John Harrison (ice cream taster)

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John Harrison (born 1942) is an American ice cream taster, who worked for ice cream company Dreyer's as its "Official Taste Tester".


Harrison was an employee of ice cream company Dreyer's,(not to be confused with the clockmaker John Harrison) which he joined in 1980, serving as its "Official Taste Tester" until his retirement in 2010.[1] He tasted an average of sixty ice cream flavours on a daily basis.[2] Harrison does not consume the ice cream, and instead spits it out.[3] Based on his own estimates, he has tasted a few hundred million gallons of ice cream at Dreyer's.[4] He has aided in the creation of more than one hundred unique ice cream flavours;[5] one source reports that he invented the flavour Cookies n' Cream.[6] According to a World report on Harrison, "his taste buds are so fine-tuned he can immediately taste the difference between 12-percent and 11.5-percent butterfat in a product."[1] The report also described him as the "most popular ice cream man in America". Harrison believes himself to be "the first national spokesman on ice cream". He has appeared on many television programmes, as well as on other media.[1] In 1997, Harrison was awarded the American Tasting Institute's Master Taster of the Year title.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Born in 1942,[1] all of Harrison's paternal family, up to his great grandfather, were involved in the ice cream industry in one way or another.[4] In his younger days, he would help out at the ice cream factory his uncle owned.[8][9] Harrison is married and resides in Palm Desert, California.[1] Harrison's taste buds are insured for a million dollars.[1][10] He adheres to a very strict diet, so as not to affect his tasting skills.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Parrish, Jacob (August 29, 2009). "The ice cream man". World.
  2. ^ Marquez, Laura (July 21, 2007). "The World's Sweetest Job". ABC News.
  3. ^ Copeland, Libby (July 1, 2003). "Taster John Harrison, ice cream's big dipper".
  4. ^ a b Hatcher, Sidney. "The Man with The Million-Dollar Taste Buds". Cooking Light. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
  5. ^ "An Interview with John Harrison". Philadelphia City Paper. Archived from the original on December 31, 2013. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
  6. ^ "A moment iwth [sic] John Harrison, ice cream taster". Seattle PI. June 16, 2006.
  7. ^ Turkington, Carol A. (2009). Extraordinary Jobs in the Food Industry. Infobase. pp. 75–. ISBN 9781438111735.
  8. ^ Campanelli, John (June 21, 2009). "John Harrison has the scoop as taste tester for Nestle Ice Cream: Ten Minutes With ..."
  9. ^ "His cool job as an ice cream taster is sophisticated science". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. July 26, 2006. pp. 20–.
  10. ^ Gehring, Abigail R. (2012). Odd Jobs: How to Have Fun and Make Money in a Bad Economy (2 ed.). Skyhorse. pp. 121–. ISBN 9781620872475.