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National Strawberry Ice Cream Day

Today is for ice cream, and strawberry is the flavor of the day. It is one of the most popular flavors of ice cream after vanilla and chocolate. In fact, it is found in Neapolitan ice cream along with those other two flavors. Besides plain strawberry ice cream, other variations include strawberry cheesecake ice cream and strawberry ripple ice cream, which is vanilla ice cream with a ribbon of strawberry syrup or jam. It is unknown when strawberry ice cream was first created, but Dolley Madison served it in 1813, at her husband's second Inaugural celebration.

Ice cream is made with ingredients such as eggs, cream, vanilla, milk, and sugar. The forerunners of ice cream were flavored snow and ice. Marco Polo later brought a recipe that resembled sherbet back to Italy, which developed into ice cream there sometime during the sixteenth century. In England and France, royalty were the first to eat foods similar to ice cream. "Cream Ice" was eaten by Charles I of England in the seventeenth century, and Catherine de Medici of Italy introduced a similar frozen treat to France in the mid sixteenth century, after she married French King Henry II. The general public began eating ice cream around 1660.

The first record of ice cream in what would become America dates to 1744, and the first advertisement for ice cream in the country dates to 1777. George Washington enjoyed ice cream, and a record from a merchant shows he spent $200 on ice cream during the summer of 1790. Ice cream pots were also later found at Mount Vernon. Ice cream continued to be a treat of the elite until around 1800, when changes in technology helped expand ice cream popularity and production. Changes such as the invention of steam power, mechanical refrigeration, the homogenizer, motors and electric power, and motorized delivery vehicles all had an impact on ice cream production and consumption. In 1874 the ice cream soda was invented, followed shortly thereafter by the invention of the ice cream sundae; both acted as catalysts for the rise of ice cream parlors and soda fountains. These started to disappear with the proliferation of prepackaged ice cream in the mid twentieth century, but ice cream centered shops are now resurgent in the twenty first century.

How to Observe

Celebrate the day by eating strawberry ice cream. Make some yourself, or enjoy some at an ice cream shop.

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