President Ronald Reagan, in 1984, proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month. President Reagan recognized that over 90% of Americans enjoy ice cream. He encouraged Americans to celebrate ice cream’s nutritional values as well as the fun that families share while eating it. Many memorable occasions have been celebrated while enjoying ice cream treats.
When ice cream became popular in America in the 1930’s, a Laurel and Hardy movie in 1931 called “Come Clean” included a little skit in an ice cream parlor. Stan and Laurel go into the shop to order ice cream and confusion results when Stan tries to pick what flavor to order. The flavors (including chocolate) he asks for are unavailable. He ends up saying that he will take it without chocolate. The humorous skit became a favorite and long-remembered scene.
Besides being a subject for movies, ice cream has been the topic of many recipe books and children’s story books. Two examples of children’s story books about ice cream are “Simply Delicious” by Margaret Mahy and “Isaac the Ice Cream Truck” by Scott Santoro. Both are very colorful and fun books with ice cream being the central theme.
In “Isaac the Ice Cream Truck”, Isaac feels less important than other big trucks but finds out that he is important after all. In “Simply Delicious” Mr. Minky manages to carry an ice cream cone home to his son while riding his bicycle through a jungle full of very hungry creatures.
America celebrates ice cream in many other ways. There are ice cream socials and there are even internet blogs devoted to the topic of ice cream. Ice cream has even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records. In 1988, in Alberta, Canada, the largest ice cream sundae in the world weighed 55,000 pounds. (Calorie count was not given.) Then, also in 1988, the largest ice cream sandwich was made in Dubuque, Iowa. It was 2,500 pounds. Baskin-Robbins got in on the fun by making a 9,000 pound ice cream cake.
While some may celebrate ice cream in the public forum, many celebrate in the privacy of their own homes . . . in the middle of the night. Dipping into the ice cream tub as a midnight snack is done by one of every five ice cream eaters, mostly ages 18 – 24; and, those midnight snack ice cream bandits are more men than women.
Those middle-of-the-night ice cream-eating men are also the ones who are licking their ice cream bowls clean. Only 8% of women admit to licking ice cream bowls clean and 13% of men admit to licking ice cream bowls clean. Elvis Presley may have been an ice cream bowl licker because some of his favorite snack times were drinking chocolate milkshakes and eating peach ice cream.
Celebrating ice cream is not left only to humans. 5% of people who eat ice cream share the tasty treat with their dogs, cats, birds and other pets.
Ice cream has been evolving for over 2000 years from the simplest form of ice topped by fruit to its current creamy textures, many forms and flavors . . . and to think ice cream even has its own special day as well as an entire month to celebrate!