect summertime treat. But which of the two reigns supreme nationally? How about in Georgia?

Ahead of National Ice Cream Day 2021, the blog Damn Good Ice Cream sought to find out. Using Google Trends data, the website determined the states that enjoy chocolate and those that prefer vanilla.

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“We can settle the debate of Vanilla vs Chocolate Ice Cream once and for all! We looked at search interest in all 50 states to determine that chocolate is the overwhelming winner,” the website said. “Chocolate trounced Vanilla in a whopping 43 states while Vanilla claimed 7 states including the likes of Alabama, Hawaii and Tennessee.”

So, what about Georgia? While vanilla may be a typical addition to a peach cobbler — in which the state fruit is the star of the dish — chocolate is the favorite among residents.

You can get a taste of the decadent treat at many ice cream shops in and around Atlanta.

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Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams offers Milkiest Chocolate and Darkest Chocolate varieties. There’s also the vegan dark chocolate truffle. Butter and Cream has Freckled Chocolate, which is chocolate ice cream with chocolate pieces throughout. Four Fat Cows has Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie, Chocolate Overload and Chocolate Cherry among its options.

As for why people tend to prefer chocolate over vanilla and vice versa, apparently, there’s a genetic component.

Biotechnology company 23andMe said in a 2019 trait report that it could estimate the probable preference for either flavor. It examined 980,000 research participants, Food & Wine reported. Apparently, your preference may be narrowed down to your sense of smell. Additionally, women are more likely to favor chocolate over vanilla. Meanwhile, men are nearly evenly split. Vanilla is just barely ahead of chocolate.