That's right, today is National Ice Cream Day in the United States. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July National Ice Cream Month, and the third Sunday in July National Ice Cream Day. What better way to celebrate this little-known occasion than to enjoy a delicious frozen confection?
Though frozen desserts are believed to have existed for thousands of years, recipes for ice cream as we know it were first circulated in the 18th century. Since that time, ice cream has increased in popularity, finding its way into cones, sundaes, milkshakes, and sodas; and rising to the rank of second-favorite dessert in the United States - just behind cookies - according to a 1997 AC Nielsen survey. Second favorite? Really? Make no mistake; cookies are very high on my list of favorite desserts. I just can't imagine getting quite as excited by them as I do by ice cream.
So, on this third Sunday in July, don't forget to pay tribute to this classic, versatile and delicious dessert. Be on the lookout for special ice cream-related promotions in your area. Oakland, California's Fenton's Creamery, celebrating its 115th year in business, served free scoops to customers during an outdoor celebration this afternoon, and had I learned of this more than twenty minutes ago I might have made the drive to Oakland in order to take part. Instead, I think I'll celebrate National Ice Cream Day by redeeming a coupon for a free pint from Baskin Robbins, which I got a couple weeks ago in exchange for a pint of blood. A fair trade, wouldn't you say?