July is National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday in July (this year it’s July 21) is National Ice Cream Day. In 1984 President Reagan designated these holidays. I’m still smarting over forgetting National Doughnut Day, but I digress.
We sure like our ice cream. Better Homes & Gardens reports that 24 pounds is the amount of ice cream an average American eats each year. And according to research conducted by MarketLine and reported by the International Dairy Association, the U.S. ice cream industry generated revenue of $10 billion in 2010.
What flavors are we enjoying? These are the top five:
● Cookies & Cream
●Chocolate Chip Mint
Peanut butter ice cream is becoming more popular. A “Death by Peanut Butter” ice cream was voted best new flavor at the National Ice Cream Retailers Association Annual Meeting. In a list of fast growing ice cream flavors, compiled by Dataessential MenuTrends and reported by Nation’s Restaurant News, peanut butter was number one. While I haven’t noticed peanut butter ice cream, a number of ice cream producers are offering peanut butter flavors:
● Graeter’s: Peanut Butter Chip
● Haagen-Dazs: Peanut Butter Pie; Chocolate Peanut Butter
● Three Twins Ice Cream: Chocolate Peanut Butter
● Edy’s: Slow Churned Peanut Butter Cup; Grand Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Sundae
Trivia Note: Edy’s Ice Cream is marketed as Dreyer’s Ice Cream west of the Rockies and in Texas. The two brand names honor both founders, William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.
● Talenti: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup (this is gelato, not ice cream)
And since we brought up gelato, this might be a good time to define “ice cream” and “gelato.”
Ice Cream: A mixture of dairy ingredients and ingredients for sweetening and flavoring. By federal law, ice cream must contain at least 10% milkfat.
Gelato: An Italian-style ice cream that typically uses milk instead of cream and has less air and milkfat than traditional ice cream. That’s why gelato is dense and intensely flavored.
One of my favorite ice cream flavors was Carob (manufactured by Haagen-Dazs). Sadly, Carob was retired, but I’m consoled by the incredible variety of high-quality ice cream available now.