Why is July National Ice Cream Month?
Like chess and polo, many different countries and even cities claim to have invented ice cream. Whatever its origins, ice cream has found a place in people’s hearts around the world. The U.S. even has a month specially dedicated to ice cream. But people don’t wait until July to indulge in their favorite sweet treat. No matter the time of year, most homes and stores wisely stock up on ice cream cups and supplies year round.
A very brief history of ice cream
The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans are reported to have enjoyed ice cream made by flavoring crushed ice, while Marco Polo is supposed to have brought back the secret recipe from China. By the 16th century, the English and Italians were eating cream ice and it was becoming available for public consumption as well.
The first recorded mention in the U,S. actually predates the republic. In 1744, the Maryland Governor served a sweet, frozen dessert to his guests. That was the beginning of the American love affair with ice cream, which has lasted to the present day. Presidents Washington, Jefferson and Madison were all fans.
The tradition continues
At the present time, the amount of ice cream and other similar treats produced in the U.S. is around 1.5 billion gallons. In fact, 9% of all the milk production in the country is used to make ice cream, and it’s necessary to keep up with the demand. Frozen yogurt and gelato are other popular sweet frozen desserts, but ice cream leads the field by a long margin.
The NPD Group reports that four out of ten Americans will eat ice cream in any two-week period. That comes to 28.5 times a year. With all kinds of new flavors like green tea and ginger, the favorite remains vanilla. Ice cream is so popular that it even has a month dedicated to it. Not surprisingly, it falls in the height of summer. July is the national Ice Cream Month.
Most homes, families and grocery stores keep ice cream and all necessary supplies, like ice cream cups and tasting spoons handy, not just in July but year-round. Over the years, ice cares has picked up a load of cultural meanings as well. Whether eaten by itself or in sundaes, floats and other desserts, ice cream continues to vet the favorite American dessert and comfort food.