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Summer has descended in full force across the United States especially, for those of you that live on the West Coast. Here is some news that may help take the edge of the sweltering heat - July, is National Ice Cream Month, which means that you can indulge in the creamy treat, as often as you want.
And if you think this was a gimmick concocted by the manufacturers, think again - It was none other than our jellybean loving President, Ronald Regan, who recognized the food's nutritious and wholesome qualities and made this declaration in 1984. If that wasn't enough, he even decreed the third Sunday of the month, National Ice Cream Day. Proclamation number 5219 instructs Americans to 'observe the event with appropriate ceremonies and activities'.
As you go about performing your civic duty, here are some fun facts about this sweet treat that you may not be aware of:-
- The first ice cream-like treat 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 an unusual scrumptious treat to his guests.
- The first dessert fed to Ellis Island immigrants was Vanilla Ice Cream!
- The name 'Ice Cream', was coined from the phrase 'Iced Cream' by American colonists in 1776.
- Americans are the biggest consumers of ice cream in the world, chowing down an average of five gallons a person or about a scoop every two days, annually! Most of it is consumed by children between the ages of 2-12 and adults over the age of 45. Not surprisingly, it is the second most loved dessert in the country, taking a back seat only to, cookies!
- While California is the biggest producer, the cities that consume the most ice cream on a per capita basis happen to be in Oregon (Portland), Maryland (Baltimore) and Nebraska (Omaha). We also seem to share this treat with other nations, exporting over $90 million USD worth each year, largely to Japan, Hong Kong, Mexico, and Korea.
- 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.
- Though milk is the largest 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 a rock.
- Most people believe that 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. However, cones were the brainchild of a New York Ice Cream vendor who was trying to stop customers from taking off with his ice cream glasses!
And finally, it apparently takes most people fifty licks to eat a single scoop of ice cream - Something, we need to go and verify immediately!
Happy National Ice Cream Month!
Resources: icecream.com, icecreo.com