18th century

Gentle readers, while this blog is not commercial (and this press release is), fun facts about ice cream are always welcome! Cowabunga Ice Cream company cites cool facts, fun figures and tasty trends about ice cream!

John Bull and his family at an ice cafe, 1815. Image @Newcastle University*

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month (July 17, 2011) as National Ice Cream Day.  “According to The International Ice Cream Association, the U.S. ice cream industry generates billions in annual sales and provides jobs for thousands of citizens,” notes Ellen Schack, founder and CEO of Cowabunga Ice Cream. “They report that about 9% of all the milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers is used to produce ice cream, contributing significantly to the economic well-being of the nation’s dairy industry.”

Did you know?…

  • Each American consumes a yearly average of 23.2 quarts of ice cream, ice milk, sherbet, ices and other commercially produced frozen dairy products.
  • The Northern Central states have the highest per capita consumption of ice cream at 41.7 quarts.
  • More ice cream is sold on Sunday than any other day of the week.
  • Ice cream and related frozen desserts are consumed by more than 90 percent of households in the United States. (Source: Mintel)
  • Ice cream consumption is highest during July and August.
  • In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day.
  • The most popular flavor of ice cream in the United States is vanilla (27.8%), followed by chocolate (14.3%), strawberry (3.3%), chocolate chip (3.3%) and butter pecan (2.8%). (Source: The NPD Group’s National Eating Trends In-Home Database)
  • Children ages two through 12, and adults age 45 plus, eat the most ice cream per person.
  • The average number of licks to polish off a single scoop ice cream cone is approximately 50.
  • The History of Ice Cream and the Cone:
    1. The true origin of ice cream is unknown, however reports of frozen desserts have been reported as far back as the second century B.C.
    2. The first official account of ice cream in America was recorded in 1700 from a letter written by a guest of Maryland Governor William Bladen.
    3. In 1812, Dolley Madison served a magnificent strawberry ice cream creation at President Madison’s second inaugural banquet at the White House.
    4. The first ice cream cone was produced in 1896 by Italo Marchiony. Marchinoy, who emigrated from Italy in the late 1800’s, invented his ice cream cone in New York City. Around the same time a similar creation, the cornucopia, was independently introduced at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
    5. Stephen Sullivan of Sullivan, Missouri was one of the first independent operators in the ice cream cone business. In 1906, Sullivan served ice cream cones at the Modern Woodmen of America Frisco Log Rolling in Sullivan, Missouri.

Cowabunga ice cream

Sources: International Ice Cream Association, a constituent organization of the International Dairy Foods Association (www.idfa.org )

Post, courtesy of Cowabunga, which has recently has gone national through its online storefront at http://www.CowabungaIceCream.com. The firm originally operated at the Jersey Shore community.

More posts on the topic:


Thomas and Patty (Martha) Jefferson had read Laurence Sterne’s novel Tristram Shandy. As Patty Jefferson lay dying in September of 1782, the two Jeffersons sat at her bed and wrote out together this quotation from the commonplace book. It started out in Patty Jefferson’s handwriting, on a little 4 by 4 inch piece of paper. Patty Jefferson began:

Time wastes too fast: every letter / I trace tells me with what rapidity life follows my pen. The days and hours / of it are flying over our heads like clouds of a windy day never to return…

[and written by Thomas]

and every time I kiss thy hand to bid adieu, every absence which / follows it, are preludes to the eternal separation which we are shortly to make!

For the remainder of his life, Jefferson kept this paper with a lock of Martha’s hair entwined around it. He kept it in a secret drawer beside his bed.

“On her deathbed, holding her hand in his, Mr. Jefferson promised her solemnly that he would never marry again. And he never did.” – Edward Bacon, overseer.

“Patty Jefferson died September 6, 1782. When she finally closed her eyes, Jefferson fainted and was carried insensible out of the room. For three weeks he did not leave his room. He couldn’t talk. At this time, a bond began to form between Jefferson and his daughter, Martha, who they called Patsy, and Patsy was the only one, apparently, who could get through to him.” Thomas Jefferson, Ken Burns.  (Below, Jefferson’s watch with hair from his wife.)

“He walked almost incessantly night and day, lying down only when nature was completely exhausted on a palette that had been brought in during his long fainting fit. When at last he left his room, he rode out, and from that time he was incessantly on horseback, rambling about on the least frequented roads and just as often through the woods, and those melancholy rambles. I was his constant companion, a solitary witness to many a violent burst of grief.” – Patsy Jefferson, his daughter.

Jean Honore Fragonard painted The Swing in 1766. A pupil of Chardin (one of my favorite French genre painters) and Boucher, he painted this image of a young lady on a swing in the gay and decorative  Rococo style so emblematic of the French aristocracy before the revolution. The painting, whose theme was quite scandalous, became an immediate success. A young lady is being pushed on her swing by her priest-lover. The swing’s movement brings her over a young man, who is lying on the ground and looking up her skirt. She kicks off her shoe, aiming at the statue of Cupid.

This painting, which hangs in the Wallace Museum, London has become so recognizable that the image is frequently used as an inspiration for advertisements, products, and other works of art.

Harper’s Bazaar, 2002

Yinka Shonibare, The Swing, Tate Gallery

Installation piece in the Tate Gallery. The woman is missing her head and losing her slipper.

Shoes inspired by The Swing, Manolo’s Shoe Blog, 2006

Manolo’s Shoe Blog thought these Will’s Fancy shoes were delicious enough to be worn by the girl on Fragonard’s swing.

DAZ 3-D images for purchase

This image can be purchased by people who wish to create 3-D films.

The Swing tiles

Exterior tiles with the image of The Swing.

Bernard Re Jr, Girl on a Swing, Enamel on Board, 2006