Ice Cream!

child eating ice creamA reason to celebrate! Even though we are into August,  we can still enjoy a delicious  ice cream treat!  It was president Ronald Reagan who first declared that the frosty confection would be celebrated in July.

But most of us don’t  need a Presidential declaration. According to the National Agriculture Statistics Service of the USDA, about 1.53 billion gallons of ice cream were produced in 2011. The most recent data (from 2010) indicates that the dairy industry produced approximately 20 quarts per capita. Members of the International Ice Cream Association report that vanilla is the most popular flavor, followed by mint chocolate chip and cookies and cream.

The history of ice cream is not clear. It is known that Alexander the Great enjoyed snow flavored with honey and nectar.  Marco Polo brought a recipe for something like sherbet when he returned from his journey to the Far East. Records show that President George Washington enjoyed jefferson ice cream recipethe frosty treat and Thomas Jefferson’s recipe for vanilla ice cream is even preserved in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division. A transcription of that early recipe can be found here.

Some of the books at the library might have you running out to the nearest ice cream parlor or to the frozen food aisle of the local grocery store! Bruce Weinstein’s Ultimate Ice Cream Book and Gail Damerow’s Ice Cream! The Whole Scoop are two delicious choices. Ice cream authority Ben Cohen shares some ideas in Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream and Dessert Book.

– posted by Brenda, Reference Services

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