I am so happy that July is here I can barely contain myself! Sure, I’m as patriotic as the next dog — Mom will make sure I have my favorite red, white and blue outfit ready for 4th of July — but I’m all a-twitter because July is National Ice Cream Month. All month! That’s almost too much to bear, not that I’m complaining, mind you.
It’s just that there are so many ways I can celebrate: sundaes, root beer floats, banana splits, milkshakes, pie a-la-mode, ice cream cones, and a couple of heaping scoops in my dog bowl just to keep things simple and easy.
Not only that, but Sunday, July 19 is National Ice Cream Day! Or Sundae Sunday as I like to call it. I’m going to have to come up with an appropriate outfit to celebrate that day. (Are you listening, Mom?)
That got my curious little mind to start thinking, “Where does ice cream come from and who is the genius that invented it?” Well, as in a lot of things in life, the answers are a little complicated, I soon found out.
So, with the help of Mom and my brothers and sister, Geno, Hugo and Lulu, we came up with 10 fun facts about ice cream:
1. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day.
2. Vanilla is by far the most popular flavor, enjoyed by 20 percent of us, followed by chocolate, strawberry and cookies and cream.
3. Chocolate syrup is the most popular topping. I prefer butterscotch, but that’s just me.
4. The average person eats 48 pints of ice cream a year. And 90% of American households eat ice cream. But New Zealand is number one in the world for ice cream consumption per capita.
5. Over her entire lifetime, one daily cow can produce enough milk for 9,000 gallons of ice cream!
6. The tallest ice cream cone was 9-feet tall and was made in Italy. I would need my stool to help eat that one.
7. That ice cream “brain freeze” that you often get is triggered when cold ice cream touches the roof of your mouth, causing blood vessels in the head to dilate.
8. The first ice cream cone was invented at the 1904 at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, when a Syrian concessionaire selling a crisp, waffle-like pastry noticed that the booth next to his selling ice cream had run out of dishes to serve his frozen treats in. He took one of his waffles, rolled it into a cone and showed it to the ice cream merchant, who scooped ice cream into it and the ice cream cone was born. Some folks say that the first ice cream cone was produced in 1896 by Italo Marchiony, who emigrated from Italy in the late 1800s. He invented his ice cream cone in New York City and was granted a patent in December 1903. Like I said, complicated, but whatever the case, I’m just glad they did it!
9. There are millions of flavors of ice cream (Ben & Jerry alone have 46!), including German Chocolate Cake, Black Raspberry Krunch Sundae and Hawaiian Wedding Cake Ice Cream that were named the most innovative ice cream flavors at a recent competition. But there’s also a hot dog-flavored ice cream, which is right up my alley!
10. One in 10 people admit to licking the bowl clean after eating ice cream (who wouldn’t??), and one in five share it with their pets. Around here, sharing is a given, which warms my little heart.
So get out there and celebrate National Ice Cream Month with, as President Reagan said in 1984, “appropriate ceremonies and activities.” Now where did I put my ice cream cone hat?