National Ice Cream Day is celebrated the third Sunday of July, the 16th this year, in the United States. It is a time of the year when millions of people all across the country can enjoy one of the most traditional American desserts of all time. This day, as well as National Ice Cream Month, was established by presidential proclamation in July of 1984 and continues to be the favorite holiday of children of all ages.
In July of 1984, President Ronald Reagan declared the third week of July to be National Ice Cream Month by signing proclamation 5219. In this proclamation, the president called ice cream the perfect dessert and snack food and stated that over 90 percent of Americans enjoy it on a regular basis. He also stated in the proclamation that Americans should observe this day with appropriate activities and celebrations.
According to the International Dairy Foods Association, the United States Ice Cream industry produces over ten billion dollars a year in revenue. Since international sales only makes up about three to four billion dollars of those figures, it is safe to say Americans really love their ice cream. After all, they consume almost seven billion dollars of it each year.
Another fact that is sure to convince you of the American love for ice cream is the fact that almost ten percent of all milk produced by U.S. Dairy farmers is used in the production of ice cream.
While the history of National Ice Cream Day is an indisputable truth, the same can’t be said about the history of ice cream itself. Many different countries have claimed that it is their invention, but most likely modern ice cream was invented by the Chinese during the seventh century.
In the United States, the history of ice cream is a little more straight forward. It was brought to the colonies from Europe and quickly became a favorite of the wealthy. It would remain in the hands of the elite until the 19th century when improvements in technology allowed ice cream to be mass produced. The rest, as they say, is history.
Speaking of history, I remember when the basic flavors of ice cream were chocolate and vanilla. Then came strawberry and chocolate chip. Baskin Robbins came up with 31 flavors and kids thought they were in heaven in regards to ice cream. Are you curious as to what kind of ice cream people across the country like? Here is the most recent map I found from July 2021. I was surprised to see the results of the flavors chosen. I have not even heard of Rum Raisin, Mango, or Coffee being an ice cream flavor. What do you think? (Click on the map to see it more clearly.)