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Vanilla Doesn’t Appear In Ice Cream Recipes Until The 1760s

National Vanilla Ice Cream Day on July 23rd tips its hat at the second most popular flavor in America. Take a bow, vanilla. I scream, you scream, we all scream for…VANILLA ICE CREAM!! Of course, the day is part of  National Ice Cream Month and not too far behind National Ice Cream Day.

  • Many may be familiar with Thomas Jefferson’s vanilla ice cream recipe. The third president of the United States may have discovered vanilla flavor while visiting France. While he wouldn’t have been the first to savor the delicious taste of vanilla ice cream, Jefferson enjoyed jotting down recipes. The same applied to ice cream.
  • He also produced a handwritten copy of a vanilla ice cream recipe in the 1780s. Only ten copies remain. In fact, the Library of Congress houses one copy that has a cookie recipe on the flip side.
  • Today, the ice cream parlor at Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota serves the same recipe so that anyone can have a taste.
  • Vanilla is the only edible fruit of the orchid family, the largest family of flowering plants in the world.
  • Vanilla doesn’t appear in ice cream recipes until the 1760s, and then it would have been used very rarely.
  • The Olmeca people on the Gulf Coast of Mexico were perhaps the first to use vanilla as a flavoring in beverages.
  • The Totonaca people of the Gulf Coast of Mexico were probably the first people to domesticate vanilla.
  • Charles the First of England paid his chef £500 a year to keep his ice cream recipe a secret
  • Americans are the No.1 consumers of ice cream in the world, where an average person eats 48 pints of ice cream a year.
  • Ben & Jerry’s employees get to take 3 pints of ice cream home with them every day.
  • New Zealanders love ice cream, averaging 22 liters (5.8 gallons) of ice cream per person each year. Their favorites are vanilla and “hokey pokey,” which is vanilla with toffee chunks.
  • Vanilla is the #1 ice cream flavor in most ice cream-loving countries, of Germany, Italy, the United States, New Zealand, China, and Brazil.
  • pecans are the most popular nut chunk in the US, and strawberries are the most popular fruit chunk in ice cream.
  • In 1984, President Ronald Reagan declared July to be National Ice Cream Month
  • The first ice cream truck vendor in the United States was Harry Burt, who started his business in 1920.
  • In 1843, Nancy Johnson received the first American patent for a hand-held ice cream maker.
  • The popular phrase, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream” comes from a song written by Howard Johnson, Billy Moll, and Robert King in 1927
  • American President George Washington apparently loved ice cream so much that in the summer of 1790 alone he spent $200 on ice cream, around $5000 dollars by today’s standards.
  • In the 1920s, newly arrived immigrants to Ellis Island were fed ice cream sandwiches in their first meal—in order to introduce them to the finer things of American culture
  • The most popular flavor is vanilla, then chocolate
  • Chocolate ice cream was invented before vanilla
  • Vanilla was rare and exotic in the late 1700’s
  • Chocolate syrup is the most popular ice cream topping
  • Hawaii is home to an “ice cream bean”, fruit that tastes like vanilla ice cream
  • There are 273 calories in one cup of vanilla ice cream.


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