National Ice Cream Month

Have You Ever Wondered When Ice Cream Was First Made?

The earliest form of iced desserts traces to Alexander the Great of ancient Greece who enjoyed flavored icy drinks, and supposedly Roman Emperor Nero harvested ice from nearby mountains to make a mixture of ice, honey, and fruit pulp. The first ice cream made with milk was served to emperors of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) in China. This famous dessert made its way through different countries and kingdoms throughout history and the world. You’ll find variations and recipes going back to the middle ages, from sherbet in the Middle East to 17th century sorbets in France, and gelatos in Italy (Tori Avey, opens a new window).

In the United States we celebrate National Ice Cream Month, opens a new window every July and National Ice Cream Day is on July's third Sunday. A fun discovery from the History Reference Center is Proclamation 5219 declaring National Ice Cream Month on July 1984 and National Ice Cream Day on July 15, 1984. It was determined that:

Ice cream is a nutritious and wholesome food, enjoyed by over ninety percent of the people in the United States. It enjoys a reputation as the perfect dessert and snack food. Over eight hundred and eighty-seven million gallons of ice cream were consumed in the United States in 1983.

Explore more articles and recipes for ice cream by logging into the History Reference Center. When you search for "ice cream", you’ll find Jennifer Buchet’s article “A Celebration of Greek Cuisine” which provides a recipe for Olive Oil Ice Cream. Another shares a “Sweet Recipe” from Cobblestone Magazine, offering a simpler version of Thomas Jefferson’s, opens a new window 18 step ice cream recipe. Find out more about the first ice cream cone in History Magazine’s article “Ice Cream Cone” by Nancy Stamp.

Kids Books to Celebrate National Ice Cream Month

Celebrate National Ice Cream Month this July with these books for kids and their families. Learn about how ice cream is made and explore fantastic stories featuring ice cream. We've also included some books in other languages.

View Full List

What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Let us know in the comments below!