When President Ronald Reagan in 1984 designated the month of July as National Ice Cream Month and declared the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day, he probably never could have foreseen a time when flavors of the treat included Pork Rind, Strawberry Durian or Squid.
Ice cream shops around the country will be celebrating their special day again this Sunday, July 19. Carvel stores will be offering a buy-one-get-one-free deal on any size or flavor of soft-serve cones. Friendly’s is celebrating its 80th birthday this weekend, with participating stores also offering buy-one-get-one-free deals. Baskin-Robbins is offering a free upgrade to waffle cones with double scoops during the entire month of July. It also will offer 31 percent off all its ice cream sundaes on Friday, July 31.
Those chains offer a wide variety of flavors, but probably nothing quite as exotic as the OddFellows Ice Cream Co. in New York City, known for formulations loaded with unusual ingredients: Edamame, Chorizo Caramel Swirl, Cornbread and Maple Bacon Pecan. OddFellows co-owner Mohan Kumar says National Ice Cream Day will be just a regular Sunday for him and his stores: “It’s a beautiful day for ice cream every day.”
As you consider indulging in a frozen snack, here are some fun facts to fuel our red hot passion for ice cream:
Who Screams for Ice Cream: California, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Texas and New York are the states that consume the most ice cream. California also produces the most ice cream—over 142,000 gallons every year. About 10.3 percent of all the milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers is used to make ice cream. The five most popular brands in the U.S. are private labels, followed by Blue Bell, Haagen-Dazs, Breyers and Ben & Jerry’s. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, vanilla is America’s favorite flavor of ice cream, followed by chocolate. And how’s this for being ice cream crazy? Ben & Jerry’s employees get three free pints a day. They also get a free gym membership.
Hard Facts About Soft Serve: Despite many headlines to the contrary, it does not look like former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher invented soft-serve ice cream before she became known as the Iron Lady. The honor instead goes to Tom Carvel of Carvel ice cream or Dairy Queen co-founder J. F. McCullough. In Carvel’s case, his ice cream truck got a flat tire in Hartsdale, New York, in 1934. As the ice cream started to melt, he noticed its soft, creamy consistency and began selling it right from the truck. Two years later, he opened his first Carvel shop at the site where the truck first broke down.
Why We’re All Coneheads: Italo Marchiony, an Italian immigrant, was granted a patent for waffle-like ice cream cups in New York City in December 1903. But he may not be the father of the cones we enjoy today. As the story goes, Arnold Fornachou, an ice cream vendor at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, ran out of dishes. His neighbor, a Syrian man, was selling crisp, Middle Eastern pastries called Zalabias. When rolled up, the waffle-like Zalabias made a perfect cone to hold the ice cream. The International Association of Ice Cream Manufacturers and the International Dairy Foods Association credit Ernest A. Hamwi, the pastry maker, with creating the cone, but others have also claimed credit — including Abe Doumar, another Syrian immigrant at the 1904 fair who would go on to produce the first machine to mass-produce ice cream waffle cones.
The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.
The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.
Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”
Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.
The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”
That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”