In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month. So if you feel that you need an excuse to indulge, here's your chance! And while you're enjoying yourself, check out these Web sites dedicated to one of the most popular desserts in history.
Some believe that ice cream originated in China around 200 B.C., when a concoction of milk and rice was packed in snow to harden. Others credit Nero with first creating ice cream by mixing snow with fruit and honey. However, despite some questions about its origin, most fans agree that the invention of ice cream is one of humankind's great accomplishments.
So for those of you who wouldn't dream of not honoring National Ice Cream Month, Education World recommends the following Web sites:
- The Ice Cream Alliance Home and Education Page
This consumer-oriented Web page is part of the Web site of the Ice Cream Alliance, a British trade organization for the ice-cream industry. You can read interesting trivia, a history of ice cream, and storage and serving tips. There is also a link to the site's attractive kids' page, Ice Cream an Education. Here, Scooper the Bear presents science facts, puzzles, poetry, jokes, and other activities.
- Chilly Philly Ice Cream
At one time, Philadelphia boasted four dozen ice-cream companies, earning it the nickname "Ice Cream Capital of the Country." This Web site, by a Philadelphia-based ice-cream maker, pays homage to the long tradition of ice-cream production in the city. With sections on the chemistry behind the use of salt in ice cream making, the history of ice cream making in Philadelphia, the unique characteristics of Philadelphia ice cream, and an ice-cream quiz, this is a worthwhile site for ice-cream aficionados.
- National Ice Cream Month
Check out this page to learn about the importance of calcium in the diet and how ice cream stacks up against other calcium sources, to see a list of the 15 most popular flavors, and to link to online trivia, games, quizzes, and screensavers (all about ice cream!). This page is part of the Web site for Girl Power, a national public education campaign sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services to encourage and motivate adolescent girls to make the most of their lives.
- Ben & Jerry's Fun Stuff
This is a kid-friendly page from the Web site of the folks who make "Vermont's finest." The fun stuff includes screensavers, desktop themes, e-cards, and games -- all with an ice-cream theme. The paper craft activities are terrific -- kids can print out and construct a paper village, among other activities.
- The Sodafountain
This Web site has some sections that are incomplete, but it is still worth a visit for its sense of nostalgia. Click on History and page down until you come to Ice Cream for a well-written overview on the topic, which also includes links to the histories of more than half a dozen famous ice-cream manufacturers. While visiting this site, you may want to check out other related topics, such as the invention and mass production of soda water; early, original recipes for popular brands of soft drinks (often containing ingredients that have since been outlawed by the FDA); and, of course a detailed history of that old American icon, the local drugstore soda fountain.
ADDITIONAL ICE-CREAM RESOURCES
Doc Wilson's Ice Cream Page The creator of this Web site is an author of books on ice cream making and the owner of one of the largest collections of ice-cream freezers (as recognized in 1998 by the Guinness Book of World Records). Here, you can find articles on home ice-cream makers, dozens of recipes, and an ice-cream quiz.
1st Traveler's Choice Internet Cookbook Special Recommended Recipes: Ice Cream/Sherbet/Sorbet This page is a great source for recipes for homemade ice cream, sorbets, ice-cream cakes, and other frozen deserts.
Lauren P. Gattilia
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