If you are looking for an excuse to celebrate and eat ice cream, you’ve found it! Since 1984, National Ice Cream Day has been celebrated on the third Sunday in July. In fact, you can eat ice cream, guilt-free, every day during the month of July to celebrate National Ice Cream Month. (Your can start working on the resulting thickened waistline in August.)
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day. President Reagan recognized that over 90% of Americans enjoy ice cream. He encouraged Americans to celebrate ice cream’s nutritional values as well as the fun that families share while eating it. Many memorable occasions have been celebrated while enjoying ice cream treats.
When ice cream became popular in America in the 1930’s, the Laurel and Hardy movie “Come Clean” in 1931 included a little skit where Stan and Laurel Hardy go into an ice cream shop to order ice cream. Confusion results when Stan tries to pick what flavor of ice cream to order. The flavors he asks for, including chocolate, are not available. He ends up saying that he will take it without chocolate. The humorous skit became a favorite and long-remembered scene.
Besides being a subject for movies, ice cream has been the topic of many recipe books and children’s story books. Two examples of children’s story books about ice cream are “Simply Delicious” by Margaret Mahy and “Isaac the Ice Cream Truck” by Scott Santoro. Both are very colorful and fun books with ice cream being the central theme.
In “Isaac the Ice Cream Truck”, Isaac feels less important than other big trucks but finds out that when he is needed the most, he is important after all. In “Simply Delicious” Mr. Minky manages to carry an ice cream cone home to his son while riding his bicycle through a jungle full of very hungry creatures.
America celebrates ice cream in many other ways. There are ice cream socials and there are even internet blogs devoted to the topic of ice cream. Ice cream has even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records. In 1988, in Alberta, Canada, the largest ice cream sundae in the world weighed 55,000 pounds. (Calorie count was not given.) Then, also in 1988, the largest ice cream sandwich was made in Dubuque, Iowa. It was 2,500 pounds. Baskin-Robbins got in on the fun by making a 9,000 pound ice cream cake!
While some may celebrate ice cream in the public forum, many celebrate in the privacy of their own homes . . . in the middle of the night. Dipping into the ice cream tub as a midnight snack is done by one of every five ice cream eaters, mostly ages 18 – 24; and, those midnight snack ice cream bandits are more men than women.
Those middle-of-the-night ice cream-eating men are also the ones who are licking their ice cream bowls clean. Only 8% of women admit to licking ice cream bowls clean and 13% of men admit to licking ice cream bowls clean. Elvis Presley may have been an ice cream bowl licker because some of his favorite snack times were drinking chocolate milkshakes and eating peach ice cream.
Ice cream has been evolving for over 2000 years from the simplest form of ice topped by fruit to its current creamy textures, many forms and flavors… and to think ice cream even has its own special day as well as an entire month to celebrate!