July is National Ice Cream Month (Credit: Teejay/ Pxhere.com/ CC-BY-SA-2.0)

President Ronald Reagan's love for jelly beans was well-known. However, America's 40th leader also had a soft spot for ice cream. In 1984, he issued Proclamation 5219. It declared July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day. Americans are urged to celebrate the month "with appropriate ceremonies and activities." This means eating as much ice cream as you can. These fun facts will keep you entertained while you perform your civic duty.

The origin

The modern ice cream recipe, using milk and sugar as the primary ingredients, was created by the Arabs in the 9th century. Europeans discovered the creamy treat in the 16th century. But the first account of ice cream in the US did not come until 1744 when Maryland Governor Thomas Bladen served it to guests.

However, the nation has made up for the lost years. Americans are now the world's largest consumers of ice cream, eating an average 20 pounds (9 kg) of ice cream per person each year. Over $6 billion is spent annually on the sweet treat. Though California produces the most ice cream, the biggest fans per capita live in Washington, DC, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.

Popular flavors

Vanilla is still the top ice cream choice in the US and globally (Credit: Baskin Robbins/ CC-BY-SA-2.0)

There are over 1,000 recorded ice cream flavors worldwide. However, vanilla remains the top choice globally. Other favorites include chocolate, strawberry, mint chocolate chip, and cookies & cream. Interestingly, the trend of adding unique ingredients to ice cream is not new. A 1790 cookbook had recipes for Parmesan, ginger, and even brown bread-flavored ice cream!

What your favorite flavor says about you

Your flavor choice may reflect your personality (Credit: Baskin Robbins/ CC-BY-SA-2.0)

Dr. Alan Hirsch, founder of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, believes your favorite flavor reflects your personality. For instance, vanilla lovers are believed to be impulsive. Chocolate fans are lively, charming, and a bit dramatic. Strawberry enthusiasts tend to be introverts, while mint chocolate chip fans are cautious.

Guinness World Records

The frozen dessert's popularity makes it a favorite for setting Guinness World Records. In 2023, Germany's Andre Ortolf set a new record for eating the most ice cream — 1.25 pounds (568 grams) — in 30 seconds. In 2018, Italy's Dimitri Panciera garnered a world record for balancing the most scoops — 125 — on a single cone. His remarkable feat, televised live, was witnessed by millions of people worldwide.

Happy National Ice Cream Month!

Resources: Wikipedia.org, benjerry.com, starpacnet.com,monticello.org, preservationmaryland.org