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Chef's Hat: Celebrate National Ice Cream Month

Celebrate National Ice Cream Month

The past few weeks of hot, humid weather had me thinking of ice cream — ice cream sandwiches, ice cream sundaes, malts, shakes and pretty much anything cold and sweet.

July can be a hot, sticky month, so it is no wonder it was officially designated National Ice Cream Month in 1984.

It’s not hard to believe that ice cream is a billion dollar a year industry. I can’t think of a single person who doesn’t like some form or flavor of this cold treat. The National Ice Cream Retailers Association has some fun and interesting facts about America’s favorite cold dessert:

• The average dairy cow can produce enough milk in her lifetime to make a little over 9,000 gallons of ice cream.

• Vanilla is the best-selling ice cream flavor.

• The major ingredient in ice cream is air.

• National Ice Cream Month was created by Ronald Reagan in 1984.

• It takes approximately 50 licks to finish off a scoop of ice cream.

• The United States is the top ice cream consuming country in the world.

• In 1812 the first lady, Dolley Madison, served ice cream at the second inaugural ball.

• It takes 12 pounds of milk to make a gallon of ice cream.

• The ice cream cone was invented in 1896.

• The ice cream sundae was invented in 1874. It was originally a special ice cream soda eaten on Sundays.

• Ice cream was first advertised in America in 1777.

• Each American consumes a yearly average of 23.2 quarts of ice cream, ice milk, sherbet, ices and other commercially produced frozen dairy products.

• The true origin of ice cream is unknown; however, reports of frozen desserts have been reported as far back as the second century B.C.

Granted, there is sometimes nothing better than to dish up your favorite flavor of ice cream into a bowl. But in honor of National Ice Cream Month I have dug out a few ice cream recipes.

Cool off with a scoop of your favorite ice cream or try one of those cool desserts. And for a great treat, make up a batch of homemade butterscotch topping and serve it on a big scoop of French vanilla ice cream.

Happy eating!