AREA — The sweet treat most like to eat has its own day in the sun. Every third Sunday in July has been decreed as the day to celebrate National Ice Cream Day. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan issued the proclamation that not only proclaimed the third Sunday of the month of July as National Ice Cream Day, but also made July as the National Ice Cream month.
“Ice cream is a nutritious and wholesome food, enjoyed by over ninety percent of the people in the United States. It enjoys a reputation as the perfect dessert and snack food. Over eight hundred and eighty-seven million gallons of ice cream were consumed in the United States in 1983,” stated President Reagan in his 1984 proclamation.
While I can’t give you the scoop about the origins of ice cream, there are several flavors to tease your mental taste buds. According to pbs.org, some think Marco Polo brought it back from his travels to the Far East. Catherine de Medici might have introduced it to France when she relocated to marry King Henry II in 1559. The website further states that the tasty treat has an ancient ancestor in Biblical passages that refer to King Solomon enjoying “cooling iced drinks during harvest season.”
The origins of the dessert may rival the number of flavors served by Baskin-Robbins, there’s one about ice cream that’s certain… it’s beloved by America.
New Zealand leads the world in ice cream consumption. They consume, per capita, 28.4 liters per year. Americans consume 20.8 liters. In 2014, 872 million gallons were produced by American ice cream manufacturers.
Here are some fun, delicious facts about the cold and creamy dessert:
• 1904 is the birth of the waffle cone, reportedly making its debut at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, MO.
• 1929 is when Rocky Road becomes the first widely available flavor (other than vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry).
• The world’s tallest ice cream cone was over nine feet tall. It was scooped in Italy.
• Most of the vanilla used to make ice cream comes from Madagascar and Indonesia.
• Chocolate syrup is the world’s most popular ice cream topping.
• Vanilla is the most popular flavor in the country.
• Eighty-seven percent of Americans have ice cream in their freezer at any given time.
• The average number of ice cream pints an American enjoys each year is 48.
• California produces the most ice cream in the country.
• A cow gives enough milk to make two gallons of ice cream per day which is 730 gallons per year.
• It takes three gallons of milk to make one gallon of ice cream.
• Around nine percent of all milk produced in the country is used to make ice cream.
• It takes about 50 licks to finish a single scoop ice cream cone.
• The perfect temperature for scooping ice cream is between 6 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
• “Brain Freeze” occurs when ice cream touches the roof of your mouth.
These facts and more can be found at icecream.com.
So whether you’re wanting to escape from the heat of the day or maybe you’re succumbing to the pleas of your sweet tooth, take a moment Sunday to indulge in the national treasure that is ice cream.
To quote the 1927 song “Ice Cream” written by Howard Johnson, Billy Moll, and Robert A. King, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!”