National Ice Cream Day! This is what America is celebrating today. A good excuse to dig in to their favorite cool dessert.
Thousands of years ago, people around the world figured out that cold and sweet would be a good a delicious combo. So our love for ice cream goes way back then.
Roman Emperor Nero all the way up to Alexander the Great based on history and even King Solomon was fond of cooled drink at harvest based on some Bible translations.
According to historian, the ancient Chinese were the first to develop a cool, creamy treat that resembles what we enjoy today. In the 1500s, ice cream started to spread through Europe, though at first only aristocrats could afford it.
No one knows for sure when ice cream made its way to the US, but at least a few Founding Fathers were fans.
Thomas Jefferson wrote down 18-step instructions, the first known ice cream recipe recorded by an American. And George Washington reportedly dished out $200 in a single summer to get his frosty fix. In today’s dollars, that’s a lot of money.
When Prohibition banned alcohol sales, Americans turned to ice cream as a fun alternative.
The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, as new technologies made it easier than ever to manufacture and cool ice cream — and send its popularity soaring.
Frosty ice cream was enjoyed by all types of people throughout the country. In fact, it was served to new immigrants on Ellis Island and even US soldiers during World War II.
President Ronald Reagan was responsible in making the National Ice Cream Day legit.
In 1984, he signed a proclamation that declared July to be National Ice Cream Month. The third Sunday of that month, which this year falls on July 21, became officially known as National Ice Cream Day.
The proclamation — No. 5219, to be exact — describes “a nutritious and wholesome food, enjoyed by over 90 percent of the people in the United States.”
Although we can’t vouch for his stats, it does sound pretty accurate. Right?
Today, the average American consumes more than 20 pounds of ice cream each year, according to the International Dairy Foods Association.
If you think that’s a lot, multiply it by 329 million Americans.
Most Popular Flavor
From Neapolitan to chocolate chip cookie dough, there’s no shortage of flavors.
That’s not all. You can also get it nitrogen-blasted, hand-rolled, or charcoal-infused.
Ice cream can even be made without the help of cows. Biotech company Perfect Day debuted a lab-grown dairy ice cream that uses genetic engineering to recreate the proteins usually found in cow’s milk.
Still, the top flavor in the US is vanilla, data from the International Dairy Foods Association.
So, this weekend, don’t think of your sweet tooth as a guilty pleasure, but as a patriotic duty.
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