Monday, July 8, 2013

July is National Ice Cream Month

July is National Ice Cream Month! Who would have known?!? I discovered this odd but delightful fact while reading this months AAA magazine (the magazine AAA sends to its members to highlight cool and interesting things to do in your area).  The irony is that I was reading the article while waiting for a vanilla custard to chill on the 4th of July.  The custard was destined to be french vanilla for root beer floats, the all American dessert I planned to serve after my all American 4th of July dinner later that evening.  Afterwards I turned the remaining ice cream into mint chocolate chip to satisfy a craving I'd been having.

What a sweet sight!
Once I'd learned this small tidbit, I had to know more. So I did the next logical thing...I googled it!  A search of 'national ice cream month' resulted in a wikipedia entry (of course) and several news articles including one from the Los Angeles Times highlighting Parmesan Gelato and the Washington Post recommending Doughnut ice cream. Definitely check out these two articles if for no other reason than they both contain great pictures of some truly unique flavors.  Disclaimer: you may end up with a craving for ice cream!  The top search result was the most informative.  The International Dairy Foods Association describes the inception of this meaningless holiday as well as some facts about ice cream and the dairy industry. I also noticed that on the left side menu of the IFDA's website there are lots of other media announcements such as "What's Hot In Ice Cream" (the answer: its still vanilla!). It's amazing what you can learn when you are inquisitive!  As a seasonal eater its important to learn about the history of things because often what was done long ago was done so for a good reason. Although that theory doesn't necessarily apply to National Ice Cream Month it did get me thinking about how I plan to celebrate it.

Mint chocolate chip ice cream shouldn't be green. Freshly chopped mint is all you need!
Since the second week of July is just beginning, I think I will make a new (and seasonal flavor) of ice cream each week this month and highlight some of my favorite desserts centered around ice cream.  I already started with mint chocolate chip last week (mint is usually out of control wherever it grows by this time of year so its a great seasonal add in). Next week I am planning to attend the Portland Berry Festival. I have a great recipe for simple strawberry ice cream that will be very appropriate.  After that who knows?  How will you celebrate National Ice Cream Month???  Share your ideas in the comments section! Then, click here to learn how to make a delectable vanilla ice cream base using homemade vanilla extract and fair trade vanilla beans.

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