Dish or cone? That’s all we need to know. National Ice Cream Day on the 3rd Sunday in July offers up every flavor on the menu to fill up the honors! The holiday also lands in the middle of National Ice Cream Month, too.
Thousands of years ago, people in the Persian Empire put snow in a bowl, poured concentrated grape-juice over it, and ate it as a treat. Even when the weather was hot, they would savor this sweet treat. Their trick? They placed snow in underground chambers known as yakchal where the temperatures kept the snow from melting. The Persians also hiked to the mountain tops by their summer capital to gather snowfall.
The Chinese, under the Tang Dynasty around 697 AD, took to freezing dairy with salt and ice. However, the results aren’t exactly the ice cream we enjoy today. Frozen treats and beverages later, culinary folks point to Naples, Italy as the birthplace of the first ice cream. They give credit to Antonio Latini. He was born in 1642 and created a milk-based sorbet.
In the United States, the Quaker colonists earn the nod for bringing their ice recipes over with them. They opened the first ice cream shops, including shops in New York and other cities during the colonial era.
U.S. Ice Cream Facts
- Ben Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson enjoyed ice cream.
- 1813 -First Lady Dolley Madison served ice cream at the Inaugural Ball.
- 1832 – African American confectioner, Augustus Jackson, created multiple ice cream recipes as well as a superior technique to manufacture ice cream.
- 1843 – Philadelphian, Nancy Johnson, received the first U.S. patent for a small-scale hand-cranked ice cream freezer.
- 1920 – Harry Burt puts the first ice cream trucks on the streets.
An astonishing fact regarding Thomas Jefferson, his recipe for Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream is believed to be the oldest recipe for ice cream in the USA. The recipe below is provided by the Library of Congress. The transcript is word for word for ease of following along.
Thomas Jefferson’s Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
The Original Thomas Jefferson Ice Cream Recipe
2 bottles of good cream.
6 yolks of eggs.
1/2 lb. sugar
mix the yolks & sugar
put the cream on a fire in a casse—role, first putting in a stick of Vanilla.
when near boiling take it off & pour it gently into the mixture of eggs & sugar.
stir it well. put it on the fire again stirring
it thoroughly with a spoon to
prevent it’s sticking to the casse–-role.
when near boiling take it off and
strain it thro’ a towel.
put it in the Sabottiere
then set it in ice an hour before
it is to be served. put into the
ice a handful of salt.
put ice all around the Sabottiere
i.e. a layer of ice a layer of salt
for three layers.
put salt on the coverlid of the
Sabotiere & cover the whole with ice.
leave it still half a quarter of an hour.
then turn the Sabottiere in the
ice 10 minutes
open it to loosen with a spatula
the ice from the inner sides of
shut it & replace it in the ice.
open it from time to time to de-
-tach the ice from the sides.
when well taken (prise) stir it
well with the Spatula.
put it in moulds, justling it
well down on the knee.
then put the mould into the same bucket of ice.
leave it there to the moment of serving it.
to withdraw it, immerse the
mould in warm water,
turning it well till it
will come out & turn it
into a plate.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL ICE CREAM DAY
Enjoy National Ice Cream Day by sharing some with your family and friends! Post on social media using #NationalIceCreamDay.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month and established National Ice Cream Day as the third Sunday in July.