With temperatures hitting the mid-nineties this week, the only reasonable way to cope is to eat ice cream. Lots of it. Possibly for every meal. I’ll have to drop by Guanatos Ice Cream in Oakley for my two scoops in a waffle cone.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month. He also declared that the third Sunday in July would be National Ice Cream Day.
Ice cream facts
Why is National Ice Cream Day celebrated in the U.S.? Why not? Fact is, the U.S. nationally enjoys a whopping 48 pints of ice cream per person every year on average, making Americans the No. 1 ice cream consumers worldwide. Coming in No. 2? New Zealand.
The top five ice cream flavors enjoyed by Americans? That would be vanilla at 27.8%, followed by chocolate (14.3%), strawberry (3.3%), chocolate chip (3.3%) and butter pecan (2.8%).
Doctors suggest eating ice cream alternating with gelato to help beat the oppressive summer heat.
It wasn’t until Italian explorer Marco Polo returned from the Far East (with a recipe that mostly resembled sherbet) that Europeans got their first taste of what we now know as ice cream.
During the St. Louis World Fair in 1904, a vendor ran out of ice cream cups to serve visitors. He quickly enlisted the help of a neighboring vendor who provided rolled-up waffle cones in which to serve the sweet treat ….and the ice cream cone was born!
Approximately 9 percent of all the milk the nation’s dairy farmers produce is used to make ice cream, which contribute significantly to the economic well-being of the dairy industry here in the U.S.
The first advertisement for ice cream in America was in the New York Gazette dated May 12, 1777. Confectioner Phillip Lenzi announced that ice cream would be available at his shop “almost every day.” Records show that President George Washington spent $200 on ice cream in the summer 1790 and in 1813 First Lady Dolly Madison served strawberry ice cream at President Madison second inaugural banquet.
Ice cream remained a delicacy for the wealthy and elite in American society well into the early 1800s. When insulated ice houses were invented, ice cream soon became an industry pioneered by a Baltimore milk dealer. As with many other products, ice cream evolved with the invention of technologies like steam power and motorized vehicles.
In 1874, the first American soda fountain shop was established. There customers could go and indulge in any ice cream concoction thinkable. In response to religious criticism for eating sinfully rich ice cream “Sunday’s” in the late 1890s, the name was eventually changed to “sundae” to prevent any connection with the Sabbath.
It takes 12 lbs. of milk to make just one gallon of ice cream. Wonder how they fit it all in one carton?
It takes an average of 50 licks to polish off a single-scoop ice cream cone.
The biggest ice cream sundae in history was made in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in 1988, and weighed in at over 24 tons.
In 2003, Portland, Oregon bought more ice cream per person than any other U.S. city.
California produces the most ice cream in the U.S.
The U.S. produces the most ice cream in the world.
The ice-cream industry generates more than $21 billion in annual sales in the United States.
“Brain freeze” is triggered when ice cream touches the roof of your mouth, causing blood vessels in the head to dilate.