July is often associated with Independence Day, but did you know that the whole month of July is a national holiday? That’s right — July is National Ice Cream Month, a holiday that many Americans unknowingly participate in year-round. Americans consume the most ice cream in the world at an average of 20 quarts a year. It’s no wonder why we have a national holiday for this beloved sweet treat.
Ice cream has a long history in itself, dating back thousands of years. It is widely disputed as to when and where ice cream was invented, with various sources citing the ancient Romans and the ancient Chinese as having created the earliest versions of the frozen dessert. In one early record, ice cream was shown to be a favored treat of Roman Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar (A.D. 54-86), who would send slaves into the mountains to gather snow to be garnished with fruits and juices. Sources also claim that famed explorer Marco Polo brought a sherbet-like recipe to Europe during the 13th century, where it became a luxury among royal courts.
Centuries later, U.S. presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson’s affection for ice cream secured its place among America’s elite circles. Ice cream first became available to the American public in the 18th century, when the first ice cream parlor opened in New York City. However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that technological advances enabled the mass production of ice cream to become a booming industry in America, enjoyed by people of all socioeconomic standings.
National Ice Cream Month came into existence in 1984, during President Ronald Reagan’s second term. An ice cream aficionado in his own right, Reagan declared July National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day. Wondering how you can you participate in the festivities? Get in the spirit by indulging yourself at one of Menuism’s favorite ice cream spots below:
Arguably one of the most famous restaurants in the country, Serendipity 3 has been featured in an impressive list of movies, and boasts the world’s most expensive dessert at a jaw-dropping $25,000. Also known for its trademark Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, Serendipity 3 has become a popular destination for tourists and celebrities.
Bombay Ice Cream has received numerous accolades, having been voted one of the “Best Places” to dine in San Francisco, and featured on Food Network and CBS. With flavors like chai, ginger, and rose, Bombay’s diverse selection of flavors excites the palate.
Using only local ingredients to create their ice cream, Molly Moon Ice Cream has carved out a name for itself, garnering recognition from Food & Wine, The Seattle Times, and Bon Appétit, among others. Try the theo chocolate — this trademark flavor is adored by chocolate lovers.
With numerous awards and recognitions to its name, J.P. Licks is a Boston favorite for ice cream goers. Using simple ingredients to create intense flavors like fresh cucumber and fresh mojito sorbet, the menu has something for everyone.
You can also make your way over to the festivals below to engage in some family-friendly ice cream socializing:
On July 21st from 10 AM til 6 PM, attendees will be treated to ice cream sampling, ice cream making demonstrations, games, and other family-oriented activities.
On July 21st from 11:30 AM til 5 PM, attendees will be able to go on inflatable rides, participate in ice cream tasting, and compete in eating contests.
How do you plan on celebrating National Ice Cream Month? Chime in below!
Marisa Miyasaki loves to mix and match different cuisines and believes Korean Tacos are just about the coolest thing ever invented. She is a devout foodhist and has a borderline-crazy obsession with taking pictures of nearly everything she eats. As Menuism's Community Manager, Marisa hopes to share her passion for food with the world- one hungry foodie at a time.