Looking for an excuse to get yourself some delicious ice cream? Here's one - It's your civic duty, because today, July 15th, 2012, is National Ice Cream Day! So go ahead and have a scoop or two, or if you can get away with it, just grab a tub!
This national holiday, which is celebrated on the third Sunday of July each year, was the brainchild of late US President Ronald Regan, whose proclamation number 5219 instructs Americans to 'observe the event with appropriate ceremonies and activities'.
The first ice cream-like concoction was served in the 4th century by Roman Emperor Nero, who sent his servants scurrying up the mountains to get some fresh snow, which was then mixed in with fruits, honey or wine and served as a one-of-a-kind treat to his guests.
The term 'Ice Cream' was coined by American colonists in 1776, from the phase 'Iced Cream'.
Americans are the biggest consumer of ice cream in the world, chowing down an average of 48 pints per person, every year! The top three cities in America that purchase the most ice cream on a per capita basis are: Portland, Oregon; St. Louis, Missouri; and Seattle,Washington.
Though we may pride ourselves on creating unusual (translate yucky) flavors like artichoke and garlic, people were as imaginative in the 1700's - A cookbook penned in 1790 had recipes for parmesan, ginger and even brown bread flavored ice cream!
The world's biggest Ice cream cone was 13 feet high and accommodated one ton of ice cream
While milk is the biggest ingredient, with each gallon of ice cream requiring 12lbs of the liquid, the most important ingredient is . . . . Air! Without it, the treat would be as hard as rock.
The first ice cream cone was invented accidentally in 1904 at the World Fair in St. Louis by an ice cream vendor who ran out of bowls and came up with the brilliant idea of teaming up with a waffle maker to keep up with the demand.
Children ages two through 12, and adults age 45 plus, eat the most ice cream per person.
And finally, it apparently takes fifty licks to eat a single scoop of ice cream - something we need to verify right away!
If you missed your chance to have ice cream today don't fret. President Reagan also declared the entire month of July - Ice Cream month - So go ahead and treat yourself again and again - At least, until the month comes to an end!
Happy National Ice Cream Day!
Resources: icecream.com, holidayinsights.com