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July is National Ice Cream Month. This means it is your civic duty to consume a scoop or two of the delicious treat daily. The fun tradition was started by former US president Ronald Reagan, who issued Proclamation 5219 in honor of the "nutritious and wholesome food" in 1984. The decree urges Americans to mark the month, or at least July 17 — designated National Ice Cream Day — with "appropriate ceremonies and activities."
Here is some fun ice cream trivia to keep you entertained while enjoying the creamy dessert.
Origin of ice cream
The first records of milk-based ice cream, made using heated fermented milk, flour, and camphor, come from China's Tang dynasty (618 – 907 AD). But the Arabs are credited with inventing the modern-day recipe, using milk and sugar as the primary ingredients, in the 9th century. By the 10th century, the delicious treat, made using milk, cream, flavored rosewater, dried fruits, and nuts, was widely available in Baghdad, Damascus, and Cairo.
The frozen treat did not arrive in the US until 1744 when Maryland Governor Thomas Bladen served strawberry ice cream to guests. Now, Americans are the world's largest consumers of ice cream, eating an average of 48 pints per person every year. An estimated $6 billion is spent annually on the treat, and the numbers are even higher if restaurant sales are included.
Ice-cream related Guinness World Records
The frozen dessert's popularity makes it a favorite for setting new Guinness World Records. The latest one was set in 2021 by the Ice Cream Lab pop-up at the Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The temporary retail shop offered ice cream lovers 1001 flavor options — setting a new world record for the most flavors offered.
Meanwhile, in 2018, Italian ice cream fan Dimitri Panciera garnered a world record for balancing the most scoops — 125 — on a single cone. His feat, achieved on the set of the television show "La Notte Dei Record," was witnessed by millions.
Ice cream choice reveals personality traits
Most people believe their choice of ice cream flavor is due to taste preferences. But Dr. Alan Hirsch, founder of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, maintains it reflects the individual's personality.
Vanilla ice cream fans are "impulsive risk-takers" who are great at relationships. Love chocolate ice cream? Then you are lively, charming, and slightly dramatic. Strawberry ice cream enthusiasts are introverts, while mint chocolate chip ice cream fans can be ambitious and argumentative. Surprisingly, those who enjoy the multi-colored rainbow sherbet are labeled pessimists, while rocky road ice cream lovers are believed to be engaging speakers and even better listeners.
Resources: Guinnessworldrecords.com, History.com, Wikipedia.com