We all scream for ice cream!

By Steve Whitaker In tribute to that whimsical frozen confection, let’s celebrate National Ice Cream Month. My best and worst memory involving ice cream came on vacation as a little boy. My aunt bought me a banana ice cream cone. Banana ice cream – I’m in heaven! I thought.  But it only took one lick for that scoop of ice cream to go from the top of the cone to the sand below. I was crushed, but the one taste I did capture was the best taste of ice cream I’ve ever had, even to this day. Ice cream actually started from somewhat humble beginnings. The privileged in ancient times enjoyed snow and ice flavored with honey, nectar, fruits and juices. These concoctions were like the street corner sno-cones of today. The International Dairy Foods Association offers some “firsts” concerning the introduction of ice cream to the U.S.: • The first official account of ice cream in the New World was mentioned in a letter written in 1744 by a guest of Maryland Governor William Bladen. • The first advertisement for ice cream appeared in the New York Gazette on May 12, 1777. In the ad, confectioner Philip Lenzi announced that ice cream was available "almost every day." • Ice cream in a cone was first served at the 1904 Saint Louis World’s Fair. Some unknown presidential ice cream facts: • President George Washington spent approximately $200 for ice cream during the summer of 1790. • President Thomas Jefferson had an 18-step recipe for an ice cream delicacy that resembled a modern-day Baked Alaska. • Recognizing the popularity of ice cream in the U.S., President Ronald Reagan designated July 1984 as National Ice Cream Month and July 14, 1984, as National Ice Cream Day. The popularity of ice cream parlors came about with the increase in automobile ownership from the 1920s through the 1940s. Chains of roadside ice cream parlors, stands and eateries specializing in ice cream became very popular. Some favorites were Dutchland Farms, Howard Johnson’s, Prince Castle, Henry’s and Friendly’s. The 1940s saw the introduction of soft-serve ice cream and the first Dairy Queen, which was located in Joliet, Illinois. Admittedly, the lists of ice cream lovers’ favorite flavors vary, but here’s an overall top-10 list: 1.            Vanilla 2.            Chocolate 3.            Butter pecan 4.            Strawberry 5.            Neapolitan 6.            Chocolate chip 7.            French vanilla 8.            Cookies and cream 9.            Vanilla fudge ripple 10.         Praline pecan Next time you sit down with your favorite flavor, maybe you’ll have a richer appreciation for that frozen treat that is ice cream. Or you can make it yourself. Ice Cream Socials All summer long, Wesley Homes holds ice cream socials. To join us and get a personalized tour, call: Jennifer or Lynn in Des Moines at 206.824.5000 or Karen in Auburn at 253.876.6000

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