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National Vanilla Ice Cream Day

Quick, eat it before it melts, and before it's no longer National Vanilla Ice Cream Day! Vanilla is one of the most popular ice cream flavors, with only chocolate coming close. It's considered by many to be the default or plain flavor, but it's really quite versatile, being used as a base for many ice cream dishes. Vanilla ice cream is made by freezing a custard made of sugar, eggs, cream or milk, sugar, and vanilla beans or artificial vanilla flavoring. It is served in cones and dishes, mixed in shakes and malts, used in sundaes and floats, and even used to make ice cream cakes.

The vanilla plant is native to Mexico and wasn't known outside of Central America until the late seventeenth century when conquistadors brought it to Spain. It spread to the rest of Europe, and by the eighteenth century was in demand in France, so much so that French vanilla was created, and was used to make French vanilla ice cream. It is widely believed that Thomas Jefferson tried vanilla ice cream in France and brought back the recipe to his fledgling nation. He wrote his own recipe for vanilla ice cream in the 1780s, and it is now kept at the Library of Congress.

Did you finish your ice cream before it melted and before you finished reading this section? Well, surprise, we are still in the midst of National Ice Cream Month, so if you happen to have vanilla ice cream again tomorrow, it's completely acceptable.

How to Observe National Vanilla Ice Cream Day

Celebrate with vanilla ice cream! Have a vanilla ice cream cone or a dish of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy a vanilla shake or malt. Have a sundae with vanilla ice cream and toppings. Enjoy a vanilla ice cream float. There are so many possibilities! You could even make some homemade vanilla ice cream, perhaps even using Thomas Jefferson's recipe!

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