National Ice Cream Day has come and gone—but in celebration I tried a new ice cream cone this weekend. It was sweet and salty pretzel ice cream. Advertised as a “NEW!” flavour on the chalk board of an ice cream emporium, I could not resist. Seriously, it called out my name, and I answered. It was wonderful—the small chunks of pretzel embedded in the ‘to die for’ caramel laced ice cream were covered in chocolate. I asked for one scoop, and I am glad I did not ask for two because the humongous scoop filled the giant waffle cone from top to bottom.
I am not generally an ice cream lover, but I could easily become addicted to this flavour and will be on the lookout for it wherever I see a chalk board list. Ice cream is a very summer food—it is good at other times of the year, as an accompaniment to birthday cake or a slice of pie, but it comes into its own in the summer.
I think my fondness for ice cream was tempered somewhat one summer when I was 17 and worked at the Kingsville Dairy on Pearl Street. I filled in for a few weeks for a vacationing ice cream scooper/banana split creator/milkshake maker/and architect of all things ice cream. By the end of my stint I was a little tired of ice cream—covered some days up to my elbows in the frozen goodness when the ice cream bucket was no longer full and you practically had to dive into it to get the remaining few scoops.
I learned a lot of things in those few weeks. I learned how to make milkshakes and brown cows and floats galore. But my banana splits were a sight to see. Beautifully fashioned, I almost hated to serve them as they were surely eaten by some gluttonous soul who would not appreciate my artful creation. I split the banana with precision, and if the boss was not there, spread some chocolate sauce on the bottom to keep the slices in place. Then I would dip out perfectly shaped round scoops of three different types of ice cream: strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla. The chocolate would be covered in chocolate sauce, the vanilla in pineapple sauce, and the strawberry scoop would get a dollop of strawberry preserves. Then the piece de resistance: whipped cream. It was a thing of beauty.
I actually enjoyed waiting on the customers at the Dairy, but it was the Milkmen who were really nice. They would come in after making their deliveries, and each one would have their special order that they would get every day. After a week, you caught on to what they wanted and would not even have to ask. And of course they would always tip, in a place where tips were few and far between (for me anyway—but I never have been much of a waitress).
I miss the days when we had Milkmen who delivered to your door. When I was a little girl, our Milkman (he was like a member of the family) would always call me and my friends “boys” if we were outside playing. He thought this was hilariously funny, and though I look back on it fondly now, at the time I was confused as to why he thought we were boys.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand–National Ice Cream Day. According to Elyse Hastings on the website for 680 News Radio, The International Ice Cream Association has designated the whole month of July as National Ice Cream Month with National Ice Cream Day recognized on July 21st this year.
Senior Vice-President of Cold Stone Creamery, Nick Javor said in the write-up that “Ice cream is one of the most versatile foods in the world, with limitless combinations, and pairs perfectly with almost anything.” Methinks Mr. Javor could be exaggerating just a bit, as pairing ice cream with roast beef, mashed potatoes and corn would not be the best combo I can think of, and it would just be messy on an antipasto tray.
It was by Presidential Proclamation in 1984 that Ronald Reagan declared the third Sunday in July National Ice Cream Day. Apparently 90% of Americans eat ice cream. Canadians on the other hand, consume an average of 5.6 litres each of ice cream which is about 24 cups a year.
Fun fact: The Ontario Dairy Farmers Association reports that the average number of licks to finish a half cup of ice cream is 50. I would not know as I do not lick my ice cream. I nibble it delicately and daintily—which does not explain why I usually end up with it dribbled down my front.
What is your favourite ice cream flavour?