The third Sunday of July is one of the sweetest days in our calendar, as it is when we celebrate National Ice Cream Day. In fact, this frozen dairy treat is so popular that in 1984 the whole month of July was decreed to be National Ice Cream Month.
This comes as no surprise when we find out that Americans eat more ice cream in a year than anyone else in the world! So of course, there needed to be a day and a whole month to celebrate their immense appreciation for ice cream.
National Ice Cream Day Background
In 1984, President Ronal Reagan had the idea to create a special holiday to commemorate the delicious treat that over 90 percent of Americans love to eat. At first, this day was only meant to be observed once, on July 15 of 1984.
However, the dairy industry saw an opportunity and made it into an annual celebration. The holiday quickly became a national favorite and encouraged people to eat more ice cream.
Currently, it is estimated that 23 gallons of ice cream are consumed in America every year, which seems like a lot. Despite this, America is beaten to second place by New Zealand when it comes to consumption per capita! New Zealanders eat an average of 28.4 liters per person per year. Americans, on the other hand, eat 20.8 liters, and Canada is 6th on the rankings with 10.6 liters.
Ice Cream Interesting Facts
The first records of something like ice cream being made and consumed date back to around 697 AD in China. Although their ice cream wasn't like the one we know today. It was a mixture of dairy with salt and ice, that was frozen.
Some believe that ice cream goes back even further in time, to the Romans, who apparently collected snow from the mountains and then consumed it with honey and fruit juices.
Officially, it was in 1660 that Francesco Procopio Dei Coltelli perfected a prototype made by his grandfather for an ice cream machine, and produced and sold gelato in his cafe. That was the first time that ice cream was made available to the general population. Francesco's recipe was made of milk, butter, eggs, and cream and was soon exported to the rest of Europe.
The oldest recipe for ice cream in the United States is credited to Thomas Jefferson. He created a recipe for an Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream, which is now an artifact available at the Library of Congress.
While vanilla is America's favorite ice cream flavor, and usually the base for other ice creams, chocolate-flavored ice cream was actually invented first. It is also the most popular flavor in Canada. Some other popular flavors are cookie dough, cookies n’ cream, and mint chocolate chip.
The world's largest ice cream sundae was made in Canada on July 24, 1984, during National Ice Cream Month. It consisted of 63 flavors and weighed nearly 25 tonnes!
Celebrate National Ice Cream Day
There are many ways to enjoy ice cream on National Ice Cream Day. Ice Cream stores and vans sometimes offer special deals on ice cream for the day. So why not get a few scoops of your favorite flavor, or try something completely new? And if it's on offer, you might as well get some extra scoops!
Alternatively, you can try to make your own ice cream at home. It is a great opportunity to get creative with flavors that you've always wanted to try.
Benefits of Ice Cream
Ice cream acts as a mood booster. This is because it helps the brain produce hormones such as Serotonin and dopamine which results in more happiness.
Ice cream generally contains proteins, fats, and carbohydrates which help to increase your energy.
Since ice cream is made from milk, it contains essential vitamins such as vitamins A and D.
Ice creams especially those that are made with fruits or dark chocolates can contain antioxidants that protect the body from toxins and overall health.
Ice cream cools down the body and provides a sense of relief. It also contains a significant amount of water, contributing to hydration.