Friday, July 24, 2009

National Ice Cream Month

JULY IS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH! Just in case you didn't know, I felt it was my duty to fill you in on this wonderful fact. In 1984 President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month, with the 3rd Sunday being National Ice Cream Day.

Ice Cream goes way back in time - at least iced desserts do. In ancient times everyone from the Chinese to the Romans had a variety of treats they made with ice or snow and flavorings of honey and fruit. As time progressed rich milk with cream was added to some of these and eventually they "churned" out what we know today as ice cream.

Iced cream was a term our ancestors knew well, even as far back as 1776 when the first iced cream parlor opened in New York City. Eventually the "iced" became simply "ice" and the title has been with us ever since.

Jacob Fussell made the first large-scale commercial ice cream plant in 1851. Bless his heart.

The ice cream cone made its American debut at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. Well, actually there is great dispute over this, as many claim to have been serving ice cream in an edible waffled-like cone prior to this. Even so, the World's Fair definitely gave the ice cream cone a boost in marketing.

One of the neatest facts I learned about ice cream was that in the late 19th century vendors who sold ice cream and other frozen desserts via portable carts were called Hokey Pokey men. Proving once and for all that ice cream really is "what it's all about." Actually it's said that the saying may come from the fact that many ice cream vendors were of Italian descent and would call out, "O che poco!" ("Oh, here's a little!") or occi-pocci (mixed colors or flavors).

No matter what - the important thing here is that ice cream deserves to be celebrated - even the President said so. Everyone go grab a bowl and get started. The month only has another week left!

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