July Is National Ice Cream Month

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! We all know the slogan and most of us would agree with it. In 1984, Congress passed and the President of the United States signed a proclamation proclaiming July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day.

The beginnings of the sweet treat can be traced back to the 5th century BCE, to ancient Greece and Rome, where snow or crushed ice was mixed with different fruits. The Roman emperors would have runners go up into the mountains to bring back snow in order to make this sweet, fruity dessert in the hot Italian summers. Perhaps this is where Italian Ice originated. Today we do not need to run into the mountains, we have Rita’s around the corner as well as other purveyors of ice cream and water ices.

The United States is second in the world when it comes to ice cream consumption. Believe it or not, little New Zealand gobbles up more ice cream than we do!

If you are interested in the history of ice cream, as well as fun facts you can use to impress your friends this summer, here is a good website with succinct, bite sized pieces of information, from the ancient past, to the present.

The Mercer County Library system also has a number of good books on the history of ice cream as well as recipes for making your own. Have a lick, I mean, have a look at some of these:

Of Sugar and Snow by Jeri Quinzio
Of Sugar and Snow by Jeri Quinzio
For a good read on one of the most famous ice cream companies in the country, Ben and Jerry’s, try these two titles.
Ben & Jerry's Double-Dip
For children (we are after all, talking about ice cream), you may be interested in a few of the following titles. We have about five pages of titles for children on this topic. Here is only page one, you may scroll down or proceed to more catalog pages. It will be as difficult as picking an ice cream flavor.

So now we come to the ever popular, if not messy, but fun, ice cream cone. Who and where was it first invented. There is some controversy around this, and North Bergen, NJ has at least some claim to fame when it comes to this issue. Here are two articles on the topic. After reading them, you can decide who the ‘winner’ is.

Zalabia and the First Ice-Cream Cone

and

The History of the Ice Cream Cone

OK, you may now go get some ice cream. You know you want some. Admit it!

-Gary Calderone, Ewing Branch

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