“I SCREAM, You SCREAM, we all SCREAM for ICE CREAM!” In 1984, President Ronald Reagan declared July National Ice Cream Month, and 30 years later the frosty treat is still one of America’s favorite ways to celebrate summertime.
Nothing takes me back to my childhood like a good ol’-fashioned banana split or two cold scoops of vanilla ice cream drizzled with chocolate syrup and sprinkles. When I think of the frozen dessert, I immediately envision a middle school baseball team huddled together after a game with dirt-stained uniforms, licking ice cream cones and wiping the drizzle from their chins. I think of smiling babies in their high chairs with chocolate smeared from ear to ear and moms and dads with their cameras. I imagine energetic Labrador retrievers sitting by their owners on a park bench, sharing dripping, colorful cones. An all-American dessert served with apple pie and the trusty sidekick to birthday cakes everywhere, ice cream seems to make everyone happy.
According to the International Dairy Foods Association, ice cream was a rare and exotic dessert enjoyed mostly by the elite until the year 1800. Thanks to technological advances, today's total frozen dairy annual production in the United States is more than 1.6 billion gallons! Now, that’s a lot of dairy.
Here’s a fun fact for you from IceCream.com: The ice cream cone's invention is linked to the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. An ice cream vendor reportedly didn't have enough dishes to keep up with the demand, so he teamed up with a waffle vendor who rolled his waffles into cones! How’s that for re-purposing?
On a mission to get the scoop on what locals are eating to stay cool this summer, I asked the folks at Bruster’s Real Ice Cream in Statesboro to share their best-selling flavors. Butter Pecan and New York Cheesecake are all the rage. Meanwhile, the Peach State as a whole seems to be partial to a more traditional, tried-and-true classic. Top ice cream and frozen dessert franchise Baskin-Robbins deems vanilla to be Georgia’s most well-liked flavor.
I also asked my Some Kinda Good Facebook fans what they were noshing on to beat the heat this month — and boy do I have some fancy friends. I would’ve chosen some good ol’ cookie dough, maybe an Oreo Blizzard or pineapple sundae, but these guys blew me away with their responses. While homemade peach ice cream was a popular choice, I can’t wait to sink my teeth into some of these inspired ideas:
“Salted Oreo! And of course, old faithful, Rocky Road.” – Charity
“I am all about some pistachio ice cream with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Don't doubt it...just try it! #Fancy” – Chad
“I love rum raisin. It is just delicious!” – Debbie
"I'm a tangy lemon gelato girl, while John drools over blackberry ice cream.” – Tori
“Pistachio almond or coffee.” - Jennifer
“I love Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey.” – Paula
“I love black cherry ice cream…but cookie dough ice cream works in a pinch. LOL.” – Casey
“Mint chocolate chip.” - Kurt
“Nothing screams #summer better than homemade peach ice cream, but on the simple side, I love chocolate peanut butter.” – Justin
“I made some peach ice cream just last night!” – Joey
“Ultimate chocolate.” – Renee
August is upon us and pretty soon school bells will be ringing. So, why not take the opportunity to throw an ice cream social or enjoy a family outing for a frozen treat? I can’t think of a better way to celebrate summer with one last hurrah. You know what they say? “Life is like an ice cream…enjoy it before it melts!”
Rebekah Faulk is a Georgia food writer and Statesboro-based TV personality. A Season 2 contestant on ABC's “The Taste,” she blogs at somekindagood.org, a Southern, coastal food blog highlighting East Coast restaurant reviews and Low Country-inspired recipes. Follow her on Twitter at @SKGFoodBlog or search Facebook for Some Kinda Good.