National Vanilla Ice Cream Day
Observed annually on July 23rd, National Vanilla Ice Cream Day is a holiday where people can enjoy a type of ice cream that’s enjoyed all over the world. Although this ice cream isn’t the most popular one in the U.S. (that distinction belongs to chocolate), it is the second most popular flavor that Americans enjoy. However, it should be noted that the popularity of vanilla has slowly risen over the last few years, so maybe someday it will become the most popular ice cream flavor not only in the U.S. but all over the world.
The History Of Vanilla Ice Cream
Although we were unable to ascertain the history of National Vanilla Ice Cream Day, we do know the history of vanilla ice cream quite well, so we thought we’d speak about it for a few moments. To accurately talk about the history of vanilla ice cream, however, we have to begin by talking about the individual histories of both vanilla and ice cream.
Vanilla is an ingredient that belongs to the orchid family and has been used in Central and South America and the Caribbean for hundreds of years, but it’s a plant that can be traced back to the Totonacs—an indigenous people who lived on Mexico’s east coast. When the Aztecs conquered the Totonacs during the 15th century, they acquired the plants and used them. Later on, the Spanish would then conquer the Aztecs and they ended up with vanilla—which they spread across the Caribbean and Europe.
Even though there are various myths surrounding the first invention of ice cream, many historians believe that it originated in China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). Although it wasn’t specifically the modern ice cream we enjoy today, it was a frozen milk-like confection that was made with buffalo or goat milk that was heated with rice flour.
All through the Middle Ages, Arabs enjoyed an icy refreshment known as Sharabt in Arabic—known as sherbet in English. These were chilled fruit drinks that were flavored with quince, pomegranate, or cherry juices. This spread through Europe where it transmuted into various types of different ice cream types.
By the 18th century, the French had been using vanilla to flavor their ice cream for quite some time, and Thomas Jefferson brought the delicacy to the United States during the late 18th century. In fact, Jefferson even wrote his own recipe for vanilla ice cream—a recipe that’s currently in the U.S. Library of Congress.
How To Observe National Vanilla Ice Cream Day
National Vanilla Ice Cream Day can easily be observed by anyone with a sweet tooth by just having this delicacy in one of its many forms. A person can have a vanilla ice cream cone, have a vanilla shake (although there’s a separate day for that dessert item), or have a dish such as Dame Blanche—a dish that means “white lady” and is made from vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and warm liquid chocolate. All delicious ways to enjoy this sweet holiday.