The month of July was designated as National Ice Cream Month by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. The third Sunday in July was also designated as National Ice Cream Day. The inventor of ice cream is unknown. Nor does anyone know the specific date that the frozen dessert was first created. According to the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), it is believed that ice cream has been around since the second century B.C.
Due to its versatility, vanilla continues to be a favorite. It pairs well with a variety of toppings, drinks, and baked desserts. The IDFA lists the top five ice cream flavors in America as: vanilla, chocolate, cookies ‘n cream, strawberry, and mint chocolate chip. However, countless flavors and novelty ice cream desserts keep consumers flocking to store freezer cases.
In the Store
- Visit the ice cream aisle last when grocery shopping.
- The temperature in the supermarket’s freezer case should not be above 10°F (-12°C). If the ice cream is soft, bring it to the attention of a store manager.
- Place ice cream products in the separate section of your grocery cart, or place it on top of other groceries.
- Insulate ice cream products for the ride home. When possible, request a freezer bag or additional brown paper bag to insulate your ice cream.
- Make buying ice cream a part of your last errand before going home so it does not sit in your vehicle while making other stops.
- Do not allow ice cream to soften and re-freeze repeatedly. When ice cream’s small ice crystals melt and re-freeze they can eventually turn into large lumps.
- The ideal serving temperature range for ice cream is between 6°F and 10°F. Therefore, your freezer should be set at between -5°F and 0°F.
- Store ice cream in the main part of the freezer, not in the freezer door where it is subject to fluctuating temperatures due to the door being open and shut.
- Keep ice cream containers/lids closed tightly in the freezer to reduce the formation of ice crystals.
- Once an ice cream container has been opened press a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper directly on the surface of the ice cream before replacing the lid to prevent ice crystals from forming.
- Put ice cream in a gallon freezer bag to help minimize ice crystal formation when storing it for long periods of time.
- Do not store ice cream near uncovered foods because odors can seep into ice cream and affect its flavor.
Frozen desserts come in many categories. The IDFA identifies and offers definitions of the following: ice cream, frozen custard, sherbets, gelato, sorbet, water ices, quiescently frozen confections, frozen yogurt, and novelties (like JC’s Pie Pops , JC’s Nudies, and JC’s Pie Bites). Many frozen dessert categories are standardized by federal regulations. Visit the frozen dessert aisle to indulge in your favorite classic ice cream, or to try something new!
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