This summer, get the scoop on National Ice Cream Day!
It's the one day set aside to honor everything cool, sweet and creamy. And, it's celebrated every year in July.
It was President Ronald Reagan who in 1984 officially declared July as National Ice Cream Month, and established National Ice Cream Day as the third Sunday in July.
This year, join millions of Americans who will be celebrating National Ice Cream Day on Monday, July 16, 2018 -- in honor of the popular dessert that's guaranteed to lift you up and cool you down on even the hottest summer day ....
Ice cream fun facts
Why is National Ice Cream Day celebrated in the U.S.? Why not? Fact is, the U.S. enjoys a whopping 48 pints of ice cream per person every year on average, making Americans the No. 1 ice cream consumers worldwide. Coming in No. 2? New Zealand.
The top five ice cream flavors enjoyed by Americans? That would be vanilla at 27.8%, followed by chocolate (14.3%), strawberry (3.3%), chocolate chip (3.3%) and butter pecan (2.8%).
Here are some more ice cream fun facts to amaze your friends this National Ice Cream Day:
Winner and still
• It wasn't until Italian explorer Marco Polo returned from the Far East (with a recipe that mostly resembled sherbet) that Europeans got their first taste of what we now know as ice cream.
• From Italy, ice cream made its way across Europe and, eventually, to colonial America where official records show that President George Washington allocated a total of $200 on ice cream purchases during the hot summer of 1790.
• In the late 19th century, America's soda shops bowed to pressure from local churches who demanded that the newly-popular "ice cream soda" not be served on Sundays. The simple solution? Remove the soda from the recipe which led to a new invention called (you guessed it) the ice cream sundae.
• During the St. Louis World Fair in 1904, a vendor ran out of ice cream cups to serve visitors. He quickly enlisted the help of a neighboring vendor who provided rolled-up waffle cones in which to serve the sweet treat ....and the ice cream cone was born!
How to celebrate National Ice Cream Day
That's easy. Watch for giant store chains such as Carvel and Dairy Queen offering free giveaways or other special offers in honor of the day. Or just head out for your favorite supermarket, neighborhood gelato shop, or ice cream vendor. Buy it on a popsicle, by the cup, in a cone, or place a heaping scoop of ice cream on your favorite pie for pie a la mode.
Get creative with toppings such as sprinkles, maraschino cherries, syrups and nuts. You can also celebrate National Ice Cream Day in style by gathering friends and family for a "build your own ice cream sundae" party with all the fixings.
More recipes for honoring the day can be found at Celebrate with Ice Cream. Meanwhile, here's one of our all-time favorites:
Waffle Berry ala Mode
1/2 cup strawberry topping
1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries
4 frozen waffles, toasted
4 scoops vanilla ice cream
4 whole strawberries for garnish
1. Gently toss 1/4 cup strawberry topping with berries; set aside.
Place waffle on serving plate. Spoon 1/2 cup berry mixture on waffle. Top with a scoop of ice cream, 1 tablespoon topping and whipped cream.
Garnish with additional strawberry.
Makes 4 servings.
More about celebrating National Ice Cream Day around the Web:
Ice Cream Fun Facts - More and more fun facts about ingredients, ice cream history and trivia, plus surf around the rest of the site to find your favorite ice cream in all U.S. 50 states, from IceCream.com.