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July is National Ice Cream Month

From the International Dairy Foods Association

The average American eats roughly 20 pounds of ice cream each year, or about 4 gallons. As the summer reaches peak temperatures in July, Americans celebrate National Ice Cream Month as a way to cool off and enjoy the nation's favorite frozen treat with friends and family. Ice cream has historically been a key feature of American communities.

According to an IDFA survey, most ice cream companies are family owned and have been in operation for more than 50 years. Here's more sweet news: Ice cream companies help support the U.S. economy, contributing more than $13 billion directly to the national economy and supporting nearly 29,000 direct jobs that generate $1.8 billion in direct wages, according to IDFA's Dairy Delivers®. In 2021, ice cream makers in the U.S. churned out more than 1.3 billion gallons of ice cream.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day.

In 2022, National Ice Cream Day will be Sunday, July 17.

In the proclamation, President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with "appropriate ceremonies and activities."

Every year, IDFA celebrates National Ice Cream Month in style with our annual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party. Thousands of guests crowd the grounds surrounding the reflecting pool at the U.S. Capitol to enjoy dozens of varieties of ice cream from IDFA member companies. In 2022, IDFA members donated more than 200 3-gallon tubs of ice cream and 750 novelties for the event.

Tips to making delicious ice cream at home

Ice cream is a favorite dessert across the globe. The average American consumes more than 23 pounds of ice cream per year, says the International Dairy Foods Association.

Even though a trip to the local ice cream parlor can yield many different opportunities to indulge, making ice cream at home is easier than one may believe. Also, creating homemade ice cream can be a fun way to experiment with unique flavors and textures. It is easy to customize concoctions based on what everyone likes best. Making ice cream also is a fun way to bring the family together with the reward of a tasty prize for all of the effort. Here are some tips for making ice cream at home.

¥ Buy quality ingredients. Choose fresh, high-quality ingredients. Real vanilla beans or extract can produce better flavor than imitations. Select in-season berries and other fruits and, if possible, use organic milk. All of these ingredients will blend together for fresh flavor.

¥ Freeze equipment early. Cold equipment is necessary to produce ice cream. Store the bowls of an ice cream maker in the freezer to keep them frozen and ready for when the mood strikes to make a batch of ice cream.

¥ Avoid ice crystallization. According to Food 52, a foodie equipment and recipe resource, ice crystals in the ice cream can ruin texture by making ice cream crunchy. Freezing ice cream quickly at very cold temperatures is essential. That means freezing the bowl and keeping the ingredient mix cold. Spinning the ice cream and transferring it quickly to the freezer helps keep ice crystals small.

¥ Keep mix-ins small. Mix-ins, like cookie pieces or cake crumbs, can add a different dimension to ice cream. Chill the ingredients and make sure they are small (roughly the size of chocolate chips). Add them after the ice cream is entirely frozen.

¥ Watch alcohol usage. Alcohol can create a tipsy ice cream experience but adding too much can interfere with ice cream's ability to freeze. Therefore, use alcohol sparingly.

¥ Store ice cream smartly. According to David Lebovitz, author of "The Perfect Scoop," store ice cream in a shallow container to keep it softer. Also, cover the surface of the ice cream with plastic wrap to prevent ice crystals from forming.

Homemade ice cream will last for roughly a week in the freezer. Making ice cream can be a challenging but rewarding endeavor.


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