Most would agree that summer is the peak season for ice cream consumption. Therefore it makes perfect sense that, in the United States, July was proclaimed National Ice Cream Month.
It was President Ronald Reagan’s Proclamation 5219 promoted this national observance, designating July 1984 as National Ice Cream Month. Today ice cream manufacturers carry on this tradition (Note: This tradition can be traced back to the begining of the 20th century- see our Pic of the Week: National Ice Cream Days of Past post that features a 1920 Washington Times advertisement.)
An old high school friend of mine posted on her Facebook page that July 23 is National Vanilla Ice Cream Day. I did some research and could not identify who started this day- there is an absence of documentation.
Despite the lack of evidence on the origination of National Vanilla Ice Cream Day, it still can be celebrated. One way to do this is by making Thomas Jefferson’s vanilla ice cream recipe . More than likely Jefferson got this recipe from France. Food historians state that vanilla ice cream proliferated in 18th century France, hence we have the French vanilla ice cream flavor. Vanilla, indigenous to Mexico, came to Europe in the 16th century. It may be hard to read Jefferson’s handwriting- so here is a transcription from Monticello.
If you are interested in learning more about the history and science of ice cream see our guide to ice cream
And if you still want more, Our Music Division’s In the Muse blog also has a post about ice cream - Two Scoops from the Music Division.