Friday, July 6, 2012

National Ice Cream Month - Sweet Treats in July

ice cream flavor
Ice Cream Deliciousness!
As the temperatures have soared to the upper 90's and 100's and storms across the country have knocked out electricity - many are doing anything possible to keep cool.  I have the perfect solution - ice cream!  July  is after all - National Ice Cream Month!

I didn't realize it was National Ice Cream Month until I received an email from Blue Bunny Ice Cream - a company for which I was a contributing writer for their online magazine.  Of course, since that email I have had ice cream on my brain all week!  So to support, celebrate, and provide a solution to the sweltering heat - let's scream for ice cream!

Fun Facts About Ice Cream:
  • In 1984, former President Ronald Reagan designated July the National Ice Cream Month.
  • The 3rd Sunday in July is National Ice Cream Day!
  • 1.53 billion gallons of ice cream and other frozen desserts were made in 2011 in the US (International Dairy Foods Association; source USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service)
  • 90% of American households eat ice cream (National Geographic article)
  • In 1919, the "I Scream Bar" was invented, later to be renamed Eskimo Pie in 1921 by Russell Stover (Source: The Facts of File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, 1/1/2004)
  • The term "brain freeze" was trademarked by the retail chain "Seven-Eleven". Scientific name is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia - which happens when the extreme cold hits the roof of your mouth and causes an increase in blood flow in the anterior cerebral artery according to a study led by Dr. Jorge Serrador of Harvard Medical School. (Reported by American Physiological Society)
ice cream flavor
Sharing an ice cream cone is twice the fun!

Facts and fun aside; eating ice cream is not just an American past time.  This cool treat began in early Europe in the second century B.C. with snow ice (maybe that is where snow cones originated).  The frozen sweet treats of sweet milk, cream, butter and eggs (originally reserved for the elite in the 1800's) are now enjoyed by people of every culture.  In 1925 the Waring's Pennsylvanians even had a musical hit that we all know a version of called, "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream."

From ice cream cones to ice cream sodas, to sorbets, sherbet, and frozen yogurt - the concept of cool treats has evolved through the years.  And although ice cream is not considered a food group - I am sure some would disagree.  Some of the more popular types and flavors of ice cream listed by the International Dairy Foods Association are:
  • Ice Cream - homemade ice cream, hard or soft ice cream
  • Frozen Custard or French Ice Cream
  • Sherbets
  • Gelato - Italian ice cream
  • Sorbet / Water Ices
  • Frozen Yogurt
  • Mochi - Japanese confection of sticky rice with an ice cream filling (I added this one.)
Nutritional information and value aside; tomorrow as the heat of summer hits 102 degrees in eastern Pennsylvania, you can be sure that my family and I will be taking in the coolness of a sweet ice cream cone or ice cream sundae or other ice treat at the local ice cream shop.  We will just have to decide whether that is at the local Cold Stone Creamery, Dairy Queen, Maggie Moos, Rita's or the mom and pop stand down the street - sooo many choices!

Join our ice cream poll and tell us what your favorite ice cream flavor is!

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