|PA's National Ice Cream Month celebration with Sec. of Ag.|
It’s July 31st and that means that one of my favorite national unique holidays is over at 11:59 tonight. July, along with a few other unique holidays, is National Ice Cream Month. This whole I have been just screaming for ice cream! Of course being a part of the agriculture industry makes me a strong supporter of all days and months devoted to agriculture celebrations, such as beef month, dairy month, strawberry month and the list goes on.
So in honor of the ending of National Ice Cream Month, here’s the “scoop” on the history behind this fabulous agriculture holiday.
President Ronald Reagan declared July and every July after 1984 as National Ice Cream Month because he felt that ice cream is a nutritious food that is a perfect treat in the designated month. President Reagan actually declared the third Sunday in the month as the National Ice Cream Day. He recognized that ice cream is enjoyed by about 90 percent of the US population. Reagan was a huge supporter of this unique holiday as he called for US citizens to observe National Ice Cream Month with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.” Since that day, Americans have consumed 48 pints per person annually, which is more ice cream than any other nation.
The United States dairy industry has more than $21 billion in sales each year. 9 percent of the milk produced in the US is used to make ice cream. Pennsylvania ranks fourth in the production of ice cream and the top five milk producing counties are Lancaster, Franklin, Bradford, Berks, and Chester.
Many people enjoy this wonderful product without even thinking about where it began. It is said that Nero, Roman Emperor first began the thought of ice cream type concoction when he ordered his people to harvest the ice from the mountains and add fruit toppings. China’s King Tang actually created the ice and milk combination. For this reason, it is thought that ice cream was likely brought from China to Europe. Recipes were altered and ices, sherbets, and milk ice were served as a fashionable dessert. It was recorded that many famous American individuals served this dessert, such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Governor Bladen of Maryland, and many more. Then in 1776, the first ice cream parlor opened in New York City. Americans were the first to scoop up the term “ice cream”. Ice cream cones began in 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair when a vendor ran out of bowls and teamed up with a waffle vendor to make bowls and cones for the ice cream.
All this talk about ice cream has surely made me screaming for ice cream and I am sure you are too. Go celebrate the nation’s famous dessert product by enjoying a great big bowl of ice cream! President Reagan would be proud!