Co-op Blog

What’s Dippin in the Well: National Ice Cream Day

Warm summer weather makes an ideal setting for enjoying ice cream. Celebrate upcoming National Ice Cream Day this Sunday, July 16th with a cup or cone of your favorite flavor. First proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, National Ice Cream Day is observed each year on the 3rd Sunday in July.

Here at the Co-op, our CONES staff crank out small batches of handmade ice cream, using local milk, cream and eggs. We offer a variety of flavors, from classics like Chocolate and Vanilla to Coffee Salted Caramel and Rock ‘n’ Road to rotating seasonal options like our Strawberry Sorbet, made with fresh local strawberries from Viva Farms. Don’t forget to try our CONES hand-dipped ice cream bars and ice cream sandwiches.

On the Origins of Ice Cream

Enjoyed for thousands of years, the exact origins of ice cream are difficult to determine. Alexander the Great was known to enjoy a mix ice with honey and nectar. Ancient texts mention Roman Emperors and the Biblical King Solomon enjoyed iced drinks and desserts. Before modern refrigeration technology, people foraged snow from high elevations or saved snow in cool underground chambers. For much of history, ice cream was often a dessert enjoyed only by the wealthy and elite.

Many believe ice cream was introduced to the Americas by Quaker colonists who brought their ice cream recipes from Europe. Ice cream was sold at shops during the colonial era, where it gained popularity, especially with American founding fathers Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Read on for a few fun facts for National Ice Cream Day:

  • 1813 – First Lady Dolly Madison serves ice cream at the Inaugural Ball
  • 1832 – African American confectioner, Augustus Jackson, creates multiple ice cream recipes as well as a superior technique to manufacture ice cream.
  • 1843 – Nancy Johnson, of Philadelphia, receives the first U.S. patent for a small-scale hand-cranked ice cream freezer
  • 1874- The modern American Soda Fountain and “ice cream sodas” gain popularity
  • 1920 – Harry Burt puts the first ice cream trucks on the streets
  • 1945 – the first floating ice cream palace is created for U.S. troops in the Western Pacific
By: Claire

ClaireClaire Harlock Garber loves to eat and drink and write about it. She has worked in the food industry for nearly a decade and was on staff at the Skagit Valley Co-op from 2010-2018, writing the regular columns Skagit Brew Corner, The Cheese Whisperer, The Bounty of Bulk, and What's Dippin' in the Well for the Co-op's blog, as well as articles for the Natural Enquirer newsletter.