Some universal truths most of us Latinos can agree on? Vicks VapoRub‘s magical powers are legit, más sabe el diablo por viejo (we’re getting there), and… Latino parents love butter pecan ice cream.

Just like all abuelitas have a thing for either Betty Boop, Tweety, or I Love Lucy (or all three), so many Latinos love butter pecan ice cream. Sure, Cuban-favorite mantecado — a custardy, egg-based ice cream — mango sorbet, and rum raisin are other surefire hits (we don’t make the rules). Still, there’s just something about butter pecan when it comes to our parents or abuelitos… and yes, us too.

Still, if there was always a pint of butter pecan ice cream in your freezer growing up, the flavor’s dark history may surprise you.

This may be the dark history behind butter pecan ice cream’s popularity

For many Latino parents, to know butter pecan ice cream is to love it. They really love it:


why do they love butter pecan so much?! 😂#greenscreen

♬ original sound – Kevin Garcia

One Twitter user wrote, “All Mexicans love butter pecan ice cream.” But why?

Unfortunately, there’s no exact reason why butter pecan ice cream rose to prominence for Latinos — so let’s shelve it with other mysteries like why all abuelas’ guest bathrooms smell like baby powder.

That being said, there are signs as to why the flavor is popular in the Black community. In fact, some say it started in the Jim Crow-era southern United States and was a response to racism.

According to an ice cream survey published by The Guardian, 20% of Black people surveyed named butter pecan their favorite flavor.

However, as per The Daily Dot, the flavor’s beloved origins may have been born out of “necessity.” In fact, butter pecan ice cream may have become more popular in the Black community because Black folks were allegedly not allowed to eat vanilla. Sources say this mostly occurred in the Jim Crow-era South, which stretched from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century.

Because Jim Crow racism reportedly prohibited vanilla ice cream, some say Black folks turned to butter pecan as an alternative.

Several accounts from the Jim Crow-era South say it prohibited vanilla ice cream for Black folks

TikTok account @wearepushblack posted a video describing the ice cream’s dark history.

They explained, “The Jim Crow South was a dangerous place for our people, full of laws and customs to keep us from living in the country we built.”

“Black people were denied vanilla ice cream everyday except July 4th,” they described.

The account also noted how “ironic” this was, considering enslaved man Edmond Albius actually “revolutionized the cultivation of vanilla.” In fact, Albius — who was born into slavery — came up with how to artificially pollinate the vanilla plant at just 12 years old. While this led to mass production of vanilla, he still died penniless.

@wearepushblack referenced accounts from people who lived these racist laws.

They explained how Maya Angelou, born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1928, wrote in her memoir “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”: “People in Stamps [Arkansas] used to say that the whites in our town were so prejudiced that a [Black person] couldn’t buy vanilla ice cream. Except on July Fourth.”

The writer described, “Other days he had to be satisfied with chocolate.”

As per The Guardian, poet Audre Lorde had a similar account in her autobiography “Zami: A New Spelling of My Name.” The writer explained in her book that a Washington, D.C. ice cream shop refused to serve her family when they ordered vanilla ice cream.

In short, vanilla ice cream’s “prohibition” may be the reason butter pecan is more popular in the Black community. In turn, this could connect to Latinos’ widespread love of the flavor.

Over in @wearepushblack’s comments section, one person wrote, “Oddly, I knew about the vanilla ice cream ‘rule’, but I never tied it into Butter Pecan. That was my grandma’s favorite and is my Mom’s favorite.”