A perfect complement to outdoor festivals and backyard barbecues, is there a better summer treat than a scoop of ice cream? July was designated “National Ice Cream Month” back in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan, a self-proclaimed dessert fan.

In commemoration of National Ice Cream month, we thought we’d share some ice cream facts, trivia, and discoveries:

  • The first ice cream parlor was opened in New York City in 1776, according to The Hisotry of Ice Cream, as told by MakeIceCream.com http://www.makeicecream.com/hisoficecrea.html
  • The top five individual flavors of ice cream, based on U.S. consumption, are vanilla, chocolate, Neapolitan, strawberry, and cookies-and-cream, as reported by the International Dairy Foods Association www.idfa.org, a trade organization for ice cream manufacturers and distributors.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that California produced the largest volume of ice cream in 2004, followed by Indiana and then Texas, according to the IDFA.
  • You can send an ice-cream themed e-card to your favorite ice cream fan via Ben & Jerry’s web site http://www.benjerry.com/fun_stuff/, which also offers online games, unique ice cream recipes, and an interactive lesson on how ice cream production produced (“From cow to Cone”).

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of ice cream history (for ice cream fans only)

1. Where did the ice cream cone make its U.S. debut?

2. Back in the mid-1900s, Howard Johnson’s was known for serving how many flavors of ice cream?? (“The wonderful world of ???? flavors”)

3. Bonus round: Where was the first frozen custard stand established?

ANSWERS: 1. The ice cream cone was first introduced in the U.S. at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis; 2. The Howard Johnson’s chain was famous for its 28 flavors of ice cream; 3. Frozen custard was first sold at a stand on Coney Island in 1919.